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The True Costs Of Having A Second Child

The True Costs Of Having A Second Child

My father and mentor in psychology is fond of saying, “Being born into a family is like being born into the middle of Act II in a three act play. That metaphorical context is most apt for the second born child. The roles of parents and first born are taken, where do I fit in? How to I find a place that is uniquely me given this first born sibling ahead of me. But the second child causes shifts in all roles. Father may feel more opportunity for parenting as the other parent cannot give full attention to the infant and the older child. There are hazards, too, such as the toll another child takes on the marital connection, especially the sexual connection in the marriage.

In this article, one of my favorite writers who calls on me a couple times a year, Virginia Pelley, tackles the rarely examined shifts in family when the second baby comes along. These are the shifts and new chapters in family life that are often the context for couples and parents seeking help. It is nice to have Pelley consider this context.