Having another baby, a second child, can be one of the most important decisions of your life. The facts that are going to follow in this article today will hurt the feelings of many moms like me (mom of 2). However, it will also help a ton of moms who are at a stage of making this big decision and are in doubt.
If you are a mom of one, considering another just because of peer pressure, this article is for you!
The land to where I belong, having a second child comes naturally in the flow of expectations the society puts on a woman after getting married and having baby number 1. But it is not necessary for the woman to feel it as natural as expected.
I can’t deny that the findings of a few studies indicating the deteriorating mental health of parents after having a second child were a revelation for me. Nonetheless, it felt relatable. I have been struggling and know for a fact that any mom of two children would instantly agree.
Few of the Findings
- The birth of the first child boosts the mental health of both parents, which apparently starts to subside after the birth of the second one. There is an added stress observed in both parents. However, with gender roles still making a mother more invested in raising a child, the effect on her mental health is much more. According to an Australian study by the University of Melbourne, a mother feels constantly ‘pressurized’ due to more demands of her time by two children at home.
- In many developed nations having a single child is coming naturally to parents due to financial limitations, more awareness about contraception, more working women, having late childbirth, etc. As a result, the number of families with a single child is rising worldwide. Even after easing one-child policy restrictions in countries like China and Japan, the birth rate continues to decline. Even countries like India, Canada, New Zealand, and many European nations that didn’t have any such policies are witnessing a decline in their average birth per woman.
- The added stress on parents takes a toll on their relationship as well. This could be due to the lesser availability of quality time to focus on each other and more time spent on resolving conflicts among siblings. There have been studies to show that with the birth of every child, discontentment increases between partners.
Second Child Syndrome
It is not just the parents who are found to have mental health issues after having a second child. A study conducted by a couple of top American universities found that second-born are ‘troublemakers’. The study also indicated lesser maternal attention compared to the elder sibling to be one of the major reasons for such behavior.
Second Child/ Middle Child (second born among 3 or more siblings) Syndrome leads to issues such as
- low self-esteem,
- low confidence,
- identity crisis or
- attention-seeking tendency,
- sibling rivalry
If you are a mother of two
If you already had your second child or have more, this article is not intended to worry you. It just sheds light on the challenges that most of us already have been living each day. Let’s acknowledge and accept and then work towards tackling it in a better way so that we can maintain our sanity.
You must be mindful of your behavior so the second child does not feel left out or ignored. Sibling rivalry is natural and common, but working through it as a parent can be challenging. Know more ways to manage Sibling Rivalry at home efficiently.
The decision about Having a Second Child
No matter how many facts I state here, it will still be a very personal choice to make. Considering the various elements required to raise a child in today’s world, it will be wise to take a conscious decision. There is no doubt about the several advantages of having another person in the house, still, it will be a big responsibility and must be a well thought decision.
All the best.