I realized today that it’s been over a year since I’ve been drunk. It’s not that drinking is important to me or anything, I partied enough in my 20s to more than make up for any lack of partying now. But it’s been over a year that I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding, and while I now can enjoy a beer or two, or a couple glasses of wine, there are some things that are more difficult with a baby around. You know, like getting a full night’s sleep, or working for more than 20 minutes at a time, or staying clean. I don’t mind it, and I’m finding things with Harley way easier than they were, but it does make me wonder about the whole second baby thing.
At this point, I’m fairly confident that I would like a second child. I want a little sibling for Harley to play with, I want another go at this mothering thing, and besides, most board games are best with four or more players. Also, it’s sort of like the burnt waffle idea – you always burn the first pancake/waffle, and the first kid is always the toughest. I think I’ve been broken in as a mom a bit, so I’ll be more prepared for a new born in some ways (of course it will be way harder in other ways).
The real question comes down to when. When should we try? How much space is best between little ones?
My brother and I are four years apart, and I loved our age difference. We were close enough in age to really get each other growing up, but also far enough apart that we never competed for the same things – we weren’t in high school or college at the same time, we weren’t really in the same phases of our lives until we were older and it wasn’t a competition then anyway.
But if I wait that long, I will basically have to deal with maternity leave all over again in a few years time. Just as I get used to sleeping through, no nappies and all the other joys of an older kid, I’ll be back to coping with a newborn. Plus, I’ll be that much older (obviously).
Then there’s the close together argument. By that approach, I should be looking to get knocked up any time now. The idea is that you get all the stages over with at once. Breast feeding and nappies end around the same times, and once you’re done, you are DONE. Plus, from a work stand point it might make more sense – I feel a bit useless at times because I need to take care of Harley while trying to get things done. But if I have another one, I’ll only be unreliable for work stuff for another… 2-3 years? And then they can be in school/day care and I can have my professional life back.
Of course, it’s also ridiculously hard. I mean, looking after one baby is hard work – adding a second one isn’t just double. And anyone who says “oh, but the older kid can help” must be deluding themselves. You still have two tiny people who need your love, your attention, your care. I’d have even less free time, even less time for me, for Dean, for work, for my blog.
Plus, add to all this the fact that I’m looking to emigrate. Do we aim to be pregnant before we move or after? And what if I end up being the one to start a new job – I can’t exactly rock up on my first day and say “oh yeah, by the way I’m pregnant”.
I know it works out the way it’s meant to be and all that, but it is a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. How long did you wait (or are planning to wait)? What age gap seemed to work (or not) for you?