Before I had James, the question I always hated was “when are you going to have a baby?” The question I would have prefered to be asked was “do you want to have children?” I hated being asked when I was going to have a baby. Why should people assume that I would have a baby? We would decide, if and when we would have a baby, and we didn’t need the pressures of people asking us when, commenting on my age, or telling us not to leave it too long. Now James is 20 months old, the new question I hate is “when are you going to have another?” I am still undecided about whether I want another baby so my responses vary from “not yet”, “I don’t know”, “I don’t know if I want another”, or “I’m happy with just James at the moment”. On occasions I have been told “but you must have another”, or “you can’t just have one”.
I feel the same pressures to have a second, that I did with having a baby in the first place. I feel like a lot of people think it is unacceptable to have just one child. They seem to think that you can’t possibly bring up an only child. The impression I get, is that if you only have one child you are being selfish because you aren’t providing them with a play mate, and they won’t learn how to share or play with others nicely. Personally, I think children can learn to share and play with others from other children, not just from a brother or a sister. James loves other children, especially if they are chasing him. He is also very fond of his baby cousin.
Having another baby would obviously mean going through pregnancy and birth again. I hated being pregnant. The heavy feeling, the constant worry, obsessing over counting the kicks, my body changing, maternity clothes, the comments about how big I was, I could go on… The birth, well that is something I definitely didn’t enjoy, and I clearly remember saying I was never going to have another baby as I left the operating theatre. People always told me, as soon as you see your baby you will forget about the birth. Well, no that didn’t happen. I can still remember it, I can clearly remember it and it’s not something I would be keen to repeat.
Yes, of course there is James. I fell in love with him instantly. We have an amazing bond and I am so happy I have him. However, it hasn’t been easy and I am not sure I am ready to repeat the birth, the recovery, the sleepless nights, the teething, the weaning, the constant whining, the tantrums… And all of that whilst having James as well.
Our family of 3 is manageable. James sleeps through the night, he naps well and he sleeps in his cot, in his own room. I am able to exercise and get myself ready in the morning before I get him out of bed. I am even able to keep our house clean and tidy. Its hard, but we have things figured out and it works. I like having sleep. I like having a clean and tidy house. Adding another baby into the mix would make life a lot harder. I have always said to people with more than one child that I don’t know how they do it. For me, I find it hard enough with one.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love James to have a brother or a sister. I am very close to my own sister and I would love James to have that kind of relationship with a sibling. I always thought that if I had children I would have two. I am just not sure whether I can do it all again. Maybe I am being selfish and I should have another baby just to ensure James isn’t an only child? I know I am not ready for another yet, but maybe I will change my mind as James gets older and more independent, either that or I will leave it too late and the decision will be made for me.