Life as an adult is very much like being a permanent plate spinner. The metaphorical plates upon each stick can be anything from work commitments and deadlines, to home life, housework and doing your best to stay fit and active. If you pile parenthood into the mix, you can add plates of nappy changing, entertaining, food prepping, miniature clothes washing, crisis and tantrum averting, bathing, blah, blah, blah. It’s no wonder that at some stage a plate will fall and smash. At the moment plates are flying, work is busy, Ivy is growing and the prospects of looking for a family home are becoming very realistic, that in itself is more than just a plate, it’s a whole Amazon list of kitchen appliances. But as we start to plan our future, a topic that pops up every now and then, is will we have another baby.
Becoming a first time parent is daunting, your new life is unknown and it’s like taking a leap of faith into the abyss, hoping you come out the other side relatively unscathed. When it comes to thinking about a possible baby number two, the daunting thoughts aren’t as bad, you’ve done this job before, experienced the sleepless nights and become a nappy changing machine. But does that mean that number two is going to be easier? Having spoken to a colleague who is in week 2 of baby number 2, I can confirm confidently that the answer is no. He told me so over his third double espresso (with Red Bull chaser) of the day. The idea of another addition to the family did get me thinking about what it would mean for life going forward. I though I’d put a few down here.
The F word
Finances, flippin’ finances. I naively thought once all of the purchasing of baby gear was out the way, that something so small wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Well between the constant growing and the devil on the shoulder telling us to buy things ‘because they’re cute’, the bills start to stack up. Throw in childcare and, well, money seems to go out quicker than it came in. So adding another sprog to the mix is only going to increase the outgoings. But, if you waited to be financially sound enough for a baby, you’d be waiting forever. I think I’ll need to build the savings account a bit more before number 2 joins us.
Bridging the gap
I have an older sister, 2 school years to be precise. We get on like best mates, and whilst the age gap isn’t the main reason for that, it’s certainly a big factor having been close in proximity at school, at home, in free time there were moments we’d rip each others heads off – realistically it’s a roll of the dice if you get on, but fortunately we do. The same goes for Meg and her brother who are of a similar age gap. Any gap bigger than that and I feel like interests are likely to differ quite heavily, so with that in mind I don’t feel rushed but conscious. I’m working along the lines that Ivy will pretty much take the role of big sister in charge, and Meg and I can put our feet up… fat chance.
We still have an element of freedom
I use the word freedom lightly here. Ivy has never felt like a restriction to Meg and I, she has changed our lives for the better without a doubt. But having two people to look after one little person is much more manageable (I use that term loosely) and flexible than two parents looking after two. I want to give Ivy our time and focus for a little bit longer and also allow Meg and I some flexibility before we take the plunge and potentially become 4.
Boy or Girl
Coming from a family of four, I’ve always sort of wanted to have 2 kids. Whether that’s with 2 girls or a girl and a boy I’m really not concerned. I think it would be nice to experience bringing up a son and seeing what the differences (aside from the obvious) would be. But as I’ve learnt the first time round, as long as they’re healthy and happy, you can’t ask for much more.
I wish you could make money from metaphorical plate spinning, because if you could I’d be rolling in it at the moment. And life looks like it can only get more chaotic. But what’s life without a bit of chaos?