Writing about this is some kind of therapy for me, because I don’t feel like I can talk about this to many people…if anyone. I’ve got friends with kids and I’ve got friends who don’t have kids. The latter party certainly can’t understand but of all of my friends with kids, very few my age have just 1 child. If they do, they talk about adding to their families sooner rather than later. Can I be honest? I don’t know if I want more children. This is a scary declaration to make because I don’t want my daughter to be the only child. I have visions of her growing up and enjoying life and experiences with her sibling(s). Part of me doesn’t feel like we are done growing this family but then there’s another part of me that is terrified about having another child.
The reasons may seem trivial, selfish even. While many mothers see more children as added little blessings that bring light into their lives, my first thought of adding another child to our family is “Sheesh…how can we afford it?” Following that is a slew of fears like not being able to sleep again, potentially going through another painful pregnancy, fighting to lose weight and then finding time to work out and then wondering how my passions will be affected by another little being. I don’t want to feel this way. I want to be the mom that can drop everything to raise her kids. But I’ve tried that and I’m not that mom. I am me first and then a mother. Motherhood does not define me and I’ve worked hard to feel comfortable about being a working mom and a hands-on mom. It took 2 years but I’m in a rhythm and a groove and I feel good. Yet, I feel this pressure. If we do add more children, I never wanted the age gap to be too close nor did I want to stretch it out to 5+ years. But here I am with a 2-year old and no desire for another baby. I’ve held newborns and felt no pangs of envy or lust. How is this even possible? I don’t miss the newborn stage. My husband feels the same way.
Could it be that we’re destined to be a family of 3? Will I feel sad about this down the line? These questions swarm my head space more than I’d like it too and really they’re rhetorical questions but I’m wondering if other parents go through these thoughts. Am I seriously too selfish to once again give up my body, time and passions for raising another child?