Well, here we are – a few weeks short of making it through the first year of parenting. The long days have managed to zoom by, the sleepless nights are a distant memory, and our cub is… well, basically a toddler. *cues dramatic music*
I can’t figure out why a child’s first birthday provokes family, friends, and strangers to ask: “So, are you ready for another one?”
As this question continues to surface, it’s forced me to face the actual thought of having another child. I’ve always imagined a full house of kids running around while my husband and I sit back and look on with admiration. Of course, we want to have more children. That “full house” I just described gets a bit smaller, however, once you’ve actually been through the first year.
So – for those who keep asking, allow me to let you in on what I’d really like to say when you utter the words: when is the next one coming?
- Could I handle another sick-stricken pregnancy – this time: with a toddler? It’s no secret that I was one of the fortunate few who had morning sickness for nearly my entire pregnancy. Yes, I endured (22) whole weeks of vomit. I vividly remember waking up and running to the toilet – sometimes, not even making it there. (I know, gross – but, also: real life.) I remember praying for enough energy just long enough so that I could eat something of substance before having to puke again. If you were blessed to not endure morning sickness, congratulations. I wouldn’t wish it on even my worst enemy. So, am I mentally ready to potentially go through another round of “puke more than breathe” while chasing an active toddler around?
- Am I prepared to go through the newborn stage again? When Leo was born, I struggled my way through the newborn stage. Breastfeeding was really hard for me. I had an unlucky visit to the emergency room within five days of discharge due to an overload of fluids. I felt lonely when my husband went to work and fought to make it to Leo’s doctor visits by myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be this all-star mama straight out the gate and ended up with postpartum anxiety in the process. With another child, however, I do feel a sense of “been there, done that” when it comes to getting through those first 3-6 months. I’m a lot wiser after having this first go-around. My biggest challenge would be to do it all again with a toddler.
- Am I ready to split my attention with another child? This new phase of ‘toddlerdom’ demands more vigilance on my part as Leo learns to walk and talk. I love to play with him and enjoy seeing him interact with friends, family, and other children. I love tending to his every need – even if that means daily reps of picking up his sippy cup from the floor. I love reading to him and showing him new things. I love peek-a-boo and bathtime. Being a mother is a full-time job. Am I ready to divide my duties and relinquish 100% of my time and effort from our first-born?
It may seem as though the above points have a bit of a negative undertone – but, let’s not shy away from the fact that this first year of motherhood has changed my entire life. It’s been such an incredible journey being Leo’s mama and I can’t imagine going through it with anybody other than my husband. Parenting has given us a stronger bond and a deeper connection in our marriage. It’s made us appreciate the time we have alone together and maximize it to the fullest. We are a power team when it comes to making health decisions, figuring out how to discipline, and navigate through meal times. My husband is the greatest partner I could have ever asked for and I am in absolute love with the life we are building together.
So, are we ready to give Leo a sibling? Well, when God decides to add another little cub to the pack, you’ll get the memo.
How did you determine when you were ready for the second one to come along? Share with me in the comments!