“Michele, bacon Gouda!” the Starbucks barista calls out. I start making my way through the crowd. I really miss those days. The days when my daughter would sleep through anything in her heavy car seat that I could lug anywhere. Oh and I really miss those bacon gouda sandwiches, but I over indulged on those way too often when I was pregnant. I sit down next to a woman with a pleasant, friendly face. “Ahhhhh!!!! How old is she?.. Is this your first?.. Are you going to have anymore?” The pleasantly faced woman just drilled me. I haven’t even sipped my coffee yet. These three questions seem to be socially acceptable to ask a complete stranger holding a baby. This will not be the last time I am asked these questions. If you know me, you know that I am very outgoing and open. I love getting to know people and their stories and am very willing to share mine. However, for some reason the ever so thought provoking question “Are you going to have another baby?” gives me anxiety.
So here I am 16 months later and that 3 month old is now 19 months old and I still have no flipping idea if I want to have another baby. I adore my family but there is a part of me that just doesn’t totally feel like we are complete yet. Plus, I know all to well how fast it goes. I blinked and now have a teenager. Can my ovaries just twitch and send me a signal or something. I honestly envy the women that unequivocally know the answer to this question. Now, I realize that my family is a little unconventional. I don’t know too many woman that have had a child at 21 and then another at 35. I have two daughters in completely different phases of life. I have an almost 16 year old whom as I am typing this has decided to roll out of bed at 1pm on her first day of spring break and wants me to go upstairs to blog so she can watch TV. I’ve been up since 7am so you don’t get to tell me what room to be in.
Anyway, while some of my mom friends were relishing in nap time bliss, I was waking my sleeping angel up to pick up sissy from high school. Waking a sleeping baby is torture. I definitely felt sorry for my baby and I during this time. Let’s be real here, nap time is for us, just as much as it is for them. I also have a husband who works long hours commuting to and from Burbank so he doesn’t get home until 8 or 9pm in the evening. This leaves me rolling solo Monday through Friday.
If you are struggling with the decision to have another child like myself, here are some questions that I have spent quite a bit of time obsessing over.
1. Can you see past the precious baby phase? This is probably my biggest obstacle. I see past it all to well. I have a teenage daughter so I am blessed/cursed to know what I am getting into. They grow up, they drive, they ask for money all the time, they slam doors, they are on your same period cycle, they want their hair and nails done. Get the point? Trust me there are a ton of beautiful moments I have with my teenager. She’s actually an angel compared to me as a teen. She is also going away to college in 2 years which makes me want to cry. And when she is gone my toddler will be an only child. Are you seeing my dilemma yet?
2. Does your age matter to you? Biological clocks are real. If you are over 35 complications can increase. I had my baby at 35 and I was blessed with a healthy baby and I know plenty of woman with my same experience. I will be much closer to 40 this time if I decide to do it again. I’m always counting on my fingers how old I will be when my youngest graduates. Age is something that we obviously can’t change, but I get really hung up on it.
3. Do you have the support you need? This one is HUGE! I don’t care if you are a SAHM or a working mom, we need help and we need breaks. I didn’t have much help the first year until my mother-in-law retired. I’m sorry if your MIL sucks but mine doesn’t. She is my life line and helps me so much. I love that I don’t have to wake up my sleeping angel anymore. If she is sleeping when it’s time to pick up sissy my MIL will go grab her. Rose,if you are reading this, I love and appreciate you so much. If you want another grandchild can you just move in? Kidding.
4. Are you happy with your current lifestyle and can you see another child fitting into it? I absolutely love my current lifestyle. We are weekend warriors. We love the fun adventures with our friends and our kids. We are all currently out of the baby phase. Some are getting ready to enter it but that still doesn’t help me with my decision. If we have another baby this will set us back another couple years before we can travel and put our weekend warrior helmets back on.
5. Do you have siblings and do you feel that it is important for your child to have siblings? Siblings are the best. I really got lucky in this department. My brother and I have an awesome friendship. I want that for my daughters but they are 14 years apart. I also know siblings that have never gotten along.
I really hope this was helpful. I know the next time I’m at Starbucks and am pleasantly ambushed with these questions, I will be ready and armed with my reduced fat turkey bacon sandwich. I think? Maybe I should go with the Bacon Gouda. The calories make me patient and pleasant.
I would love to hear about your choice to have or not to have another child.