In our basement we have about 15 big plastic bins, mostly full of baby toys, baby gear and baby books. I was down there looking for something else yesterday, and it occurred to me that at some point we might be able to get rid of all of that stuff. Assuming we manage to have a second kid, as she/he goes through each bin and outgrows everything, we could pass it all along to someone else. We wouldn’t even need to write our names on the labels or keep track of who we lent the swing to and who got the boppy. As I imagine being at that point in our lives, I feel lighter.
When discussing our family plans (starting very early in our relationship), Roo and I were always on the same page about wanting two kids. We joke that we’d never go as high as three because we don’t want to be outnumbered, but there’s a lot of reasons why we don’t think we’d have the energy or resources to give to more than two children. I am thoroughly impressed by folks who have more than two kids, but that has never seemed like the right path for us. However the questions about when/how/if to have a second kid have been on my mind constantly in the three years since Tadpole was born.
For the first year of Tadpole’s life I was pretty sure that I would never be able to bring myself to go through the craziness of those initial weeks/months again. I spent a lot of time wondering whether Roo and Tad and I would be okay if we never had a second child. Whenever things were really hard, my brain helpfully made them harder by imagining just how difficult things would be if we already had a second kid.
Then there were many months of ambivalence. Roo and I both went back and forth about which felt more impossible: having to go through all of the hardships of infancy/toddlerhood (sleepless nights, exhaustion, frustration) again, or not being able to experience all of the joys (milestones, baby giggles, snuggles) again. We both spent a lot of time talking and thinking about it. We (mostly) managed to not argue about it, but to sit with our complicated feelings until we felt clearer about where we wanted to go.
For the last year or so we have both been fairly clear that we want a second kid. Despite the fact that I swore it wouldn’t happen to me, there is a kind of fuzziness when I imagine the difficulty of some of those early days with Tadpole. And maybe that amnesia is part of what made us feel ready to start trying for #2.
But then we had to figure out how we would afford to make that happen (both the conception part and the expenses that come with an actual kid). And more recently there have been all of the ups and downs of the TTC process so far, and now this long hiatus.
All of these thoughts–the “will we/won’t we?,” the “when will we be ready?,” and the “when will this finally work?” have been on my mind for more than three years now. Sometimes they are in the forefront, constantly demanding my attention. At other times they drop back a little, as I sit with some new possibility percolating in the background, and I focus on other things. But I can’t wait for the day when I know that we are done and our family is complete.
I am excited about having kiddo #2 for a million different reasons. But one of them is the relief I would feel at no longer have these questions about family-building taking up space in my life. It would be amazing to know that our family is complete and to make space (in my head and in our basement) for other things.