Lately I’ve been thinking about what it would be like to have two children. I get asked about it a lot already. When are we having the next one? It seems to be a common question as O approaches his first birthday, as if the one-year mark is a counter ticking down to a sibling. I was asked a handful of times this weekend and my mother-in-law recently told me she had a dream I was pregnant, than waited patiently for me to confirm that her dream had truth to it.
We always loosely toss around the idea of trying for a second child around the time Owen is 18 months. I guess that means we could try around the time he’s 15 months, or 20 months, or what-have-you, but we both like the idea of having them about two years apart. Michael is an only child and while we’re very close now, my sister and I are nearly seven years apart, which caused some natural distance between us growing up. I want my kids to have an always-buddy, my house to be filled with (controlled) chaos (ha!), and to someday have my backyard filled with big family picnics. We imagine at least two, probably three children.
Sometimes when the reality hits me that I could potentially be pregnant before the end of this year, I am filled with joy and anticipation. I loved being pregnant. I would love to be pregnant again. I can only hope that we are blessed with an easy conception and a healthy pregnancy again when that time comes; we were so very fortunate for that with Owen.
But then sometimes, I wonder how can I ever even consider being pregnant again so soon? A year has just flown by — this time a year ago I was having fun at my baby showers and today I’m wrestling a 10-month old monkey. It’s so cliché to say they grow up so fast, but they DO. Especially these last few months, I feel like he changes and grows so much over the course of just days. The little peanut who used to cry all the time is now this ridiculously joyful, adorable, loving little boy who gives kisses and giant smiles, can feed himself some food and drink out of a cup and is speaking words. And is napping and sleeping through the night!
Sometimes it feels a little selfish to even consider starting the path towards bringing another life into our family, when I don’t dare to miss one small milestone of Owen’s. And then on the flip side, to imagine doing it all again, to experience another first smile, the first “mama”; to imagine Owen as a big brother. Well, that just seems wonderful. One small person has made our lives so much fuller. We have so much love to give him, and I know I have enough love to give to more.
There was never a perfect time for us to get pregnant the first time. Our ducks were in a row, mostly, sure. But I had lost my job and we wanted to sell our house so no, it wasn’t a “perfect” time by definition. But it turned out to be the perfect time for that baby, because here he is, and we wouldn’t change it for the world. So is there a “perfect” time for another? No, of course not. There will always be a lone duck off on its own, away from the others in a row.
For the immediate future, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this time with Owen, before there are two. Before we are no longer first-time parents of an only child. Because this time will only happen once and I plan to absorb every minute of it.
If you have children, how did you know you were ready for more? Or that one was enough?