Ask Audrey: 'Should I have another baby?'

Audrey Griffen

Audrey is a mother to a 15-year-old and a newborn baby. She probably should have taken into account who she was marrying (Osher Günsberg) much earlier, as she’s far more comfortable behind the camera as a freelance hair and makeup artist, than a TV host’s wife who doesn’t know how to work her angles for any on-camera duties.

Audrey loves to cook, decorate cakes, gardening, DIY and is very handy with a flat-pack, few of which you would pay her to do for you, but she’d happily give it a shot for free.

Audrey Griffen. Photo: Supplied

Dear Audrey,

I have a real dilemma and even though I've been sitting on it for a couple of years now, I'm no closer to making a decision. Should I have a second baby? 

To clarify, I have a 3.5-year-old daughter who is just a dreamboat and my husband and I adore her. In some ways, she's everything we ever wished for. She's cute and funny and pretty easy to be around.

I also have a pretty demanding job, and my husband travels a lot for work, meaning I'm running the show solo two weeks out of every month. And we don't have any family nearby who can help out, so it would be a lot of work for me if we had another.

But even with all of these factors, I just don't feel like we're finished – we've kept a lot of her old baby things in case we have another one, and it makes me really sad to think of getting rid of them!

Right now we're kind of at crunch time, because we're not getting any younger.

Any advice on how to make a decision would be very welcome!

Mother Carrying Son And Daughter As They Play In Park

Dear Ms Maybe-baby,

You’re not alone! “Should we have another kid?” Whether it’s moments after your child is born, or in my case 14 years later, it is a question many parents ask each other and different factors come into play in when reaching an answer.

One of the things I find most common when discussing this question with friends,  family or even strangers (it is pretty normal to have this chat when people are in my makeup chair), is that the clue to what they actually want is always in the way that they ask the question, and the reasons they give for asking it.

When Osher and I first started getting serious, and the very grown up topics of marriage and children were raised, we were both keen for the wedding bit - but ambiguous on the kid part.

From my perspective, I was very conscious that I already had Georgia, an awesome kid who was not in nappies anymore, that was progressively getting more independent by the day. While conversely, I was progressively getting older! I liked to use the analogy that I could see the light, that I could almost touch it, and having a baby would be like going back to the very beginning, scattered sleep, nappies, toilet training, the whole shebang!

Interestingly though, I noticed that while I was discussing this with Osher or my family and friends I’d say the bit about “touching the light” first - followed up by how much love, happiness and growth Georgia has brought me, but then not actually ruling out the possibility of having another child despite knowing how hard it can be sometimes.

Eventually I recognised the pattern and admitted to myself that I did indeed want to have a baby with Osher. Having Wolfie and Georgia in our lives is wonderful, and while I’m sure I’ll complain about the hard stuff, I’m so glad we chose to bring him into the world.

And that’s something for you to keep an eye out for. I think we already know the answers to our own questions, but perhaps we’re simply not ready to admit them to ourselves. If you find yourself still contemplating a big life move, such as having another child, despite listing all the reasons why your life will be made harder for it, then the answer is pretty clear. 

Considering the hurdles that you know that you will be facing; the lack of family support; your and your husband’s work loads; our bloody ticking body clocks; the fact that you’ve kept a lot of your daughter’s baby things “just in case”, suggest you may be erring on the side of having a second bub.

By your description of your daughter, you have both done a wonderful job raising her, and will more than likely do the same with any subsequent children. You would also be making this decision knowing exactly what you’re in for and how hard it can sometimes be raising a little one. It sounds like you’ve risen to all the challenges that you’ve faced with your little girl and come out the other side with your sanity intact and you are game to face them all over again,

Regardless of the answer at which you arrive, I wish you and your family all the very best.

Audrey xx

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