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Friday, August 10, 2012

Number Two

I don't know if other moms were faced with this same issue.  For some reason, now that Emily is approaching a year old, people are asking me quite frequently whether I am going to try for "number 2" anytime soon.   The whole question strikes me as odd.

Besides the obvious, "why would you ask someone that?" thought that runs through my head, I am often given bizarre looks when I hesitate to answer.  To be honest the thought of a second baby hasn't even really crossed my mind.  Emily requires a lot of energy and time.  I can't imagine the fatigue of pregnancy combined with raising a baby, working full time, fitting in prenatal appointments, and hauling back out my maternity clothes.  I'm celebrating fitting into all my pre-pregnancy clothes and feeling confident in a bikini again.  Thinking about gaining 50 pounds all over again makes me cringe.

Clearly, at least at this juncture, I am not in a place where a second baby is a desire of mine 

My answer is always the same...

"Maybe in a few years, like when Emily is in school"

And the replies are always the same...

"Maybe? You mean you might only have one?!"
"Oh, they won't be friends then, because the age difference is too great!"
"You'll just get rid of diapers and have to bring them back out."
"Just when Emily gets old enough to do fun things you'll have another baby to tote around"

Its as if everyone is persuading me to procreate, something I am definitely not ready for.  While I politely listen to their thoughts I really don't give any of their reasons a second thought.  Right now having one baby suits me just fine.  Call me selfish if you will, but I find with one baby I can still do all the things that I like to do, from hiking to taking photos, and take Emily with me.  Trying to picture doing everything with two Emilys just isn't possible.  I cherish the little balance of motherhood and adulthood I've cultivated.  

And besides...  is it just me or is that an odd question to ask?  One would think that in 2012 women are well beyond the "baby factory" days where it used to be expected that one child followed the other.  I don't have a field to tend or cows to milk so I don't need a gaggle of babies to help put food on the table.  These are different times, but I guess the stereotype still exists.  

Or maybe I just come in contact and hang around with old fashioned people.


Rachel said...

This post is so appropriate; I can totally relate. While people haven't been asking the question a lot I find myself so content with just my daughter right now. And when I voice this I often hear people talk about "only children" in a negative light but Why? I think I'm at the same place as you right now; one is nice, I'll think about others later. Right now, let me just enjoy the one I have.

ladylisabear69 said...

I have a six year old boy. That's it. My husband would have liked a second. But we made a decision to just have the one. There are many reasons, including my age, finances, etc, that went into that decision. I wanted to have the chance to be a Mom, and I love watching him grow and change and develop. We are trying to raise him to be a happy, healthy, friendly, loving, person with good manners and common sense. And, to be honest, my sister and I are siblings, but we'll never be best, or even good, friends, so that friends with your sibling thing is not true for every family. My husband and his brothers are the same. But I have no need or desire to do it again. Do what is right for you and your family. That is all that is important. There is no need to have multiples just to make sure that your civilization survives anymore.

As for the people asking, to me it is the same as asking a woman who might have a slight stomach when she is due. Really.

Sharon said...

I think it's all very normal. It's just a natural curiosity. I will say this though, having two was the best thing I ever did! Mine are almost three years apart and it worked out great. We have always tried to foster a feeling of family being the most important thing so they do get along quite well, and they played together a lot growing up.

That said, not everyone is on board. Just tell people you haven't really thought about it yet and are just enjoying the moment. I know 2 women have two kids under 2! Yikes!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a baby around Emily's age and I have been getting the same line of questioning. At first, I was offended at even being asked (at least by people who are not close friends or family), but then realized, as Sharon said, it's just natural curiosity. However, the question is where I draw the line. When people express their opinion or give me unsolicited advice when I share my uncertain answer, I start getting pissy! Maybe some of the people who've been questioning you will read your post and get the message! ;-)

Little Wife said...

I don't have children yet, but it kind of freaks me out when people who don't really know me ask when HH and I are planning on having kids. I know they're just trying to make conversation, but do they really want the answer? "Oh, yeah, well, we're planning on having kids someday, but first we have to pay off my college debt, I need a job and an actual income, and we should probably live in a house where the kitchen isn't three steps from every other room in the house... "

I don't like it. I can understand getting those questions from family or close friends... but that's about all.

lilyrose said...

I would chalk it up to natural curiosity. It really is kind of inappropriate for anyone (other than your husband) to know or even care when or IF you will have other children.
I heard the same comments over and over when our first child was about three. Little did people know that I suffered a pretty bad miscarriage and was hesitant to try again. When we were expecting our fourth child, I started hearing snide comments about being a baby factory. Some people just don't have any manners...ignore them.
Enjoy your beautiful daughter!

Kristin said...

This made me laugh a little, because I am a baby factory. When this one is done cooking, we will have three under 3. I get a ton of people asking if I'm insane, but in reality, my husband is turning 50 next year (I'm 29), and we didn't want to be raising babies in his retirement years. But why people feel they have the right to ask inappropriate questions, I just don't know! I pass along the advice given to me by a mom with four children ranging widely in age (I obviously didn't listen): "Don't have another baby until your youngest one is old enough to make themself a sandwich."

Kim said...

That question always struck me as odd, too. Now, with my second child on the way (and my son is nearly 8), I'm getting a lot of, "but, things are easy now. why rock the boat?" Are you kidding me?! Things are never "easy", and that's fine with me...I love the fact that my son & his little sibling won't have rivalry when it comes to sharing toys/space/etc. I know there will be struggles, but my son is anxious to help out and be a truly "big" brother. I thought I was "one & done", but things change (and I'm glad I get to do this all over again).

kittyhere said...

Some people will ask just about anything. Sure it may be curiosity but that does not mean that you owe them any explanation. Perfectly OK to say for right now I am doing my best for this one, or even that is a very personal matter which I only discuss with my family and closest friends.

Please don't let them get to you.

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