Our daughter is 3-years-old, and my husband and I have started to hear those questions: How many children do you want? When will you be adding to your family? Don’t you want your little one to have a playmate?
How do I answer?
Our little girl was a somewhat sickly and very colicky baby. As such, we had an extremely rough start. There were times in the first six months when I honestly didn’t know how I would go on. My nerves were shot, and I was tired as hell. Though the colic passed, the PTSD of it remained for a long time.
I wanted another child; my husband was unsure. It took a while for us to get on the same page. We finally mustered the courage to try for #2, got pregnant, and had a miscarriage. We’re still recovering from that loss, and I’ve been journaling as part of the grieving process. I sat down one night and wrote this list:
If I could answer the questions truthfully, I would say, “I want to have another baby, BUT….”
I want to have another baby, but I’m scared.
I’m scared of having another miscarriage.
Of being too old for another pregnancy.
Of being too tired.
Of not having the stamina to be a SAHM for another 4-5 years.
Of not being able to afford another child.
Of the kids being too far apart in age to have a close relationship.
Of gaining weight again. Of not being able to lose the weight.
Of not being able to take care of a family of 4 (emotionally, logistically).
I’m scared that the first year will be really hard again, colic or not.
That we will never be able to travel again (especially overseas).
That I will have trouble finding a job when it’s time for me to go back to work.
That I will never have a quiet moment alone again.
That we don’t have a strong enough support system (or “village”) to add to our flock.
That I am just TOO DANG OLD for this. (Did I already say that? I’m about to turn 36.)
The list goes on – but I think you get the point. There’s a lot to consider when bringing a new life into the world, and without the happiness of a baby bump to focus on, it’s easy to get lost in overthinking and worrying.
I know that these aren’t the final words for our family. They don’t define our situation, for we live by faith and not fear. They are just thoughts and feelings I had on one particular day- one page in the book of our lives together. But I wanted to share this list as a way to say to other moms out there: it’s okay to be scared. It’s okay if you don’t know what to do. It’s okay if you’ve “decided to stop deciding things.” You don’t owe anyone any answers, and the best laid plans often go awry anyway.
All you have to do is breathe and get through today. Tomorrow will take care of itself – even if it requires wine and chocolate. Can I get an amen?