Going from no child to one child is a massive change in your life. You think that one extra person won’t make much of a difference to your family life, but it changes things forever. Suddenly, there’s another mouth to feed, more expenses to contend with, and so much more.
After having one child, you will absolutely fall in love with parenthood. As tricky as things can be, it doesn’t put you off the idea of having more kids. But, going from one child to two or three is another huge step up. The bigger your family gets, the more responsibilities and concerns you have.
Needless to say, lots of parents struggle to cope with a growing family. There are loads of things for you to deal with, and this can create so much stress and tension in the home. Nobody wants that, so here are some tips to help you cope with a growing family:
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Don’t do too much, too soon
Listen, we all like to think of ourselves as superheroes. When you manage to give birth to multiple human beings after carrying them inside you for 9 months, then you’re entitled to this opinion! However, all mums need to know their limits.
Yes, you love working, and you love being a working mother. But, should you move straight back into your full-time job as soon as possible after giving birth? If you’ve gone back to work after your first pregnancy, then it’s easy to think that you can simply do it again with no worries. Still, there are more concerns the second and third time around. Depending on how long you waited to have another child, you could have one newborn baby and one or two toddlers in your house. Trying to get used to looking after all of your kids and working full-time can be incredibly stressful!
Instead, ease yourself back into normal life. Take as much time off as you’re allowed, and maybe look at working from home for a bit – if possible. Get used to things at home before you start venturing back into the world of work. If you do too much, too soon, then it’s a recipe for a mental breakdown.
Make sure your house can handle it
Most of you may move into a home with your partner and get ready to settle down. A child comes along, and you all live happily in this home. Then another one comes along, and things start to get difficult. If another comes along as well, then it could be a real struggle to live comfortably in your home.
The simple fact is that a growing family is unlikely to fit in a home that you bought or rented for two people. Are there enough rooms in your home? Is there enough space to move around and think without feeling clustered and claustrophobic? Some people have the foresight to buy a big family home to get ready for this. But, that’s not always possible, and a lot of couples will rent something affordable before getting ready to buy later in life.
Either way, the point remains the same; make sure your house can handle your growing family. Does this mean you need to pack everything up and move into a bigger place? Sometimes, but not always. What if you just needed a little bit of extra space? These days there are companies like Buddy Loans that let you take out a small loan to finance something like a home renovation project. You could convert your attic into a kids’ bedroom, or pay for an extension to get some extra rooms in your home. This is way more affordable than dealing with selling your home or getting another mortgage to buy a bigger house.
It all depends on where you’re currently living and how big your family will grow! Some of you may need to move elsewhere, while others can make changes to your existing home to accommodate all the little ones.
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Start paying attention to your finances
We hate talking about money, but it’s something that has to be discussed when your family starts growing. It’s obvious; you’re going to have more expenses with a big family than you will with a small one. Even a family of three will spend less than a family of four. It’s simply a case of more mouths to feed, more clothes to buy, and so on.
Plus, more people in the home can mean that you use up more water, more electricity, and more of your heating supply. Again, this leads to higher monthly costs on your energy bills. Basically, you’ll spend more money without really getting any extra money in.
So, you have to have a serious talk about your finances. Sit down together or go and see a family financial advisor to help you deal with everything. The key thing is to budget. Calculate your expenses, and this lets you know what has to be spent every month no matter what. Then, you can figure out how much goes towards non-essential expenses that are still important, before seeing what’s leftover for recreational spending or saving.
You may find that you’re simply not making enough money to live comfortably from day-to-day. If this is the case, then you should try and find new jobs that give you more income to play with. Or, work on reducing your spending in certain areas. It’s always possible to spend less on food without sacrificing much, and you can always find cheaper energy prices or insurance, etc.
Overall, a growing family changes a lot about your way of life. It can be an absolute blessing, and you won’t resent having more children. The best advice is to take things slow and plan everything out – ideally before having any kids. Don’t rush back into your usual routine when you give birth, spend time to adjust to the new way of life and let things settle at home. Make sure your house can physically handle a growing family, if it can’t, then either move or renovate it. Finally, get your financial situation sorted and ensure you budget properly to deal with all the extra expenses.