I understand. Being a new parent is tough. Your whole life has been turned upside down. Your marriage has changed. Your life is chaotic. Gone are the days where you could stay up late and sleep in the next morning. Now, your nights are filled with cleaning up the house and trying to get to sleep at a reasonable hour before the baby wakes up in the morning.
People ask you all the time, “When do you want to have another one?” You smile and say, “Someday.” However, inside you’re just wanting to take a long nap and tell them to stop asking such ridiculous things. You’re exhausted. You’re constantly overwhelmed. You feel like the world is on your shoulders. You’ve figured out this Mom gig. Then, your child develops a new skill or starts a new habit. So you’re back to square one on figuring out what to do. Why in the world would you want to add another one into the mix?
You just want your body back. You literally just got out of maternity clothes, and are feeling like yourself again. The last thing you want to do is start wearing those again. You literally just bought yourself non-nursing bras with your newfound bra size since baby, and you would like to feel sexy again. You’d like to be able to wear something that doesn’t have flaps for easy access to mealtime for an infant. You want to feel young and radiant, you want to feel like a lady in your 20s. Not a Mom 100% of the time.
Your period just got regular again. After going months on end of no period during pregnancy, but still having the majority of the symptoms, you were feeling pretty hopeful that breastfeeding would limit your menstrual cycle a bit longer. Then, you actually get your monthly deal again, and it is feels like someone is slowly killing you. This isn’t what it felt like before baby…was it? Then, one month you get a regular flow (where you don’t have to wear your hefty pads that were bought post-birth) and cramps that are actually bearable. ALAS!… you’re back to your old self!
Why would you want to be reintroduced to a pregnant or postpartum body? Girl, I get it. You don’t want to share all these innocent feelings with the people asking about a new baby. Why would you? So you can be judged by them? So they can remind you how beautiful having a baby is? Yes, you remember how beautiful having a baby is. You don’t for one second take that for granted. It took you longer than anticipated to get pregnant. You had many months of crying, because you weren’t. You will never forget the struggles…
That’s why you WANT to wait to have another baby. You waited so long to have THIS ONE. Why does this precious time need to be rushed? Why do you have to produce another child shortly after? Let me just be. Let me figure out this motherhood thing and enjoy every little moment with my child. That way you don’t wish you had waited and these moments could come back. That way you can sit on the couch and cuddle with your child in the middle of the afternoon. That way you can take a nap with them when you’re having a rough day.
You just want to make things slow down. You just want to regroup with your spouse and make sure you’re stronger than ever for number two, because this first one just about broke you. Because, you did have postpartum depression and the thought of having it again is terrifying. You don’t want to go through those emotions all over again. You don’t want to feel like you’re drowning when you should be over the moon excited.
The time to have another child should come when you’re ready. Not when the pressure is unbearable. Not when you can afford another child financially. Not when your spouse wants one. Not when your child is “old enough.”
The time is when YOU want it to be. The time is when you AND your spouse are ready for added responsibility. The time is when YOU are ready for pregnancy, delivery, and parenting another human being. The choice is for those who will be making and caring for the baby the majority of the time. Not your family. Not your children. Not your friends. YOURS. You just keep living and enjoying every moment with your precious ones. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
Mom Seeking a Village