I am currently pregnant with my second child, and to some that news has been surprising. When my husband and I had our first child 4 years ago, we had the standard reactions: hugs and tears and excitement. But when pressed about our second often times we would both say no way, no more. Heck, I even wrote a blog a year ago discussing how I wasn’t ready for more.
Because let’s face it, parenting is really hard. A quick google will find you a barrage of blogs and online groups confirming how hard it can be. Issues with breast feeding, sleep training, teething and all the while trying to lose the 40lbs of baby weight and feel good about yourself physically and emotionally while your hormones are still wreaking havoc on you.
As much as you prepare yourself for what’s to come, it’s different than the reality. I was one of the first of my friends to have a child and I hadn’t had been around babies before my own. We also had moved to a new neighbourhood where I didn’t have many friends close by. Plus, let’s be real – sleep deprivation does ugly things to a person. I can’t pretend I was the best version of myself when my baby had been up all night.
So when we excitedly told our parents and family that we were expecting our second, we had a lot of stunned reactions. They were happy, but visibly stunned. I could see it all over their faces, and to be honest it hurt a little. Did they think that I wasn’t a good enough Mother to handle another one? Or was I projecting my own fears back on them? Either way, you expect a jumping up and down, over the top happiness from family, but when your sister in law asks you if it was planned, it stings.
Yes we had discussed how financially it would be difficult to have a second child (and believe me, it will be). But as we went around and around the topic, we realized that although it would be difficult it wasn’t the reason not to expand our family if that’s what we wanted. Yes, when my daughter was a non-sleeping, teething monster thought of another one seemed insane, but we’ve all learned and grown a lot since then. She now has all teeth, is potty trained and sleeps (for the most part) in her own bed. These were the things I felt I needed to happen in her life before I could entertain the possibility of a second. But really it came down to one simple question my husband asked one day: don’t you want to hear someone else’s laughter in this house one day? And I knew then that I did.
I have hope that since it’s the second time I’ll be better prepared. I like to think I’ve grown more patient and a little less selfish, which were hard for me to learn with our first. I know now that if I’m struggling I should ask for help. I had some untreated post-partum issues with our daughter, but didn’t realize it at the time. I’ve spoken at length with my husband and my health care provider and if it happens this time, we’ll be ready. Do I worry about money? Of course I do, it actually consumes the majority of my thoughts these days, but we’ll find a responsible way and cut back where we need to.
I do worry about how another will affect my relationship with my daughter. I still want us to be as close as we are now which can be difficult with another little person who needs a lot of care, I hope that we don’t lose that. But I also know that I have a very supportive husband, who will be there every step of the way (seriously, my friends tell me all the time how awesome he is, he’s like Jack on This is Us caliber). And I know without a doubt, that I can’t wait to hear 2 kinds of laughter in our house. In fact, I can’t wait for it.