Deciding to have a baby isn’t easy, especially when you’ve been through it before and you know how much time, money, and effort go into it. But, in Egypt, there’s no such thing as having just ONE child. Once you’ve gotten the first one out of the way, you’ll find your parents, your husband’s parents, your aunts, and uncles and God knows who else start to throw hints that it’s time to have your second child. But what if you don’t want to? Is it a selfish decision to have only one child?
Let’s get one thing clear: The decision to have a baby or not is yours, and yours alone – well and your husband’s too, of course. You shouldn’t be affected by what your family, friends, and society expect of you. At the end of the day, you and your husband will be the ones raising a new child, not anyone else.
So, if this issue is pondering in your head, here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you decide:
- Are you willing to bear the responsibility of having another kid?
- Are you willing to take some time off work and give your newborn the attention, love, and care it deserves?
- Do you have enough support to be able to juggle the house, your firstborn child, and the newborn?
- Does your husband want a second child, too? Is he willing to offer a helping hand?
- Are you financially stable? Will you be able to provide your second child with the same means and lifestyle as your first child?
- Do you really want a second child? Or is it just the pressure of those around you?
- Are you close to your family? Do they have children who are close to your child?
- Did you suffer from postnatal depression?
- Will you be satisfied and happy by having only one child?
If you’re ONLY considering having another child for any of the following reasons, then it’s probably not the best decision:
- Just so your child has a sibling. While it is understandable that you don’t want your son or daughter to be an only child, and it makes a huge difference when they’re not alone in the world, but you could have another child and they wouldn’t get along or will end up living on different parts of the planet. At some point your child will have his/her own family, won’t that be enough?
- Because your parents want you to. Reminder, they won’t be raising them and they won’t be providing for them.
- To keep your child company. Please note that before the newborn baby is old enough to entertain or be a worthy company of your elder child, there will be at least 3 years where you will be responsible for not one, but TWO children.
- Because you want a child of the opposite sex. This isn’t something you can control and you can easily end up with the same gender again. So, why take your chances?
Is it selfish NOT to want to have another child for any of the following reasons?
- You don’t want to go through pregnancy and gaining weight. No, it’s your body and you get to decide what to do with it.
- You don’t want to go through labor again. No, it’s your right. You’re human, not superwoman.
- You want to focus on your career. Loving your job and being career-oriented does not make you any less of a mother, especially that you are already taking perfect care of one child.
- You’re financially incapable of providing for more than one child. As most Egyptians believe that a child comes with his/her own rizk, in this day and age everything has become very expensive.
Whether you don’t have the energy to have another kid or just don’t want to, don’t let anyone influence your decision. Ask yourself the above questions and make sure you’re fully aware of where this decision is coming from.