And then there were two. A father of two shares what it’s really like when your family grows for the second (third, or fourth or more) time.
I remember my partner running into the living room with a pregnancy test in hand (washed of course) screaming and yelling like she’d just won the lottery. The winning ticket was a positive pregnancy test confirming we were going to have our second baby. It’s probably the best feeling in the world if you’ve been planning to expand your family, it can also stir up concerns about your finances and how you’ll juggle the heavier workload at home.
Either way, no amount of planning can prepare you for having a second child. Every child is different and you won’t realise how easy or hard your first-born was until you have a second.
Here are 5 myths I bought into before having a second child:
Myth 1: A bigger family = economies of scale
The more kids you have, the cheaper things become, right? I thought this basic economic concept would be applicable whilst planning for our second child. I pictured weekends shopping at Costco buying jumbo packs of frozen food and cooking in bulk for the week. The reality is you just have less time and energy to execute those plans and it’s more than likely you’ll just end up ordering more take-away.
Myth 2: You’ll get used to little sleep
Your body will never get used to 4 hours of broken sleep. Never, ever! Case in point: see Myth 1 about not having enough energy.
Myth 3: Your elder child will help out
The myth that child one will help out when you need them is as about as true as the adage ‘snakes are as afraid of us, as we are them’. Any time I look for help from my eldest, they’re conveniently always too busy playing with my iPad or creating a mess of their own that I’ll have to deal with later. Trying to get them to help out is usually a frustrating combination of threats and low-key bribery. And let’s not start on the sibling rivalry and petty arguments.
Myth 4: What worked with the first will work with the second
You will realise very quickly that each child is different. Just because a dummy worked first time round, it’s not necessarily going to work with the second. It’s all about adapting to the different needs and not being set in your ways.
Myth 5: It’ll break the bank
Everyone’s circumstances are unique and there are a range of individual factors that will affect each family differently. In our family’s case, having a second child didn’t really break the bank. It wasn’t a complete walk in the park financially, however, thanks to careful budgeting and planning how best to use our money, particularly in light of dropping down to one income temporarily, we were able to find the best way to support our growing family.
Are you financially prepared for a growing family?
No amount of planning can adequately prepare you for the highs and lows of welcoming a second child into your family. However, with the help of a financial adviser, you can start to plan for your family’s financial wellbeing. Request a free, no obligation chat with a BT Adviser today.
This information is current as at 16/03/2017.
The information shown on this site is general information only, it does not constitute any recommendation or advice and is not substitute for health or medical advice; it has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. Any taxation position described is a general statement and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current tax laws and our interpretation. Your individual situation may differ and you should seek independent professional tax advice. You should also consider obtaining personalised advice from a professional financial adviser before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed hereto.
BT Advisers are representatives of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL & Australian Credit Licence 233714 (Westpac). BT Advice is a Division of Westpac.