Unintended Pregnancy with a Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, ...Baby

Third, Fourth, or Fifth ... Child

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Is That Even Doable?

  • Nowadays, anything beyond the two-kid nuclear family is seen as atypical. The thought of having a third, fourth, or fifth child would likely trigger mixed feelings. You were done with having children and had set new goals for yourself.
  • Or perhaps you are simply wondering how you and your family would cope – logistically, financially, and energy-wise.
  • Even when expecting a second child, the question of coping may arise. Sometimes parents also worry about not having enough love to go around. It may be hard to imagine how to do life together when adding another family member.

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Six Common Concerns and Workable Solutions

There are many reasons for having reservations about another pregnancy. Here is a summary of the most common obstacles women face, and possible steps to overcome them.

#1: Finances

An additional family member means more mouths to feed. Even if you still have all the baby gear, you might need a bigger car and more living space. Perhaps other expenses are draining your resources right now. These could dampen your joy over a new arrival.

Workable Solution: Financial Support

Sometimes it helps to make a list of which items are more urgent and what can wait. Often, it is less than initially suspected. Nevertheless, there may be uncertain times, financially — especially if money is tight already. 


Even then, solutions can be found. Your local pregnancy resource center will likely be able to provide support or show you where you can find it.  
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Overview of Monetary Support:

#2: Returning to Work

You may be on maternity leave and are planning on returning to work, soon. Perhaps you were looking forward to the change in routine and had planned accordingly.

Understandably, you might wonder, “Do I always have to prioritize everyone else’s needs? What about me?”

Workable Solution: Holding Space for Yourself

You are right: You need to intentionally create space to show up in your life – especially if you have several children.

Even if your return to work is postponed for a while: Schedule non-negotiable downtime for yourself regularly; perhaps there is a project you have always wanted to complete – plan for it! What kind of support could you avail yourself of? Could you occasionally hire a babysitter?

#3: He Does Not Want Another Child

Perhaps you have already started bonding with the baby growing inside you. Your partner’s negative reaction would tear you apart.

He may be concerned about whether he has what it takes to be a good father to an additional child. Perhaps he also has financial reservations, desiring to be a good provider for all of you. These are common reasons for him to have reservations regarding the pregnancy.

Workable Solution 1: Give Him Time

It may encourage you to know that most skeptical dads experience a change of heart – even those who initially reject having another baby embrace the child wholeheartedly when the time comes.

For now, give your partner time to come to terms with the idea that you are expecting again.

Workable Solution 2: Seek Quality Time with Him

During the busyness of everyday life, it is vital to incorporate dates into your weekly routine. This does not have to break the bank — eating out or taking a walk together would allow you to listen to one another and gain common ground.

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Perhaps these suggestions do not apply to your situation because you are not together.

#4: Overwhelmed

Of course, each additional child will fill your plate, even more, adding to the already present responsibilities.

Sometimes you may feel like you are drowning… You are not the only one who feels that way. The lives of others often look perfect on the outside — until you peel back the façade. Most moms know — from experience — what you are talking about.

Workable Solution 1: Life Hacks

Every mom discovers her own life hacks for her day-to-day life. What are some of yours? Do you save time and energy by occasionally ordering takeout and skipping meal prep? Do you welcome shortcuts, such as using paper plates and disposable diapers to avoid spending as much time on cleanup? Do you insist on regular naptimes, so that you can get some rest? You can probably think of even more ways to simplify your life…

Sometimes, we need to set new priorities: Time for yourself and the kids is more important than keeping the house immaculate.

Workable Solution 2: Practical Support

This may be an opportunity to reevaluate your daily life. Where have you already reached your limit? What measures need to be put in place to banish the overwhelm? What is needed so you can thrive?

Many organizations offer practical support for free or for a small contribution. This may include babysitting or even an adopt-a-grandma project.

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#5: Malicious Gossip

“What will they say when they find out that I am expecting again?”

It is a sad truth that people think they need to voice their opinion regarding your family size. Everyone seems to know precisely when you should or should not have a baby. They will also promptly inform you of the appropriate number of children.

This kind of attitude is especially tough to shrug off when it comes from friends or family.

Workable Solution: Experiencing Family Life

It may be helpful to think about the fact that people love to gossip – often motivated by their desire to redirect others' attention from their issues.

Sometimes it is merely a matter of choosing to ignore the jabs while responding with kindness.

While the sensational value of this new baby will quickly be forgotten, the bond and comfort of a large family will last.

Perhaps, reading the following letter, written by a mother of five, might provide you with some encouragement:

#6 Feeling Guilty

Parents who are more nurturing by nature may experience guilt at the thought of expecting again and wonder, "Will I be mom enough for everyone?"

Even second-time moms feel guilty for turning their firstborn's life upside down. Especially since the first child enjoys its parents' undivided loving attention, it may be hard to imagine how this loving care could be "divided up" between several children. The concern may arise that the first child would feel neglected.

When expecting one's third or beyond, it is easy to think, "I only have two arms; how can I take care of more than two kids?"

Workable Solution 1: Watch Your Love Grow

You may be familiar with the saying: "Love is the only thing that multiplies when divided."
This shows that love cannot be comprehended mathematically. It is not about "dividing" or splitting yourself in two. Love is capable of so much more.
Many parents experience the beauty of loving several children with unique traits and personalities. Caring for them may look different for each one since their needs are not the same.

Workable Solution 2: Getting the Siblings on Board

Siblings can learn things from each other, such as sharing, looking out for one another, being considerate, and sticking together. Of course, this can take on different forms depending on their age difference; but this bond can be significant for a lifetime.

Children enjoy discovering the world with their siblings. The fact that they can keep each other entertained can be used to your advantage.

Of course, adding a child is always an adjustment initially. But children quickly realize the importance of family and the beauty of belonging and working together.

Taking Your Next Steps…

Perhaps you are still wondering where to go from here, and your specific obstacle was not addressed in this article. Or maybe you are still trying to figure out how to put some of these ideas into practice.

Feel free to make use of our digital coaching resources to gain a fresh perspective on the road that lies before you:

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