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No double trouble

Economically speaking, raising two children with the minimum gap possible is one of the wisest things to do, writes Shalini Mitra.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2008 22:45 IST
Shalini Mitra
Shalini Mitra

My heart missed a beat when I saw my pregnancy report positive again. Oh my god! This one will come even before the first one celebrates his first birthday. The government’s repeated cry — Doosra kab? Pahla school jaye tab — had obviously fallen on my deaf ears. And also that advice about keeping a minimum three-year gap between the two children. What would people say? I was going crazy with all these thoughts and decided to consult my gynaecologist who always had the right advice. And guide she did.

My daughter is 11 months younger than my son. I see God’s plan in my second child coming soon after the first. It not only saves us a lot of time and energy, but also money. The initial two years were tough handling both of them but things became easier with each passing year. I don’t need to deal with them at different levels, which is usually the case if the gap between siblings is two to three years or more. The two fight like crazy but they also help, share and behave like best of friends. Many school books, question papers, toys and games, stationary and even clothes (blurring of gender boundaries helped even more) are handed over to my daughter by her brother and she happily accepts them. This has taught my naughty son to keep many of his things in proper shape because he knows he has to pass them on to his sister. My daughter too has learnt to be patient as she knows she will be getting them from her brother after a year or so.

Economically speaking, raising two children with the minimum gap possible is one of the wisest things to do. Today, I can advise couples to plan their second child soon after the first one. If you are in good health, then waiting three years is sheer waste of time and resources. If you choose to go my way, you will produce one and raise another (almost) free.