Just a few years ago, I didn’t want kids at all. At ALL. Ever.
Now, I find myself in the very strange position of contemplating a SECOND kid, to add to the one kid I have already. (This is, of course, to say I COULD have another baby, which I know is not a given.)
Internet, I think about it all the time. At least once a day. My thought process often runs along this path:
- Oh, Carla, you are so fun and wonderful!
- But you’re getting so BIG.
- Man, I miss Baby Carla.
- She was so cute and snuggly.
- Remember how she used to [adorable thing she no longer does]?
- Wouldn’t it be fun to have another baby?
- But it wouldn’t be CARLA.
- It would be a stranger.
- And what if Stranger Baby doesn’t turn out to be as fun and wonderful as Carla is?
- Remember, Carla was a super easy baby.
- And don’t forget how much you hated breastfeeding.
- And don’t forget how nice it is to SLEEP.
- And don’t forget that Husband will have a Real Job for second baby, so you would be doing the whole New Baby stage yourself.
- And what if you can’t pay attention to Carla as much as you want to?
- What if she and her sibling don’t get along – ever?
- Some siblings just don’t like each other.
- What if having Second Baby means you can’t afford [thing we planned on doing with/for Carla]?
- And remember how exhausted you are with just the one.
- It would be WORSE with two.
- That’s simple math.
- What if you don’t LIKE Second Baby?
- What if Second Baby means you would have less attention for Carla?
- What if you are just reacting to hormones, and you will ALWAYS feel this way?
- You can’t have a new baby every time you get a hankering for chubby baby thighs and a milk-drunk smile.
- You just CAN’T.
- You don’t really want a new baby, anyway.
- You want a second Carla.
- And that will never happen.
- But what if Second Baby was JUST as wonderful?
- But why take the risk?
No matter how often my thoughts turn to having another baby, they always seem to work themselves around to Not. (Disclaimer: I don’t promise that this will always be true.)
When I wanted a baby, I wanted one. Immediately. There were fears and worries and doubts, sure. But (at least in my memory of that time) I knew that we were going to at least try to have a baby and I was ready to face those worries and fears and doubts head-on.
This doesn’t feel like that.
I have heard others compare the desire for another child to feeling like their families weren’t complete. I don’t feel incomplete. I feel happy and settled.
But my thoughts keep turning to theoretical Second Baby. And turning away. And turning back. And turning and turning and turning.
Is that a sign that I really DO want one? How am I supposed to KNOW?
Listen, I know that if you are Pro Multiple Babies, you will easily be able to refute every one of my objections. And that you could easily offer up a thousand reasons to Just Do It. I don’t want that. I can do that myself, I promise.
Also: I fret and agonize over all the so-called, supposed “issues” of having/being an only child, too. So I am not looking for thoughts on THAT – either for or against.
What I AM looking for… or what I would be curious about is this:
How did YOU know that you were ready for a Second Baby?
Some people just KNOW that they want kids. I was always envious of those people, because I was NOT one of them. And it seemed like knowing that you were meant to be a parent just made things easier. Maybe that’s a matter of perception, but from my vantage point – of going from No Babies Ever to Must Have Baby Now – it seemed like those in the “always knew I wanted a baby” camp were much better off.
So I want to know whether it was the same for you. Did you always know you wanted multiple kids? Did you always think, “Okay, I’ll go for three”?
Or maybe you went the Starter Baby route. And when you found out how awesome that was, you decided to go for another.
Or, how did YOU know that you were done?
Maybe you always thought “I will have a HUGE family” and then you had one/two/seven and you felt like that was it.
Listen, I realize there are sad, upsetting answers to these questions. And I suppose I want to hear those too, because I want to hear what you have to say, if you are willing to share it.
But I think if I got to CHOOSE, mostly I am interested in either the philosophical answers (“we had three and we felt complete”) or the social answers (“I grew up in a big family, so I always knew I’d have a big family”) or the biological (this is not the right word) answers (“I had the one and my biological clock STOPPED.”).