The Second Child Conundrum {or, that time I got really hormonal on my blog}

{Warning…total random and personal post about to follow}

The second child conundrum.  Let me tell you – it is a conundrum.  I have some serious baby fever right now.  In fact, if I catch a glimpse of a sweet, little, bald headed ball of squishy I kind of go in to this trance where I can’t stop staring and imagining what it would be like if I had that little squishy in my own arms.  My mind immediately starts to wander to the possibility of adding to our family.  These little phases of longing used to pass pretty quickly, but lately I’ve realized I’m in this constant state of baby fever (except when Asher Wade is having one his “moments”…then I head to the CVS and get a 12 month supply of my birth control).  It’s constantly on my mind.  Matt and I have discussed it (very high level, and it usually just involves me bringing it up and him sort of Mmmm, hmmm’ing along – not agreeing, but not disagreeing, just acknowledging), and while I think it’s more on my radar than his, he hasn’t shot me down yet.  I think I’d ultimately have to be the one to make the executive decision though.  Matt could probably go either way, but I know he ultimately wants me to be happy, and I know he’d be overjoyed if I got pregnant.  I also know he’d be completely satisfied and content if we remained a family of three.

So here we are, trying to decide when the “right” time is, or if there is ever going to be a right time, or if we’re going to have to take a leap of faith and trust in God’s plan.  My heart (and my uterus) are constantly like, “Yes, yes, yes…we NEED a baby stat.”  Then my brain is like “Umm, can we afford this?  Do we have the time?  Do we have the patience?  Do we have the energy?  Are we too selfish?”  I feel like those are the main deterrents right now, and I’m trying to work through each one to see if I’m totally making mountains out of molehills.  I mean, most people have more than one kid, right?  So obviously if they can handle it, so can we, right??

*Patience.  Now granted, my patience has gotten so much better over the last few years.  In fact, dare I say that I would now classify myself as a patient person?  I feel like this is a personality trait I could add to my personality resume, when a few years ago I would not have been able to claim that.  However, I am doing ok as a mom of ONE.  I may have become more patient as far as raising one little human, but I question how my patience would fair with another one.  Here’s the thing, it took me some time to get to where I am now.  It was definitely an adjustment learning how to control my emotions and develop some patience.  The first couple of years were a little touch and go and I definitely had my share of pull my hair out, grind my teeth and cry melt-downs.  I have had to put a lot of conscious effort in to developing patience and learning to let things slide.  I’ve had to learn to pick my battles and just let some behaviors and actions go.  I’ve come a long way, and I’m a little nervous about starting all over again with the addition of one more patience tester.

*Y’all.  Energy.  I feel like I’ve been lacking energy for almost 3.5 years now, and Lord knows I am lacking in the sleep department.  Raising a child is hard work and it saps the energy right out of you.  I know I say this all the time, but I seriously feel like we hit the ground running at 6:30 every morning and we do not stop until our heads hit our pillows around 9:30 each night.  Even then, my brain is still going for at least another hour as I mentally check off what needs to be done tomorrow.  I sleep for 7’ish hours (often not soundly because my brain won’t turn off, or Asher Wade wakes up, or the cat attacks my foot, or I need a potty break).  It’s an exhausting life we lead right now.  Yet would I give up even more sleep for another squishy in my arms?  You better believe it.  Would I be able to function with even less sleep and energy?  I’m not so sure, although I assume we’d make it work.  Again, people do this every day, right??  I do feel like we’d have to make some changes to our schedules and back off on some of our other commitments.

*Time.  Again, people have multiple kids every day.  Lots of these people also have full time careers like us.  They are also involved at church, in their kid’s school and extracurricular activities and in various other committees and social groups.  They also lead small groups.  They also go to book club.  They also work-out and have to shop for groceries and stop and get gas in the mornings and feed their pets.  They all have STUFF.  I get it that we are no different from millions of other people, but I struggle to understand how these millions of other people make time for all these things AND have more than one kid.  The times of the day I worry the most about are the mornings, when we are all trying to get ready and out the door on time, and then the evenings, when we’re trying to get dinner on the table, get stuff ready for the next day and get in bed at a decent hour.  We are so consumed with Asher Wade related responsibilities in the evenings and sometimes it seems so overwhelming.

*Money.  Yikes.  Kids are dang expensive!  If I do the math, we are spending well over $1,000 on kid related expenses (tuition, clothes, food, activities, etc.) per month.  That’s $1,000 more per month than what we were spending pre-AW.  What in the world did we spend that money on before we had him?!  It seems like that would have been a huge change in our financial situation back then, but I honestly can’t even remember.  It just fell in to place and worked.  This obviously goes to show that you make adjustments and it isn’t a big deal, so it probably wouldn’t be a big deal to add the expense of another child.  Like everyone always says, you just make it work.  It seems awfully daunting though looking at it in true numbers.  I feel like we would have to pull money from somewhere, and I’m not sure where that would be.  I also assume it means we would have to cut back in other areas, but again, not sure where that would be.  If I’m being honest, the real underlying issue is that I don’t want to have to cut back in other areas.  Which leads me to my last point…

*Selfishness.  I like where we are right now.  We do a lot of stuff.  We go a lot of places.  We have A LOT of fun.  It’s relatively easy to haul around one kid to various things, and we definitely do some hauling.  Asher Wade has been on the go pretty much his whole life.  I mean, I had the kid at Starbucks and in Target when we he was 4 days old;)  We went on a week-long beach trip when he was 10 weeks old.  He flew on a plane at 3 months old, and has flown countless times since.  We’ve done lots of trips and weekend getaways and even did the Disney Cruise for his third birthday and we recently booked a Disney Alaskan cruise.  Then there’s the local things.  We love to try out different restaurants and visit various events and things around town.  We are just an on-the-go family.  We are an involved family too.  Participate, attend and lead are actions that come to mind when I think of our involvement in various groups and events.  Matt and I enjoy our date nights and the one-on-one time we are able to have right now.

The bottom line, I know we’d have to give some things up if we had another baby.  We’d have to sacrifice things we love in order to create more time, money, energy, and even patience to make room for a second kid.  It’s just a somewhat daunting reality.  Does it completely deter me from wanting another baby?  Nope.  It just makes me a little scared.  Is it normal to feel this way and question these things?  Or is this some sort of “sign” that maybe we aren’t ready.  Do other moms feel this way before they decide to have another?  I imagine they don’t think about it quite as much as I do, or maybe they do and just don’t talk about it.  Am I totally over-analyzing this?  Somebody make me feel better about myself!

Signed,

Befuddled in Chattanooga

P.S. If possible, future Baby McWilliams is reading this one day, please know you are loved and cherished, and your mom is just a little bit crazy.  It’s going to be OK.

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