On When to Have a Second

On Monday my dad was still in town, so he, my sister, and my nieces and nephews came up to our house for a visit. Annabel is used to going to daycare and having to share things there, but she’s not used to having other children in her house, playing with her toys. At first I don’t think she really knew how to react, but then in little time at all, she turned into a typical toddler yelling, “mine, mine, mine!” There were several instances when we had to break up fights between Annabel and Lilly because they wanted the same toy at the same time.

“I’m so not ready for two!” 

The thought replayed itself several times in my head that afternoon.

But then there was Lydia. And she’s a baby. And Annabel loves babies! As she rolled around on the floor, I noticed Annabel eying her, so I asked if she wanted to hold the baby. An enthusiastic “yeah!” followed, so I lifted Annabel onto my lap and then placed Lydia onto her lap.

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And we sat there.

And sat there.

And every time I asked if we could put the baby down, Annabel said, “Nooo! Baby.” So we sat there some more, and Annabel just smiled as she stared at this little baby on her lap. She stroked her hand and put her pacifier in her mouth.

“What a sweet big sister she will be someday”, I thought to myself. “I can’t wait to see that!”

But the truth of the matter is that I can wait. And I want to wait.

People ask me a lot if and when we’ll have a second baby. Others jokingly tell me that Annabel needs a little sibling. I’m not offended or bothered by these inquiries in the least because I understand them. I love it when other people have babies. I like reading blogs when a baby is on the way. But having a baby yourself is a completely different thing, and….I’m just not ready.

Most days I’m pretty sure that I want a second baby, but then other days or moments can feel so overwhelming that I’m not sure how I’d handle it. How I’d handle two. Having a baby has made me really realize how poorly my body handles stress physically, and I really feel like I need to get that under control before I even think about adding more stress to my life. And let’s face it, babies add plenty of stress!

Right now we’re thinking we’d like a 3-4 year age gap between kids, but more and more I’m feeling like I want to be more on the 4 year end than the 3 year end of that range. But who knows how I’ll feel in another nine months. For the time being, we are just taking things one day at a time, enjoying letting Annabel be the baby of the family and the sole focus of our parental attention.

Besides, there are always cousins (and friends) to feed her (and my occasional) baby craze in the meantime…..

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