The newborn pajama set was hidden in the middle of the rack of toddler shirts. I was looking for a 2T for my son, but I couldn’t not stop and smile at the itty bitty outfit on the hanger.

My heart melted as I stood there and remembered when my baby was that small. Some days it feels like yesterday; other days it feels like forever ago.

When my husband and I talked about having children, we agreed we wanted to try to have them somewhat close in age. We thought we would start trying again once my son turned two.

Well, that’s this summer.

And I’m not ready.

Financially? We are blessed enough that we would be fine.

Physically? I’m also blessed to say I really enjoyed being pregnant.

Emotionally? Mentally? I’m just not there right now.

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I love my son. He’s kind, caring, and incredibly smart. He makes me smile bigger, love harder, and laugh more than I ever thought possible.

He has made my life better in so many ways.

But he’s also a toddler. And he can be a lot.

We’re currently battling through a biting stage.

I’m working on keeping my cool every time he hits me.

And it’s a huge victory right now whenever we get him to eat a full meal. (For real—I’ve given my toddler a standing ovation.)

He is independent and oh, so very stubborn.

The last time I struggled with him during a timeout session due to some unkind behavior, I had to be honest with myself.

It’s taking all of me to stay afloat at this current water level. I don’t think my boat could handle a baby right now.

And that needs to be OK.

Of course, I miss when my little man was a baby boy who fit into the itty bitty outfits.

I miss the baby smell.

I miss when he was still for more than 30 seconds.

I miss baby giggles, tiny grunts, sleepy smiles, and constant snuggles.

I miss when I was all he needed.

But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to do it all again.

Now, I feel like I should clarify something. Just as there were also a lot of hard parts of the newborn stage, there are lots of wonderful parts of the stage we’re in now.

Life is exciting right now for my son. Both the world and his imagination are so big, and I love being able to witness every discovery. 

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His personality gets bigger with every word he learns, and now he snuggles with me because he wants to. I think that’s even more special.

It’s so much fun, but it’s also so hard.

And, yes, I know that every stage of his life will bring its own challenges, it could always feel overwhelming, and there might never be a perfect time to have another baby.

I know all of that. But it’s also not fair to me, my son, or a new baby to plan for something I’m not emotionally ready for.

If I were to get pregnant, I would love that baby with all I have. Just like my son did, he or she would also make my life better.

It would be overwhelming, but I would figure it out.

Because that’s what moms do.

But if I’m planning it? If I’m really being honest with myself? I’m not ready to have another baby right now.

And that needs to be OK, too.

Christina Egbert

I am "Mama" to a beautiful little boy who is always running around the house . . . while I try not to be too far behind (mentally and physically).  My husband and I met when we were in middle school together; he asked me on our first date nine years later. As someone who works in marketing for higher education, I know the importance of a person's story. I hope that you enjoy mine.