One More Baby

8:22 PM

Smith is two and a half years old now. So, obviously the question I get asked every day is "When are you going to have number 2?" My response is always honest. And conflicted. And long...and usually leaves the person wishing they never asked me to begin with. My answer changes by the minute. If I'm in a room with a mom wearing her newborn, or out in public near a sweet infant snoozing away in their stroller my answer is "NOW! Where's my husband? Someone give us a private room because my ovaries are literally exploding." But if Im surrounded by chaos, and a screaming baby who cant be soothed, or a naughty toddler who cant be controlled, my answer is "NEVER! Where's my husband? Is he close? Because if so, someone get a chastity belt on me stat!"

You see, if Im being completely honest with you, motherhood did not come easy to me. I really found myself wishing away the baby stage, which is so sad to think back about because now that I have a feral toddler I realize how precious that time really is. It should be savored and absorbed, for it is short. And it is surely missed later on. But at the same time, I know my feral toddler. We have a routine, we work together like a well oiled machine. Ok, not a well oiled machine, more like a rusty old tractor with a flat tire and a broken tail light, but whatever, you get what Im saying. And we sleep! Good god, do we sleep! And some nights we just decide we want to go somewhere. And we throw Smith in the car, quickly do a half ass job packing an overnight bag and were on the road, driving off for the weekend without a worry. I deeply, and genuinely fear ever losing that freedom. I fear only being able to give Smith half of me. I fear sleepless nights again. I fear stretch marks, and pregnancy insomnia, and pushing a watermelon out of my vagina.

But do you want to know what I fear the most? Regret.

Someone once told me that having a second child is the greatest gift you can give your first child. It is not for you. It is a selfless sacrifice you do for your children and it betters them as human beings for the rest of their lives. I cant shake the feeling that this is true. Smith deserves a friendship so strong that nothing this world can throw at it will break it. And I know, deep down, that that friendship only comes in the form of a sibling. If we decide to only have one child will I look back and regret not giving him this gift?

Please help me. This is my official SOS. This is not a fluff piece. This is a real cry for help. Will someone please make this decision for me? Because I cant. And my husband cant. And we dont think giving our toddler the power of attorney over all of life's biggest decisions is the best idea...although he did show me how to change the batteries in our remote so maybe he's more qualified than I thought.

If you want to give me your thoughts on this subject please do so in the comments section below!

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15 comments

  1. Ach, i just wrote a longish response and lost it, so I'll be briefer. I agonized over whether to have a second kid. (Spoiler alert: I didn't). I realized eventually that my agonizing meant I didn't want another, but there is a lot of societal pressure to have more than one kid. My son is now 6, and has asked for a sibling, but that won't be happening. I have a brother, and we are not close, so that's not a guarantee, unfortunately. I'm an introvert and the thought of *always* being busy, with a child or two around, wasn't right for me or my family. There is lots of research about how only kids are just fine, more than fine really. There is no wrong/right decision, and I doubt that you will have regrets either way. I am sure with time you will come to what's right for you and your family.

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    1. Allison thank you so much for your thoughtful words and advice. I think you're right, that I wont regret my decision either way, and that ultimately, we have to do what's right for us, not what society says is right for us.

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  2. I love how honest you are with your feelings. I can relate to all of it. People ask me the same thing now and when I say we are "one and done" they give me the same response about how Sonoma needs a sibling. I quickly remind them that not all siblings like each other or are close as adults. And, that I plan to always be her friend too. I made a choice to have a child, not just a baby so I look forward to the days even when she is an adult. Also, for me, I want so many things for Sonoma that I didn't do and I might not be able to give her all those experiences if I have another. On the flip side, I know if I ever had another one, I wouldn't be able to imagine life without him/her and would love them just as much. Either way friend, I think whatever you decide has good and some bad, but neither are wrong. Follow your heart, you already know the answer. ��

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    1. Ohhhhh Kristi, all the heart eyes and big hugs to you. Thank you for such sound advice. I miss you!

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  3. I never wanted kids...like, ewwww. Kids? Why would anyone want to ruin their life? Then one mere month after our wedding guess what happened? Yup... he knocked me up. Surprisingly, I was excited. Turns out it was the biggest blessing of my life. Who knew?
    After Duncan was born I turned into a baby wearing, exclusively breastfeeding, attachment parenting, cloth-diaper enthusiast up for the Mother of the Decade Award. (FYI, I won. lol)
    My husband was happy with one but I wanted one more. ONE. I couldn't imagine my child not having a sibling to explore the world with. The second I got my period back, the week of Duncan's first birthday, I got pregnant. And then there was two.

    It was definitely a challenge in the beginning with breastfeeding, finding time to spend with D while Stella napped and making dinner for the family but you get accustomed to the new norm.
    I find it extremely important for kids to have at least one sibling. You learn to love, share, forgive, and so much more from your relationships at home first and foremost. Now that my kiddos are 3 1/2 and nearly 2 years old it is so fun to watch them fight, make-up, laugh, play and run in circles around the house enjoying each others company to the fullest. Yes, they hit each other and there are moments where I have looked to the heavens and sarcastically said "Why? Whyyyyyy...?" But those moments pass so quickly and they pale in comparison to the joy that they bring.
    You will regret many things in life but you will never regret having one more. ONE. Not 3. That would just be insanity.
    I hope I don't sound like I'm pushing. This is just my experience and opinion. You will find within yourself what is right for your family. For me 2 is it. Even when I never wanted children I always said, "It's either ZERO or TWO." Hope this helps.

    Love your blog btw.

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    1. What a great perspective coming from someone who thought they never wanted kids at all. And then you jumped right into 2! WOW, you are Mother of the Year!!! hehe. Thanks for the great advice, and you dont come off pushy at all...hell, Im the one who begged for the decision to be made for me! Thank you for leaving such a great note. :)

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  4. So glad you are writing about this! I completely understand your conflicted heart. I think the decision to have the second has been even harder for me than the decision to have the first. Like you, motherhood did not come easily for me like I thought it would. I was surprised at how awkward I felt at the beginning - I had watched lots of kids and was a nanny in college and it all came so easily yet with my own I was anxiety ridden! Breastfeeding, which I thought would be a piece of cake was sooo challenging and I felt like a failure. Now I have a 2.5 year old and I get bombarded with questions about #2 all the time. I agree that you do learn many important things in the sibling relationship as someone else mentioned, and I know if I had a second I would love him/her - but having a sibling does not come with a guarantee of friendship. I know plenty of people who are not close to their siblings and have adversarial, even competitive relationships with their siblings so for me, it has to be more than just the promise of friendship. There is also the financial aspect of having two which is also something that I weigh in my mind - the flexibility and freedom that you can have with one is certainly compromised, at least for a time. But having kids was never a practical decision to begin with, it was an emotional one for me and my husband. I do consider the loneliness factor, what if me and my husband are not enough, what if my child needs that peer to peer interaction/imagination/energy that a sibling provides? Very curious to read others responses on this topic...its hard because it is a hugely personal decision but am hoping to hear some other view points on it. Thanks for open up the discussion!

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    1. WOW! If I would have made this blog post a little longer I would have said so many of the things you mention here. Yes to all of it. You are right. My husband has a brother and they barely speak. So, no you arent guaranteed the promise of lifelong friendship. But in the same breath, Im technically an only child and I long for the relationship I see between my friends and their siblings. It's tough, but ultimately I think you're right, there has to be more reason than just wanting a peer for your child. That makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing and I hope this post gets you some insight you were looking for. Do you follow us on IG? There are so many comments on the photo relating to this post so you should check it out to follow along on the discussion. :)

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  5. We have asked only children - some loved the opportunities afforded them as only children, but the majority of them have said they longed for a sibling growing up (although as adults they seem to be ok with it, oddly). I did read the comments on IG - I have been reading your blog from the beginning b/c our kids are close in age and I find comfort in reading about other people's experiences. Motherhood can be so isolating sometimes! My daughter is high-energy like Smith and one of my fears is that if I had another I would have another very high-energy, spirited child. Don't get me wrong, she is fun and I love her wild side but man it can also be incredibly exhausting. On tough days I wonder how I would make it work with another, then on easier days I am like....oh I got this! I also have my age to consider, I am over 40 so I have to bite the bullet since I don't have the luxury of time. Ack! I am so jealous of the folks who came to the decision so easily...or just had the drunken date night and bam! I will keep reading on...

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  6. I have 3 girls. Ages 8, 7 and 11 months....yup, that is a big gap between the first two and the third!! I just want to add one thing to all the wisdom you have already received and that is this, every decision that I make that is rooted in fear has been one that I would want to go back and change. The best things in my life have always come out of the scariest decisions, the ones that took more faith than I could see and more hope than I had. They where the choices where I had to take a leap rather than stay in the safety of what was familiar or in my control. Children are scary because we cannot control the outcome. We cannot control who they will become or the choices they make or how their lives will affect ours. Your fears are real because there is truth in them and whatever choice you make will come with a sacrifice. Often times fear is a marker for the things in life that we need to be moving towards rather than away from. I have a sense that somewhere deep inside of you, you already know the answer but are questioning it, don't doubt yourself, don't let fear make the choice for you. I hope you feel loved and encouraged with these responses!! Lots of Love! ❤

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  7. Your feelings and fears are so normal but if you have a second you will realize it's not warranted. We have two and we go go go, it's never slowed us down. And we sleep, oh do we sleep. Most of the reasons I hear people say they don't want a second don't impact our life. After all, life is what you make it. You will be happy regardless. I was similar to you with my first and so I cherish every moment of my second. I still don't love the baby stage but I cherish it and relish in it because I know it's gone in a flash. Either way you can't go wrong but oh man another child adds love. And fun and all good things. You will never ever regret having a child. After all, who will smith make fun of his parents with as an adult if it's not a sibling that truly understands your crazy? �� That's what siblings are for right? Haha

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  8. I completely agree with Brooke! She literally took every word out of my mouth. If there was one thing I could add to it, it is this: our baby #2 fully completes us. We had no idea how much we needed her, until the day she was born. We planned for her, and of course wanted her.. but had no idea of the incredible impact, love and balance that she brings the 3 of us (until she was actually here with us). Side note: we were "one and done" until my oldest was about 2! Making the decision to have another was one of the toughest; you'll know in your heart what is best for you and your family! ❤

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    1. Oh Ashley I love all of this. And your sweet babies are just so perfect, I know why you cant imagine life without them both! Thank you for this. Needed to hear it :)

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  9. I'm way late on this, but I thought I'd comment anyway! I feel very much the same as you on this topic. I have these thoughts daily. My 20mo old is amazing, we're obsessed. However, he basically left us traumatized after not sleeping consistently at all for 15mo. I'll spare you the details! We went from "definitely two kids" pre-pregnancy to pretty much refusing to even bring up the topic of a 2nd at this point. I have not so fun memories of having arguments about sleep training issues in the middle of the night. Fun stuff!! Like you, I also fear that I will regret having a 2nd kid, specifically if that "bundle of joy" is a horrible sleeper too. Sleep deprivation is no joke. I'm afraid I'll go nuts, in the beginning at least, and just not be a happy person/mom/wife. I ultimately feel like I know I want my son to have a sibling, but if you ask me at 4:00am, the answer is F NO. No way. I have this thought that if I don't have a 2nd, it will be like I couldn't handle the challenge. I gave up after one. I'll have to tell my son that I didn't want to miss all that sleep. Haha That's just my personal perspective for myself though. Obviously that doesn't apply to everyone! My mind always goes back to this image I have of us on vacation on a beach, with our only son, and he wants me to play with him but I'm annoyed because I just want to drink my adult beverage and read my magazine, and I think, "Damnit, if only he had a sibling to play with!" :)

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    1. You seriously hit the nail on the head. I feel ALLLLLLLLLL these feelings! Thank you so much for sharing...you're an amazing writer btw!!!

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