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Why I'm Holding Off on Baby Number Two

photo by: Katee Grace

This article originally appeared on Red Tricycle, see it here!

The moment you get married the pregnancy questions flood in, “When are you guys having kids!? Don’t wait too long. You’re not drinking are you pregnant!?” Then there’s the well intentioned badgering during pregnancy, “How far along are you? Is it a boy or girl? You look ready to pop!” Finally you have a healthy beautiful baby and you think ‘Okay, I’ve given the people what they want!’ But it doesn’t end there. I swear as soon as my daughter was a week old I had people asking me if I was ready for another. Another? I could barely walk from giving birth! Since then I’ve fielded “baby number two” inquiries on a regular basis.

There seems to be two schools of thought on this. The first is to have children right after the other, wham bam done and done! The second is for those who want to take a bit of a break in between children. Honestly I always thought, prior to having a child, that I’d be in the first camp. I love babies, the more the merrier and who wants a large age gap between siblings? But the more I’m asked when baby number two is coming the more convinced I am that I’ll actually be waiting. This is why:

I work from home. I chose to stay home with my daughter and I absolutely love it. We have a fantastic routine. There’s music on Mondays and gym class on Tuesdays and playdates on Wednesdays and during her naps I can get out a few e-mails, shower and attempt to keep our house clean. We have a nanny who comes a few hours a week to allow me to get work done or just grab lunch with a friend. We’re balanced and it’s great. Having a second baby will disrupt our flow and current toddler zen (yeah pretty sure “toddler zen” is an oxymoron). It’s more work.

I like my sleep. That’s reason enough!

My body has only recently recovered. I lost my baby weight very quickly. I also lost my muscles, a huge amount of hair and sex drive. My daughter is a year and a half and my hair is just now finally growing in. I’m painstakingly trying to tone what was once my ass and sex is enjoyable again (hallelujah). I truly believe it’s important to give a body necessary recovery time. Maybe I need a little bit more bounce back time than others?

My marriage is in a sweet spot. We finally have this whole baby thing down! So much so that we get sitters regularly for date nights and yes, have sex (gasp). We’ve learned to communicate our needs better to one another and our shared love of our daughter has made us closer. We’ve even started having dinner conversation that isn’t solely based on our child! Let’s just enjoy this for a little bit please.

Diapers. Yep, she’s still in them.

Gender Happiness. I know many women who are eager to get pregnant with number two because they desperately want a baby of the opposite sex next. I always wanted a girl. I would have been very happy with a boy but by some miracle I had that baby girl I always dreamed of. The pressure is off. If we have a boy next, great. If we have another girl, great (even better now that we have all of these clothes)!

We enjoy travel. We’ve taken our daughter to Tahoe, Hawaii, Italy, Jackson Hole, Santa Barbara, Minnesota and other places. She’s a great little traveler (most of the time). We just booked a trip to Spain for this summer. Traveling with one? Easy. Traveling with two? Less easy.

Communication. My daughter has just hit the milestone of understanding the things coming out of my mouth. It’s incredible. I ask her questions and she actually answers them with a confident yes or no. She’s becoming an independent person who is capable of picking up her toys, putting on shoes, asking for snacks and so much more. At the same time she still doesn’t have the ability to voice most of her feelings let alone handle them. We work through tantrums and trying to decipher what she needs or wants while she struggles to form words. Let’s go ahead and wait for her to expand that vocabulary, learn a plethora of new skills and get better at managing the big feelings she experiences throughout the day.

I like to drink. There I said it. I’m not sure I can survive the toddler years without a glass (or five) of wine at the end of the day. So am I eager to start a nine month cleanse anytime soon? No. The answer is no.

Finally, I just want to soak her up solo for a bit longer. The days go by so quickly and I want to be present and enjoy the time we have together. She’s my best friend and I think of all the things we do and will do together, just the two of us, and I want to hang on to that desperately just for a little while longer.

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