Sometimes I feel life is just jumping from answering one question about my personal life to the next.
Everyone else seems to think it’s their business to know, when I am going to settle down, marry, have a baby. And now I have ticked all of those off the list and the ‘baby’ is almost 18 months the next inevitable question is forming on these peoples lips.
“When are you going to give her a brother/ sister?”
When people try and talk me into things I have a habit of stubbornly digging my heels and doing the opposite or refusing point blank. But this time, it’s a bit different. I’m not not making the second baby decision because I’m being stupidly stubborn or awkward. I’m genuinely not ready. And, I feel horrendously selfish as most of the reasons to stick with just the one are so Mr. TH and I can have, as I see it, a slightly easier life.
It took us 8 years after getting married to have our first baby. Some of this was due to stubbornness mentioned above but also, we had a great life. We had amazing holidays to South Africa, France, Italy and Finland. We spent entire days surfing, drinking and lazing in the sun. Or, we did challenges such as walking 48.1 miles in a day, cycling John O’Groats to Lands End and climbing Munros together.
Since monkey started to make her presence known during pregnancy we have done very little of the above activities, which I find hard. A little bit of me has disappeared.
Don’t get me wrong, we do get out a lot, do great things and I love these days out. But, having a toddler means we really have to ensure the day has something to make it fun for her and so far we haven’t been brave enough to find out if an 8 hour day walking up and down hills would be included on her list of ‘fun things to do as a toddler’
I also love our little family of 3. It feels special. We devote all of our time to her and we both have an amazing relationship with her (excluding periods of tantrums). Would an extra person ruin this relationship? Would we prefer one child to the other? Would I become one of those super stressed mums with constantly arguing siblings?
Then little things happen that make me feel sad about her being an only child.
We sometimes go to friends’ houses and she loves playing with them, they play so nicely together and she’s sad to say goodbye.
When I see her playing alone, talking to her dolls, stuffed toys and the imaginary friend we are sure she has, it tugs at my heart strings that she might be lonely.
And, even though I hated pregnancy, had a horrible labour and found the first 3 months of her life the hardest ever, I feel a yearning to carry another tiny human being and bring them into this world.
To make the decision harder, my husband is of the laid back variety and even though he’d be completely content to stick with one, he’s equally happy to have another. Usually this is great, as I tend to make the final decision on things, but sometimes having someone else make the deciding vote would take the pressure off.
I had always said I would never have a baby past 35 years old and in July that milestone is up. We’re certainly not ready to make the decision yet but we know we will start having to fend off the sibling questions, that knowing look, the creased forehead when we explain we are waiting and the sound of the tick tock body clock going on their heads.
Maybe I should put it to a public vote or maybe my response to the question this time is going to be “So, how many times a week are you having sex with your other half?” If they stopped to think, that’s really what they are asking us.