I was on vacation about a year ago with my family, casually skimming through an article about how to know when you’re ready for a second baby. The article consisted of an entire list of telltale signs and advice for knowing when the time was right. With a cocktail in hand, I scanned the list with a bit of a sarcastic tone – could this random list of signs truly help find the answers I had been grappling with for months? Doubtful, but what the heck.
As I read through the article I came across a point that left me scratching my head; it described feeling a sense of loss or that someone was missing as a way to evaluate if you’re ready for a second child. The suggestion that I could miss someone I had never met seemed so strange and clearly not a sign I thought applied to me. I remember laughing at the silliness of it all and dismissed the article without second thought.
However, as time passed and our vacation came to an end, I found myself still thinking about that damn article. I began questioning whether I did feel that someone was missing as I gathered around the table with my family. It certainly wasn’t logical, but it was starting to make sense on some level.
And that’s when it hit me; deciding to bring another child into the world wasn’t a logical question, it was emotional.
Sure, there are of course logistical concerns to consider, finances and space being some of them, but deciding to create another human life is a monumental choice and one that can’t be made without tuning into your emotions and listening to your heart.
When I gave birth to my daughter nearly three years ago, I had absolutely no idea how motherhood would change me; and not in a physical or measurable way, but how it would really change my soul. I was naively unaware of how deep the love for a child runs and how every decision I made felt weighted in the enormity of being responsible for another person.
Becoming a mom has been one of my greatest joys, but was I ready to do it again?
During the first two years of her life, I just knew I wasn’t ready to have another child. I felt completely at peace with our “perfect” not-so-perfect life. I tried hard to ignore the reoccurring thoughts and questions of age gaps and realized there are no universal signs for being ready. Reading that silly article on the beach almost a year ago turned out to be serendipitous, because for the first time in two years I actually started to feel ready.
The decision to have another baby, adding to the chaos, love, and sleepless nights, sometimes isn’t as clear as we would hope. There may be a tipping point, like in my case, that triggers an emotional reaction, but maybe there won’t be. Providing yourself the space and time to decide when you’re really ready to have another baby is the best thing you can do.
If even for just a moment, ignore the prying questions, the what-ifs and hows, and just listen to your heart – maybe the answer you are searching for is waiting to be found.