You may remember my post from before, What I Considered Before Having a Kid. That included all the things my husband and I thought were important to have figured out before embarking on the exciting journey of parenthood. Had you asked me back then, when I was young and naive and getting a lot more sleep, I would not have thought that once a person started having kids they might have to think again before having any more after the first. But guess what? I do! Now, I think it mostly ties into my being a working mom, so this probably isn’t true for everyone. But now that our first child is a toddler, here’s what I’ve been thinking about as I wonder if it’s time for another.
Do I ever want to sleep again? This is a question I ask myself when I stagger around getting ready for work in the morning after waking up once or twice a night with my two-year-old. He used to sleep great, I swear! We spent a lot of time getting our first baby to sleep through the night in his own crib in his own room, and then, when he turned two, he hit some sort of sleep regression. So at about 1am every night I wonder: what if I had just finished a nighttime feeding for a newborn and then the toddler woke up? Even if my husband got up with the toddler, would I be able to fall back asleep? Motherhood makes me a very light sleeper. My husband told me that he tried to get out of bed before me the other night when our kid cried, but I threw the covers back and swung out of bed like a robot. He wasn’t even sure if I was awake. We laughed about it, but honestly, I don’t know how funny it would be with two kids, especially considering people expect me to be awake and function at work five days a week.
Another baby means more diapers, just as kid number one is getting out of them. Also, paying for daycare for two kids at once, and then down the road possibly paying for two kids in college at the same time, is a little intimidating!
When you work and have a kid, you push aside a lot of other things in order to spend all the time you can with you child once you’re home from work and daycare. And when you do take a rare moment to go somewhere by yourself for an hour or so, it’s nice that you can leave your kid with your spouse. But what about when there are two kids? I’m guessing free time and one-on-one time with your first kid are harder to come by. And it’s not easy to get a kid ready and in the car to daycare by 8am every morning. It doesn’t sound easier to do that with two!
So while planning for our first child helped me to have less stress, planning for a second kid semi-stresses me out. I want all of the wonderful things that would come along with another baby — the love, the chance to get to know another perfect little person with their own personality, a sibling for my first kid — the pros are all there. Maybe it’s time to remember what a lot of people told me before kid number one: you can never be completely ready for having kids. Because thinking about the joy that family brings as it grows, even looking 10, 20, or 30 years into the future, makes a few years of tight budgeting and sleepless nights all seem worth it.