As my son’s second birthday approaches, the question comes more and more often. “So?? When are you having a second?” My answer fluctuates but has settled on letting friends and family know that we’re in no rush for number two.
Before my son was born my husband and I talked about a big family, maybe four or more kids. We both had siblings growing up and are still close to all of them, so I wasn’t expecting to feel so conflicted about having a second.
I feel conflicted, though. Currently, we’re enjoying life as a family of three. Our son is truly our adventure buddy, he’s our third wheel, he goes everywhere with us. If you are lucky enough to have met him in person, you know what I’m talking about. Most weekends you can find him donut in hand at a farmers market, dancing his butt off at a local brewery, cheering on the Colts, or helping us with whatever home improvement project we have going on. We have gotten used to our little family, just the three of us, and as much as I see other children in our future, I don’t see them right now.
In fact, if I’m being completely honest, I’m a little nervous about adding more kids to the mix. I know parents say they don’t have favorites, but how can you not feel connected in a certain way to your firstborn? The child who made you who were meant to be? Because I’m not who I was before he came to this earth. I feel tied to him in ways that I don’t feel I’ll ever be tied to another human being. I know that’s part of my reservation too.
And I actually feel bad about saying all of this out loud. Why is that? I guess because lots of people I know with toddlers are either pregnant or already have another baby. And if that’s your family, I’m happy for you, and I would love to hold your baby! Age two seems like the time to add another. I hear people talk about sibling age gaps and having kids close together so that they can be best friends growing up. About what length of an age gap is easiest for older siblings to adjust to. I work with kids who have had a hard time adjusting to new siblings because of significant age gaps, so doubt about waiting is constantly on my mind.
I think as a society we have determined things like the “right” time to add siblings, how many kids it too many kids, and heaven forbid you only have one child and never add siblings! The reality is that it’s different for every family and it’s a personal decision.
So for right now, I’m sticking with my gut feeling. Adding a sibling doesn’t feel right for our family at this time. I’m soaking in my little family of three and this fascinating age of two in all its glory.