On the drive up to Kansas City, Chris and I were talking about the whole “having another kid” issue that seems to hover in and out of my thought-life oh, I don’t know, every single waking minute or so. I’ve never been one to let others pressure me into anything, but there’s something about having your first kid that can feel like you’ve accidentally just pulled the ‘start lever’ on an assembly line, and then it BROKE OFF IN YOUR HANDS.
It is pretty much assumed by everyone around you that you will have another child in the very near future after giving birth to your first. This is totally and completely natural for people to assume, because, hey! That’s pretty much how life goes! Most people don’t see the point in dragging out the “parenting a baby/toddler phase” of life- it just makes more sense to get it all out of the way quickly so that your kids will be somewhat close in age and you won’t be changing poopy diapers when you’re 60, right?
Well, that may be true, and that’s really all well and good, but then what happens when having another baby is pretty much not even a faint blip your radar screen and your first born son is suddenly old enough to operate the DVD Player without any assistance? What then??
I always talk about how I refuse to parent Ezra out of a place of fear, because I know that kids can sense those kinds of things from their parents, even when we think we are sooo super sneaky and good at hiding things from them. It’s like a sixth sense. They just know. So, in this same vein of logic, I have a real issue with feeling the NEED to have another baby ASAP simply because I’m afraid of my kids being “too far apart in age”, or simply because I’m afraid of spending too many years of my life trapped in the “baby phase”.
This was a huge personal revelation for me. I suddenly felt all the (self-imposed) pressure of having another kid lift off of me. Through a simple conversation with my husband I realized this:
I am the kind of person who becomes overwhelmed pretty quickly. The thought of having a toddler and a baby at the same time just seems like it would be too much for me. I know I would be able to handle it just fine if it were to happen that way, but I’m realizing that I’m one of those people who would MUCH MUCH MUCH RATHER spread things out a bit. Like, waiting until I have a kid who’s a bit older (4? 5? 6?) and then tackling the baby thing again. Because, big picture, I know I want to have more than one kid. But, for me, it might be nice to saunter along the “raising kids” time of my life, rather than feel like it’s a mad dash to have them and raise them quick enough to where I’ll still “have a life” again after they are grown and gone. Think of it! If I were to have three kids- one right after the other, in 18 years, they are going to all be out of the house one right after the other too. What a whirlwind! I’ve finally realized that I’m more of a gentle breeze kind of gal. (Not that raising kids, no matter how far apart, can EVER be considered a “gentle breeze”, but you get the point…)
So, for now, for today at the very least, I’m content with this plan. To wait. To wait until the time feels right, just like I knew when I was meant to have Ezra. If I’m meant to have more kids, I know that I’ll know it. Maybe God has other plans in store for me. We’ve talked about adoption. And to be honest, the very thought of that being a possibility at some point in my life stings my eyes with instant tears of joy and wonder. Can you even imagine? Literally saving the life of another human being? A human being who is too vulnerable to defend themselves?
If that’s what God has for me, I’m open to that. After all, He’s got a track-record of being even wilder than my wildest of dreams.