One and done?

01/05/2010 at 12:01 pm | Posted in Motherhood | 11 Comments
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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about having another baby. Small Fry is about to turn 2, and according to everyone on the planet, now is the time for me to pop out another. But I’m just not ready.

I feel like we’ve finally emerged from a long, dark tunnel. We’re sleeping. We’re cooking and watching football and taking mini-vacations. I have time to read. To see my friends. To paint my toenails (and let them dry).

I just can’t imagine giving all of this up right now. Or a year from now. Or ever, maybe.

Does that make me a selfish parent? Is having another child my duty? Would I be failing Small Fry not to do so?

These questions keep me awake at night. My biological clock is going haywire, and I just can’t stop thinking about it. Like I’m on a deadline to produce another human being. The lists of pros and cons are just about equal. I feel stonewalled by a decision I’ve somehow managed to convince myself must be made soon.

I’ve always imagined I’d have a big family. Three or four kids. But along with discovering a love so consuming and wonderful came another startling revelation after giving birth to Small Fry. I need independence. Freedom. I never, ever thought such simple things would be so vital. Would keep me healthy and happy.

M isn’t ready either, thank God. We’ve had some pretty intense conversations lately, and everything he says makes perfect sense. My head agrees. Let’s wait. This is a huge decision that requires careful thought.

But my heart is galloping off in a different direction. Take the leap, it’s screaming at me. Don’t be afraid.

Easier said than done.



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  1. I can definnitely relate to this post –especially being an only child ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Don’t sweat it! When you’re done, you know it. There’s no law that says everyone must have more than one. And being an only child is great…speaking from personal experience.

  3. You know, this is the thing that really keeps me from having kid #1; I LOVE being able to whatever I want, whenever I want. And when my bio clock starts ticking, I just can’t figure out how to balance the need for freedom with the raging hormones. I was glad to read I am not the only one.

  4. I appreciate your honesty, S. I admire your strength and reflection.

  5. You are so not alone. Since I have siblings I feel like I should have another so that Ian can share in the joy of sibling rivalry. Or at least have someone to empathize with him when his parents drive him over the edge. I just can’t do it though at this point. It is selfish, but honestly if we don’t take care of ourselves we can’t be good parents, right?

  6. Nothing wrong with a little honesty! All the friends who were pregnant with me last time all had their second children by the time their first was 15-19 months. I knew that definitely wasn’t right for me so I kept waiting until it was. I too enjoyed the newfound independence– heck, I don’t even carry a diaper bag around anymore! But one day, all the things I enjoy suddenly slid to the backburner and I started thinking about being pregnant again, watching another child learn to crawl, etc. I think that’s when you know you’re ready- my son will be three so it’s right about where I wanted it!

  7. Thanks for all of the great feedback. It’s comforting not feeling alone in this. I’m trying to find peace in the waiting. To enjoy our little family and not waste any more time worrying. I’d really regret missing any of Small Fry’s new tricks because my eyes are trained to the future.

    And, there’s no telling how I’ll feel in six months or a year. Or whenever. Just want to be more sure — in either direction — than I am right now.

    I really appreciate all of you sharing your thoughts.

  8. Wow, sometimes I think you are reading my thoughts. Since our daughters are the same age, I know exactly how you feel. We got a good thing going just the three of us, but lately I hae been having dreams of another baby. I get so excited then I start thinking about actually being pregnant,money, daycare, work options, etc,etc,etc.

    I think you can never be ready or too sure…so just take your time and things will all come together somehow….. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to hear this from someone else in my shoes. Great advice — thanks!

  9. S., I feel the same way. Very conflicted about no. 2 for all the reasons you wrote about.

  10. Such a tough decision!! Just know that whatever you decide to do it will be the best decision for you and your family. Every family is different and you don’t have to want another baby just because everyone in the planet thinks you should.

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