Parenting can cause as much anxiety as it does excitement. The constant expectation to provide a certain standard and quality of life can pile on the pressure for any parent, especially if you have more than one child. Which begs the question, how should you space your children in accordance with the plan you have for your family? How do you make sure that you give your child or children the best quality of life with the limited resources you have?
First, know how many children you would like to have. If you and your partner have already established that you both want children, it is also important to talk about how far apart in age you would like them to be. The age difference between my first two kids is 6 years. To an outsider, it might seem like a reasonable age difference, but when you see them interact, you see how those 6 years have created such a gap in how they relate to one another.
If you imagine your children growing up together and you can cope with the stress, a small age gap might be ideal for you. This means you deal with all the sleepless nights, mounds of dirty nappies, and exhaustion in one concentrated effort.
Related: I Don't Want To Have Children!
If you want time to enjoy each child, a good age gap would be around 3-4 years. This gives the parents time to establish them in school and to teach them responsibility, especially concerning their younger sibling/s.
Spacing also gives you a chance to give each child the individual attention he or she may need as they go through their milestones, that is, learning how to walk, read, or the first day of school. It comes as no surprise that paying attention to children on an individual basis helps the parents monitor their progress in all facets of their lives.
An important thing to note is that spacing affects your life plan as parents as well. If you plan to work or further your education, that too can affect how many kids and how far apart you want to have them. You may even jointly choose not to have children at all. And that is alright. A job promotion, which demands more of your time, may be another reason to hold off having children because it will limit your available free time to spend with your children.
Spacing children also helps you plan for their education, insurance and so on. Taking time to invest in your family not only helps you set clear goals but you also enjoy the benefits of having children when you plan to.
Women remain to be the primary caregivers for their families. Several important questions need to be asked before you plan to have one or more kids. What is your age? What’s the state of your finances? Are you and your partner in agreement about how many kids you want? Who will be the primary caregiver?
As you can see there are many factors that come into play when planning to have another child. The best time for you might not be the best time for your sister, friend, or neighbor. Keep in mind what your family situation is like and how things are going right now, then use that as a guide to plan your next pregnancy.
How many kids do you think is the ideal number for a couple? Do you think that having no children is also part of effective family planning? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, our discussion board, or leave a comment below.