It’s 4am, and I’m feeding the baby—who despite many promising nights of sleep here and there is not yet consistently sleeping through the night—and I hear it. His voice is quiet at first. “Mama. More milk please.”
Don’t even get me started on the fact that my 2-year-old is asking for milk at 4am. This all started a couple of months ago when he would see me waking up to give his baby brother milk. Picture a tiny person in alligator pajamas looking at you over his gate and saying in a small voice “I need milk, mama. A little bit. Pweeeeeeeease.” Those earlier days of chronic sleep deprivation resulted in lowered defenses for me—and I gave in. I know he shouldn’t have milk in bed—it’ll rot his teeth, he’ll rely on it to relax back to sleep, he needs more water—I KNOW. Believe me. But that’s not the point of this story. I could write a whole post on my son and how he could exist on milk alone.
This is about my current life and how it’s chaotic at times. Somehow, it’s 4am—and when the world is asleep, I have not one, but TWO children who need me. I have a full lap most days, a full backseat, kids in every available bedroom, and milk coming out of my ears. There are days I’m so tired that if my husband is around, I’ll “nap” and wake up 4 hours later. I’m not telling parents anything out there you don’t already know and live yourself daily. Kids are work. Amazing, tiring, rewarding work.
And amidst my chaos, I have this constant thought…
I WANT MORE KIDS.
(At least ONE more.)
I have absolutely NO business thinking about more children right now. We can barely afford daycare for two kids as it is. I love my children, but I also love my job, and it’s all I can do right now to somehow keep my head above water at work and at home. I have approximately 6,784 pounds to lose before I feel healthy again, and I’d love to feel healthy again before taking on another pregnancy. We have a house with just enough bedrooms, a car with just enough room for two seats, and I’ve only got two hands. Moving from two to three would be an undertaking. We’d be OUTNUMBERED.
So WHY am I INSANE? Why can’t I stop thinking about adding to our family?
I still have a baby in my arms, a toddler who wants “tickle kisses,” a mortgage, a job, and I spend two hours daily pumping breast milk. I can barely find time to get to the gym and eat a vegetable, let alone grow and raise another human. And yet I’m consumed by this knowledge that our family is not yet complete. This is possibly more urgent to me since I recently saw my OB/GYN, and we had a nice little conversation about advanced maternal age, as I recently turned 35. I have this nagging feeling I need to crank out more kids now if I want them.
On one hand, I have this desire for more babies. I’m not getting any younger. I can always add 10 lbs onto the 6,784 lbs I need to lose and just get another pregnancy over with. But on the other hand, I absolutely hate being pregnant. The first trimester I’m an emotional basket case, and the second I invariably develop gestational diabetes and spend the next five months dieting and somehow getting larger at the same time. My job is active so by the ninth month I feel like that child is literally going to fall out, and my ankles look like swollen water balloons. I want it over with. Having a child will always throw a wrench into your life—so why not now?
Well…first of all, kids are expensive. Having a third would mean three children in daycare until my oldest goes to school, and that’s more expense than we might be able to absorb comfortably. Remember those 6,784 lbs I want to lose? I’m thinking it’s not going to be easier with three children. We don’t have enough bedrooms or space in our car. My parents will eventually retire so maybe having a third child down the road would be easier on us—we’d have more help. Waiting has its advantages. I just don’t want to wait too long… I’m an old lady in the pregnancy world now, apparently. If I had more resources, I’d already be knocked up.
So here I am, rocking my babies and dreaming of a house full of kids. We know we want more, and honestly—is there ever an easy time to have another child? In the meantime, I can bask in the relaxation that we’re not outnumbered and they can both fit on my lap. Eventually, we’ll try to add to our family—when the time comes, we’ll have to stock up on milk, because my kids are THIRSTY at 4am. Also, if anyone has suggestions on how to fit three car seats into one row, let me know!
How did you know you were ready (or NOT) to add to your family?