When's the right time for baby number two?

Sunday, 14 January 2018
It usually starts around 3 to 4 minutes after the birth of your first child. You’ve barely had time to realise what’s going on before someone asks ‘so when are you having another?’. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but we all know that it doesn’t take long for that line of questioning to start. A lot of mums say they feel the pressure from society to have another baby soon after having their first, but personally, the only person I’ve felt the pressure from is myself.

Before I had Oliver, I was firmly in the camp of ‘I want to have my kids close together’. I’ve always wanted at least two children, and I love the idea of having them close in age so they can play together and be ‘best friends’ – I’m fully aware of how naïve and unrealistic that image is, but just hear me out. I always planned to have my kids in close succession and that by the time my maternity leave came to end, I might even be pregnant again or at least for another. 

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At 6 months post-partum, however, I wasn’t even thinking about baby number two. I’d only just started getting a full night’s sleep, I hadn’t yet mastered how to get out of the house at a decent time in the morning and I hadn’t had a night away from Oliver. On top of that, I didn’t even feel like my body had recovered from pregnancy never mind ready to start a new one. It took me way longer than expected to get a hang of being a new mum. 

It was only around Oliver’s first birthday that I realised I was more or less back to normal, or as back to normal as I’d ever be. I felt confident as a mum and I was getting a full night’s sleep again (and totally appreciating every single second of it). Finally having everything together meant that I was so much calmer, and rather than stressing out and running around like a headless chicken, I was able to just enjoy my little boy. It’s quite understandable, I suppose, that once I finally achieved that level of stability, the thought of throwing it all up in the air and starting again wasn’t my first thought.

Things with Oliver are *touch wood* perfect just now. He’s at such a fun age, he’s sleeping through and when he’s awake he’s such a joy to be around. And since I’m sleeping through too, I’m able to enjoy it. I love being a mum, and I suppose I’m just a little scared to rock the boat. 

On the other hand, every time I see a new born baby, I feel like my body screams at me to have another. When I think about Oliver being a big brother, my heart melts and it really is so important to me that he has a close sibling. I feel a bit selfish for being scared of pregnancy and the new born days, because it’s something I’d be so lucky to have. But it's such a huge decision. 

It's almost like I’m so aware of how naïve I was the first time around that now I’m overly cautious of having another, especially given that it might be twice as hard.

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I’m in two minds just now. One side is telling me that I should enjoy this time with Oliver. It’s the only time that it’ll ever me just me and him, and he’s at such at fun age. The other side is yelling ‘tick tock! Tick tock!’ and telling me to get a move on. I know that having two children is going to be a shock to the system at whatever stage I chose to do it. In fact, a few mums have told me that waiting longer in between actually made things harder (but of course, there will be opinions on both sides of that one). 

It goes without saying that these things can’t be timed perfectly. We could decide to start trying today, and it might not actually happen for a year or longer. That in itself is another reason that I’m feeling the pressure – if I put it off for longer, and it doesn’t happen for a while then the age gap just gets bigger and bigger. Do you hear the ‘tick tock’ getting louder too?!

So there’s no conclusion to this post today. I’m still undecided on what my next move should be. I’m in baby number two limbo and almost waiting for a sign to tell me which way to go. I’ll need to make up my mind soon (and Andy, of course, he does get a say in this too!), but until then I’m going to enjoy minute of my time with Oliver (and every single minute of sleep I get!). 

Did any of you have a similar dilemma? 
How did you know when it’s the right time to have baby number two?

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3 comments on "When's the right time for baby number two?"
  1. My kids are six years apart, and we’ve been trying for a third 5 years after my youngest... I wouldn’t have it any other way! :)

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  2. I love this post. It’s so true isn’t it. How even before you’ve put away the maternity jeans everybody is asking about the next one

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  3. I wrote about the exact same thing a while back. I wanted to know when was the perfect time to have baby #2. My husband and I had endless conversations about this and it seemed like it was never a perfect time. We decided to let life take its course and before we knew it, we were pregnant with baby #2. Expected but unexpected at the same time and it was the biggest blessing ever. Seeing the interaction between my 2 kids (ages 3 and 1) is just adorable. I wish you the best of luck! BTW - you won't regret it. Life with kids is just beautiful.

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