Saturday, January 18, 2014

When Should I Have Another Baby?

This week's question comes from an 18 year old mom who currently has a 2 1/2 year old daughter.  She asked:
"I feel bad that my daughter isn't growing up with a little brother or sister. My sister and were best friends when we were little. But, I don't feel ready for another baby yet.  I guess my question is, what is the best amount of time to have between babies?" ~ Kasey T.
Hi Kasey! Thanks for submitting your question.  And, it's a good question; one that I think many young moms think a lot about.

First of all, I want to point out that there is no right or wrong when it comes to the spacing of children.  It is a decision that involves many factors and requires many things to be taken into consideration. 
Secondly, research exists to support almost all age differences between siblings.  Meaning there are pros and cons to siblings being close together in age and pros and cons to having many years between each child. 

The most important thing to consider is this: Are you in a position to bring another child into the world right now?

 Ask yourself these questions-
  •  Are you living on your own? 
  •  Are you financially independent?
  •  Have you finished high school and any other education you want to pursue?
  • Are you in a stable relationship, preferably married?
As you know from having already had a baby, kids are expensive. They also take a lot of time and energy.  If you are struggling now to balance motherhood and school or a career, etc. adding another child to the mix could be too much.  One of the things working in your favor is that you have many childbearing years ahead of you so there is no rush.
Also, sibling relationships are wonderful and complex. I am just as close to my brother that is five years younger than me than I am to the brother that is 2 1/2 years younger than me.  I think the important thing about whether your kids will grow up to be close is the type of environment they grow up in rather than how close or far apart in age they are.
All of this to say, giving your child a sibling is a great reason to have a baby.  But, being a teen mom poses many unique challenges and there are many other things that need to be considered before making such a choice.  You are not cheating your child out of anything by focusing on yourself and the baby already here right now and choosing to wait to have another child. 
If the answer to any of the above questions I asked you to ask yourself is "NO" then now is probably not the best time to introduce another child to the family dynamic.
I encourage you to pray about every decision including this one and seek wise counsel from an older woman that you trust.
Without knowing the particulars of your situation, there is my answer. Please reach out to me if you want to discuss this further.
Hugs and prayers,

Do you have a question you want me to answer about being a teen mom?  Email it to me at and I may choose your question to be featured here.  I do respond to every email I receive, even if I choose not to publish the question so please feel free to reach out to me anytime.

Till tomorrow,

The information contained within this web site or within coaching sessions, classes, or workshops, is not a substitute for professional advice such as from a Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, counselor or therapist of any kind. The information provided by Teen Mom 365 or Melissa Smallwood does not constitute legal or medical professional advice nor is it intended to constitute such advice.  Any decisions you make, and the consequences thereof are your own.

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