FamilyLife.Rocks parenting in germany

Planing a second baby

Lately I checked the most popular search terms on google around the topic of a second pregnancy. Besides Kim Kardashian’s actual pregnancy, most people appear to look for

  • “second baby”
  • “another baby”
  • “second pregnancy”

second baby

No one seems to be interested in actually having a second kid or another offspring. Everyone is only looking for topics revolving around bearing a child. But (spoiler alert) also the second child will grow up, run around, invite strange friends, and ask for tuition fees. I don’t know why people only plan for the first few months…

My personal plans do not involve another sweet little bundle lying around and asking for boobie time. Instead I look forward to talks with my kids, a fair dose of education, and a lifetime with a whole clan including a lot of grandchildren. From a statistical point of view you are more likely to have large number of grandchildren when you already have a significant number of kids. This will especially come in handy when finally sitting in a retirement home surrounded by mostly grumpy people being jealous of your visitors. This is the only reason Christoph and I undertake all the stress that comes along with having children.

Is the second pregnancy/delivery easier?

As the person with the uterus I think I have at least 51 percent power of decision over the question: “how many kids do we want?”. Sure I do think about my body and therefore it is nice to learn that for most oft the woman the second delivery is much easier than the first one. Especially thinking about the fact that I needed psychotherapy to get Florentin’s birth out of my system.

[via GIPHY](http://giphy.com/gifs/pregnant-pregnancy-friends-wFg8lggCCueWc)

But it unsettled me to learn from at least 3 people personally known to me that they suffered from nausea so much more in their second pregnancy than in the first one. Imagine taking care of kid number one while you hang over the toilet seat vomiting… How did the woman in the past million years manage this situation while their men haunted the mammoths? I. have. no. idea.

Having a bunch of kids in Germany

When a young couple is getting married, we wish them as many kids needed to form a soccer team (10 outfield players and a goal keeper). Almost no one really has eleven kids, but best wishes for reproductiveness are rather common I guess.

But when confronted with the hard realities of everyday life and the daily struggle for existence - you get a lot of strange looks when you walk the streets with more than three kids. People even tend to describe you as anti-social, which is complete nonsense considering that Germany has a retirement system that is based on an apportionment procedure.

Being a mother and while also having a career is nearly impossible because of the family policies and the ultra traditional views of employers. We live in a patriarchic society. I as a woman experience this every day. With just one child you may go “back to normal” (which means being as powerful as your single/non-parent colleagues) in a matter of few years. But with more than one kid you are more of a risk for every employer. Just imagine that one of your children is sick and you are forced to stop your work to bring her to the doctor…

The magic word in German is “Vereinbarkeit” which describes the balance between family and work. To me Vereinbarkeit does not exist at the moment. Although Christoph and I never planned it that way we now live inside that rather traditional role model with the father bringing home all the money and the mother changing the diapers. Yes, that is what parenting is like in Germany.

As a modern couple we agreed to take chances when they come out way, so Christoph accepted a very good job offer. But it is understood that this decision might not be forever. When we are done with the baby-making-thing I will maybe start to work full-time again and he will stay at home to prepare lunch and help with the homework.

You never know if you took the right decision

Maybe we will have four more kids. Maybe Florentin will stay our only child. Maybe we will both have fantastic careers, maybe we will live forever in that traditional family constellation and I will die as a sick and heartbroken housewife.

But I feel that the best thing at the moment is to talk to each other about our dreams and wishes for the future and how we can manage to reach them. Without any plans or fixed schedule it turns out that we sit together at least once a week and discuss everything from education to problems with the question about the second baby. Stay tuned for the next news from our family!