To Second Baby Or Not To Second Baby. That Is The Question

I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to write this. People are normally a lot more impatient with others peoples lives. You know the drill. Go on one date with Tim* from Tinder and its all ‘Omigdwhenareyouseeinghimagain’, then Tim and you move in together and people are making drunken bets on the proposal. Ring securely on finger and it’s ‘whens the date, where’s the venue, show me photos of your dress!’. Sheets are still damp from the Honeymoan consummation and the pregnancy questions start happening. God forbid you ever go on detox or skip a drink, because sure as Trump grabs crotches all assumptions will be on the fact that you’re knocked up. So, my shock at having not really been asked by too many people about when another baby is coming is quite evident.

Then, as much as other people are desperate for your uterus to be full again, there’s also that fine line between ‘having a 2nd baby too soon’ or – god forbid -‘having more than 2 babies at all’. So I guess 18 months is the safe zone when the chats start happening. At first it was one or two comments about “sooo, whens the next one?” or “are you thinking about a second?” but lately it’s become a gush of words. I’m barely in the door before someone looks at Carter, looks at me and asks about my ovulation cycle.

I get it. Pre baby you speak abut the weather. “Hey Susan, jeepers it’s hot out hey?”. “Gosh yes Carole, so warm for this time of year”. After kids, things change. “Hi Susan, how’s that basal body temperature and your ovaries, all good?” “Sup Carole, they are so swell! I cant wait to put another fetus in there!”.

I’m at that stage of motherhood when the topic of baby number 2 is now becoming more and more prevalent and something to actively think about. Just the other day, while at a braai, I commented to my husband about how Carter needed a friend (as in a friend at the braai. To play with. At the braai) to which he replied “Oh, I’m happy to start trying for a friend for him if you are”? To which I replied by opening up a 4th bottle of wine.

So, in order to help me – and anyone in the same boat – decide if now (or ever?) is the right time to have another human, I’ve put together a little list of Pros and Cons.

The Cons

  • Financially one child will ruin anyone not earning eleventymillion like Zuma. School, education, food (“don’t throw that banana on the floor Steven! It cost me R4!”), clothing, presents, trips, marie biscuits. It’s a no brainer that having a second child would probably mean I would have pink floors in my home for the rest of my life.
  • Time has always been an issue for me. I do too much, work two jobs, write this here blog, exercise, see friends and have a hundred other hobbies that give me great joy. I live on the brink of ‘pretty sure tomorrows the day I crack’, so a second kid would probably mean a constant state of anxiety and stress. Also, my photography. The last and first few months of pregnancy and having the kid would put me out of action. Which means even less income.
  • Space. Where would it sleep? In the spare room? We wouldn’t have a spare room. Oh shit, we wouldn’t need a spare room. Who wants to sleep over when there are two small children running around?
  • My attention span with one kid is about as short lived as no-carb resolution so I often wonder how I would cope with two kids. I’ve already proven that I’m not the most excellent mother I thought I would be, so would I be doing more harm than good bringing another life into this world?
  • Am I thinking of having a second child for the right reasons? Am I doing it because I have a sibling, because two is that nice round number, because my in-laws want more grandkids?
  • It’s a battle and a half to find a babysitter as is, so would anyone even want to look after him if it was him + 1?
  • Fat. Ya, still am, shit myself for getting even more so.

The Pros

  • I’ve only ever pictured myself with two kids. It feels so right, like something would be missing of we didn’t at least try. Two kids can play together, entertain each other, klap each other on the head and then blame the other one. Two kids will also (hopefully) have each other to lean one when Barry and I kick that proverbial bucket.
  • Carter would make an excellent big brother. He is obsessed with babies and giving loves and hugs and I would want to see how he is with a sibling. He’s also somewhat needy and demanding of our attention and I wouldn’t mind him using a brother or sister for that role.
  • We have the stuff already, so technically it would be as expensive the second time around… would it?
  • I loved being pregnant (weight aside) and those 4 days in hospital after having him were some of the best days of my life. It makes me sad to think that’s the last time it would ever happen. Also, I could totally perfect my newborn photography skills on the next one!
  • I love being a mom to my son. I never knew watching a small human learn, grow and engage could ever be as rewarding, humbling and wonderful as it is.
  • Everyone else is doing it, some as many as 4 or 5, so why am I so worried? Everyone also says that you just make it work, and that their second child filled a void that they didn’t even know was missing.

So, whilst I’m very far away from actually trying, I am now thinking. And drinking. Because I’m really terrified of another 10 months sobriety.

*No Tims were met, laid or married in the making of this blog post.

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15 Comments

  1. Kate <3 I think you're overthinking.

    If you want a baby sibling for Carter go ahead.
    As for room, they can share,
    as for time, you will find it
    Will Carter be ok without a sibling? 100%!
    Do what makes you happy and fulfilled.
    Children are always a blessing

  2. I agreed to take on my current job, to work for my dad (in the construction industry) with the resolute decision that we didn’t want another child so maternity leave etc would never be an issue. Yeah, famous last words. Am 2 weeks away from delivering baby 2. I hate to say it but the truth is mother nature takes over again, smacks you with the MUST BREED stick and suddenly another baby is all you can think about. There are so many pros and so many many cons but it just started to feel more right as time went on. Having also recently lost my mom, there’s a little part of me that is shouting: Just do it, throw caution to the wind and bring new joy into your life. So there’s that. I have zero sensible pros or cons to add, which I can attribute to my insanely hormonal state. You guys know deep down what would be best for the 3 of you, you already know. It just takes time for the picture to become clear. Good luck and will be looking forward to hearing any news xxx

    1. “Must breed stick’ haha that’s excellent! Massive congrats on the pregnancy and almost arrival of your new little one. Do you need a newborn photographer? 😉 Im really sorry to hear about your mom – these things do put life in perspective don’t they? Good luck for the last 2 weeks… and the hormones 🙂

  3. This was so interesting to read! I agree a 100% with everything you said above… We are trying now… Only took us 3 and a half years to decide we actually are ready to have another. Hang in there!

  4. Hi Kate, you probably don’t know me but our mom’s taught together at Sharonlea. I’ve been following (and loving) your blogs quietly in the background, everything you say JUST MAKES SENSE. Nice to know I’m not the only one experiencing things.
    I have an almost 5 year old son and an 18 month old son, when I fell pregnant with my second child I didn’t know how I would afford to have him, how I would find the time to be with him, how I would find the love for him like I had for my first born.
    Nature is AMAZING…I continued to love my first born, maybe even a bit more, my heart grew and allowed me to love my newborn just as much. I certainly don’t have as much time with my boys as I would like to have (being a full time working mom is the pits) but we make a plan and enjoy the quality time we have together.
    You somehow manage to afford them. Yes, it is cheaper the second time round, especially if you end up having another boy cos he gets to wear all those second hand clothes from his big brother. School fees become a problem, but somehow you make a plan. We have learnt to sacrifice some things in order to afford the comforts for our kids. We don’t go to movies, or out for dinner, or on fancy holidays…but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
    Having two kids means you get double the love back from them 🙂 Imagine double hugs, double kisses, double grins, double shrieks of delight, double giggles, double proud moments when your kid achieves something big or small.

    1. HI Cathy – so nice to hear from you and thanks for the kind words on the blog 🙂 Your feedback made me smile because we are probably in very similar situations – money will always be an issue, and who goes to movies now anyway? 😉 Double the hugs and laughs actually sounds pretty amazing!

  5. You will know if/when you are ready for a second child because it’s all you can think about. Did Carter turn your world upside down? YES. Can you imagine your life without him? NO. It will be the same with a second or third one.

    1. That’s actually such a great way of putting it. I must be honest, everything I do or think of doing is met with a ‘but what if I’m pregnant then’. Even signing up for BodyTec 🙂

  6. Always a big and tough decision but also one of those ‘when you know, you know’ moments! And we are never ready for the next phase – didn’t you ask the same questions before falling pregnant with Carter? We all just make it work and always for the best… You can never imagine life before x

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