When we decided to start a family, it was a fairly easy decision. We both knew we wanted a family, but wanted to have a few milestones hit professionally and as a couple before venturing into the unpredictable world of creating and caring for a child. And very fortunately for us, when we decided it was time, things worked out and we were quickly expecting and life was set in motion.
However, as my daughter approaches two and the pressure builds internally and externally to “have another,” something I have always thought that I wanted…I find myself hesitant and scared to pull the trigger.
First off, as a full time working mom, I have written about the guilt I feel every day I leave my daughter, and while it has quieted the drumming in my ear every minute, it is still there. This ever present guilt, has me paralyzed that if I only get so much time with my one child now, how would I ever split that time between two and how would they (and I) feel about it. Now, having consulted countless other moms, everyone says you just make it work…and it all works out. But does it? Will I really be at peace with paying less attention to my daughter to care for a new little one?
Second, I finally feel like I have my legs. I finally feel like it is okay if I make time to exercise—even if it means waking before my child, finally letting go of some control and guilt to allow my daughter to spend more time with her grandparents so my husband and I can nourish our relationship a bit, and while it is not every night, I mostly feel like I get to sleep like a normal human again. (However, I don’t think I will ever like waking before 6 even if it does because my schedule.) And as I consider adding another warm, little lovable person to our family, I wonder how long or how much more quickly I will figure all of these lessons back. Will I revert back to not knowing or have I learned these valuable lessons and will be poised to be a better parent right from the start?
When I hold little babies, I gently hold them in awe, and shock that my “baby” is no longer a baby. I don’t know that I long for those days, because I know they will never be those same days that I did experience—with one perfect, little angel.
It will be different and complicated, and hard and exhausting. And it could take a while, which would be scary and stressful….or it could happen quickly, which would be scary and stressful in a different way.
Many of my friends and family, have quickly moved from one baby to the next, in fact many became pregnant while their babies were just little babies themselves and aside from flinching a little—these people said they intentionally wanted things to be this way. And as I watch my friend’s children close in age grow, I see so many of the benefits and differences.
I had a window that was briefly open a few months ago to add to our family, but I panicked and after half-heartedly trying one month, my husband and I both were okay to hit pause.
As time ticks on, and seasons change, how will I know when I’m ready again? Or will I not know, and it will just have to be something I discover the joy of once it happens?
Mamas, how did you know? Did any of you have cold feet when it came to your second?