I honestly hate when people ask me this.
My son is only 13 months old. He’s our first, and we wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. But at this point in time, am I ready to have another child?
And I ready to go through another nine months of pregnancy with all the marvelous bells and whistles that come attached to creating another human being? Morning sickness, odd cravings like pepperoni wrapped in sour gummy worms (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it), heartburn that could make even the biggest, meanest trucker cry….
And then a newborn while my first is still in diapers? Most likely tandem feeding as well. And Bruce already squirms and kicks, performing “gymnurstics”…and I ready to break up sibling booby fights?
The answer is no. Very simply, no.
The thought of two babies in diapers simultaneously, terrifies me. If you’ve ever fought the poop-explosions, then you know why I have this legitimate fear. So then when would be a good time to have another one?
It seems like in the last two months, I’m asked this question more often. Maybe once you hit the first child’s first birthday, you’re due to have another one? I don’t know. But I do know that I’m not quite ready to begin the newborn stage a second time, just yet. I find it rather humorous that I’m asked that alot. As if the person is secretly hoping I’ll actually pause to think about it and say, “You know, I never thought about it! Thank you for bringing it up! I think I will start on that immediately! Of course I want another baby! But first, I need to get this one off the coffee table he just learned to climb on top of…”
I’m still enjoying my first child as somewhat a baby. He’s still very young. Very cute. Very much still a baby, even as we progress into the toddler stage.
And the farther we get away from those cluster feedings, crying fits, and completely sleepless nights; the less I miss those trying times. Sure, I miss my little guy being so tiny and new. But I love how much more interactive and responsive he is now! I fondly remember my husband holding him at a week old, questioning me about how long he would have to wait before Bruce began laughing and playing with him. Now, he is able to giggle, and play with toys, and have conversations. Granted, it’s baby babble with few words, but it’s still (for my husband’s benefit) better than a blank stare and confused eyes.
Maybe one day, when he’s a lot older, and I have baby blues, we will want another little one crawling around. But for now, we can let Bruce be the only one. And he’s going to be a baby for a while longer.
I enjoy getting him to bed at a decent enough hour (even if he doesn’t stay). I’m enjoying him being able to entertain himself for a few minutes so I can get things done. I’m not ready to begin all over with another in tow. I don’t know when I will be. I just know it’s not right now.
It seems like I usually get this question when Bruce is throwing a tantrum or being especially fussy. Then I wonder if it’s a secret joke that parents of more than one child share with each other. Like a bet made amongst themselves that I’d never be willing to pull it off again, if I even have by now. And that’s a pretty sad thought. Having a baby is hard. And raising a baby is hard. And while we can make jokes about getting (sometimes slightly) painful/permanent things done like tattoos, plastic surgery, or (gulp) marriage, and say “Oh, I bet she’ll never do that again!”…having kids shouldn’t be one of those kinds of jokes.
The size of my family only matters to me, no one else. And the opinions of others aren’t going to make me drag my husband into the bedroom to make another one (although he’d probably like some of that plan). Your role as a parent isn’t defined by how many children you have. And you’re allowed to take as much time as needed in between making them…or not.