*I’m thrilled to be able to host the following piece on preparing for a second baby, another guest blog by the the thoughtful mother and my lovely friend, Alea Waters. You can read her previous guest post about play vs. technology on this blog, called “I Choose Play” here.*
Making the choice to have another baby is massive. For me, it isn’t just “Bang! Bam! Boom! Let’s try to get pregnant and just go with the flow”. No, for me there is a lot of thought going into it. Not just for me, but for my whole family, including grandparents. But lets back up a bit before i get into all this.
I was 19 when I was surprised to find out I was pregnant while on the pill (A note to all you ladies not ready for babies out there: taking antibiotics will stop the effectiveness of your birth control, something my doctor at the time failed to mention.)
I chose to keep my daughter even though her “sperm donor” left. I chose to move away from him and have very minimal contact due to his behaviour and the stress it was causing me during the pregnancy and after. I moved back in with my parents and started a new chapter of my life.
I now have a 16 month old – “L”. She is my world, and I can’t imagine my life without her.
Beyond having L, I have gone through some other big life changes. I made the leap to move to Calgary with my little L for a while. Through the move I found the space and perspective needed to focus on what I want in life. I now also have “S”, who I have known since grade 7. He has taken on the roll as L’s father and my devoted partner.
We live in a beautiful spot now, something I realized was a priority for me – a location I love. We moved away from Calgary and are making our life here on Salt Spring Island. This is where we are happy, this is where we want to stay and raise our children.
S and I have always wanted to be parents, and now we are. We both wanted children young, and as I go along, people seem to judge us for that. But honestly, who cares what people say? This is our wonderful life, and as far as I can see, I don’t need anyone’s permission to start a new life except for that of my partner, who will share this life with me.
There are so many pros and cons to everything in life, especially having a baby. Some of the questions that go through my head are “Will I be able to cope with two children under the age of 3?” “How am I going to survive on even less sleep?” “Is what my heart wants also smart for my family and our life in the place it is at?” “What will people say?” “What will people think?” So many complex questions that are hard for me to fully answer, and bursting with emotions that go along with these wonderings.
S and I decided earlier this year that I should stop taking the pill, and let nature take her course. We decided that we want our children to be close in age. I did a lot of research surfing the internet, and posting on forums and websites. I asked other parents what their experiences were with different age gaps, and it seemed that the most ideal age gaps were every two years or so. Perfect timing for trying now.
Our goal is to have 3 children in our family. I am not a mother who wants to rely on daycare, but we can’t afford for me to stay at home for too many years, so it makes more sense to have our babies closer together in age. Once I’m 28, I can then start back on my career if i choose, and not have to start all over again with diapers and spit up cloths. Yuck. Let’s get that out of the way now.
My mother (who I’ve confided in about our plan) always questions money, and fair enough – that is a big concern. We are by no means rich, or even middle class. But we compromise with other things to make what we really want possible. We save our money in many ways and everything seems to be going in the direction we want.
I have found that living on just the right amount of money actually makes our family happier then if S and I work our butts off, and then start to stress about not seeing each other or L enough. Our main goal in life is to have a close family, and when we need things, we find a way to make it happen.
I often ask myself “You are so happy now in your life, why mess with things?” My answer is always the same: “Because you were born to be a mother.” Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom. I don’t feel I can honestly say that I’m amazingly good at school and I can do whatever I want. I can’t say I’m good at a lot of things. But the one thing I do know is that I’m amazing at being a mother to my child. That is a wonderful feeling.
Sometimes I find myself frustrated with L’s behaviour, or the situations I find myself in. Sometimes I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing, and I pray I’m not messing her up. But when I look at her, or she comes over and says “Mamma hug?”, my heart melts and I know I’m doing alright.
I know I have more love to give our next baby, and I can’t wait until I see those two little, life-changing “positive” lines that will be the start of our next journey.
Do you have plans to expand your family, or do you feel like your family’s complete?