There comes a time, when you have a baby, that people start asking you when you're going to go for number two. For us it started when we arrived home from the hospital with our newborn, and it's been going ever since.
Nine months in and I'm still getting used to the idea of having one baby, meanwhile our friends and family are trying to figure out when they're going to have to factor another birthday and Christmas present into the yearly budget.
I don't have a problem with people enquiring about our family plans. I know it can be a sensitive subject for some, but it's not a taboo discussion for us because we're open about our hopes to have another baby one day. It's just that I really can't tell you when 'one day' will be, except to say, not yet.
I do think about it though. More often than I imagined I would at this stage. That's not to say I'm considering getting pregnant any time soon, it's more that I want to be prudent about the right time to introduce another little bundle of chaos to our world, so that means giving it some forethought.
There's so much to consider. Is Victor the kind of kid who would benefit from having a sibling close in age? Or would he fare better with some more time as an only child? We also have to take the other baby into account - what age gap would be ideal to ensure number two gets enough focused attention? Would we need to move into a bigger place? Where do I need to be career-wise and what sort of financial position should we be in before considering another baby? When will I feel ready to face morning sickness and labour again? Um, actually I know the answer to that and it's 'never' - but I guess I'm just going to have to suck it up at some point.
Finally we have to take into account how many kids total we see in our future. I've just turned thirty-four so if we want three kids it's probably not wise to leave it five years before we try for the next because we may well run out of time (and energy) for the second, let alone the third.
Some parents thrive on the madness of a house full of children, all close in age. Without the benefit of experience, I can only guess that I am not that parent. I used to think that's what I wanted; being the youngest of a busy brood of five children, the idea of a small family never appealed. But now that I've turned into an old lady with creaky bones and an allergy to getting up in the night I've realised that two kids is probably about right for us.
Maybe one day I'll change my mind. I'll have that second child, look into his or her big baby eyes and think 'you're a bit cute, perhaps I'll go again'. For now, however, there are only two kids running around the park in my daydreams about the future. Three at the most. Okay, maybe four at a stretch, but only if we win lotto and someone gives me a map with directions to the Fountain of Youth.
You guys are wise and clever, tell me your thoughts on the ideal age gap between kids. I'm not even sure there is such a thing as I suspect there are pros and cons for every possible age gap, but I'd certainly like to hear about your experiences and any advice you might have in terms of stepping into the ring for round two. Or three. Or four...
- Essential Mums