Disclaimer: This is not a pregnancy announcement!
It’s the most wonderful thing in the world to have a baby, but what about when it comes as a surprise? You’re happy with where you are at in life, there’s a good balance in your family; life is great! But a surprise pregnancy has the capacity to turn your world upside down. There’s so much to consider when adding an extra family member, but don’t fret, you’re not the first one in this situation. Here are a few practical things to consider when your surprise bundle of joy is coming:
Work: What To Do!
Whether to go back to work is always a tricky decision at any time, but with older kids around as well, before/after school childcare can be very costly and will take up a huge portion of your income. Is a return to work financially worthwhile? Can you work from home? It’s best to make a spreadsheet of income and expenditure for all scenarios, and compare and contrast how much of a difference working will make. Obviously there is more to this decision than just money; will you want to leave your new baby? and how important is your job? Are just a few considerations to make.
Is your house big enough?
So you have a new baby on the way, but if you don’t have enough space or a spare room, what should you do? Do you make existing children share? Although (mostly) fine when they’re younger, this could be the source of quite the number of grumbles and fights as they grow… and their toys spread. Do you want to consider upsizing? It’s always pretty easy to do a mortgage comparison between what you would spend on a new place and what you currently pay, so it’s always worth having a look. If you do move though it might be worth considering when to do it, as moving house at 8 months pregnant is no fun… I should know – I’ve done it twice!
How will your other children be affected?
You will need to consider how your current children will react to having a younger sibling in the house. There are quite a few things to consider; from jealousy, to potty training regression, to acting out and tantrums. There are so many books out there to help prepare older siblings, and setting aside dedicated time for just them is also a great idea.
Pregnancy and the effect on you
You’ve been pregnant before, you know the course, but it’s amazing how much you forget about pregnancy! Those hormonal rose-tinted glasses are very powerful… As well as being older (sorry to bring that up!) you may have a very different lifestyle with school age children; from school runs, to packed lunches, not to mention school holidays that end up feeling incredibly long with a bump or morning sickness going on. Be sure to find ways to give yourself rest (hypnobirthing tracks are fantastic for this) and ask your partner for help when you need it.