Thursday, 26 April 2012

plus one


It's a difficult decision when you decide to add another child to your family.
We had some definite ideas before we even had the beautiful boy
as to what size age gap we might like
and how we'd like thing to pan out for our little family,
in an ideal world anyway.


But I have to admit that the reality of it
is slightly different than those dreamy plans you make when you are just a family of two.
I feel like our decision to have a baby the first time around was quite a romantic decision.
We were in love,
we were married,
we had our own home,
we had two kittens that we treated like our babies.
We knew that we wanted to be youngish parents,
so why wait?
It was lovely and idyllic and perfect,
and adding a baby to that would make it even more so.

I think the decision to add number two is a lot less romantic.
For a start you have an additional person to think about,
and it wasn't just a decision between my husband and I
about what best suited us.
It also was a decision that was being made on behalf of our son.
Getting a sibling is a life changing event
and all of a sudden the parental guilt kicks in.
That little person has been the centre of your universe
and they will suddenly have to share that spot with another person.

And then there is the issue of 'the age gap'.
I don't believe there is a perfect age gap,
I really think its different from one family to the next
and it also completely depends on the children as to whether it's right or not.
But most people do have some preconceived ideas about the age gaps they might like to have.
We had always wanted a smaller age gap
of around eighteen months,
but had said we would see when Dollop came along
as to how we would cope with one
before deciding to have two.
Well, the beautiful boy is a little dream.
He is genuinely the most chilled out and contented child I've ever met.
And in all honesty I couldn't tell you the last time he cried.
He loves his own company and will play happily for hours with his toys
and I really think he'll take having a younger sibling in his stride.
Well as much as we could hope anyway.

The other thing with second babies
is that you are more aware of what you are letting yourself in for,
and so your approach is slightly different.
I had a friend put off trying because she had a cruise booked and knew that her morning sickness plus the boat would absolutely ruin her holiday if she was any earlier than 14 weeks.
Two friends are currently putting off trying for babies as they don't want number two to have a birthday too close to Christmas or to their existing child's birthday.

There is a definitely element of making the second time fit more with what suits you as a family.
It's not that it's any less exciting,
but I think you are just a little more prepared for the upheaval
and you adapt your plans accordingly.

I know that not everyone gets the luxury of such forward planning for whatever reason,
and I feel very lucky that things seem to have worked out for us really well so far.
But I kind of feel like both times we didn't have to 'make a decision' as such,
it just felt like the right thing at the right time.
I was broody for another almost instantly after our son was born,
but we just knew it wasn't quite the right time.
And then suddenly it was,
I'm not sure what changed but it was something we both just knew in our guts.
Fortunately for us Mother Nature agreed
and we couldn't be more over the moon about it.

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your impending 'dollop'! How old will your 'beautiful boy' be when he/she arrives? We have an 18 month gap between 1st and 2nd, I don't think there is a right time. We didn't plan no 2 to be quite so close and I have to say that I cried for 2 days when finding out, as I felt at 9 months I already had 1 baby and just wasn't ready for another one. Obviously 9 months later she was 18 months old and then it was a world of toddlers and babies!

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    1. Hehe. Our beautiful boy will be 19 ish months when Splodge arrives. I know what you mean about it being scary when you find out. It was weird to think we were expecting another baby and our first one wasn't even one yet, but I just kept remembering that they take 9 months to cook! And the older and more independent he gets the more glad I am that we didn't wait too long, I think I could get quite used to being not needed so much and it would make the adjustment harder. X

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  2. Congrats on your news :) My little monster is nearly 11 weeks old and right now I can't imagine wanting a nbr 2. I feel weird even saying that because all the new mums around me are already planning their second. Also I'm not sure we can afford a second because of childcare costs. Hope your pregnancy is a breezeeeee :)

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    1. Every family is so different, aren't they? One of the first things I said as our son was born, was that I wanted more. That feeling was so wonderful and I couldn't imagine not doing it all over again. But I wouldn't have gone for it at 11 weeks!!! x

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  3. Congratulations! We have a year between our little ones and it's been quite hard work. We didn't bank on having Squish quite so soon but he is an absolute dream! I found the first few months were quite an adjustment but now we have a sort of routine its a bit more organised. Take care lovely x

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    1. I'm expecting a few week/months of adjustment to being a mummy of two. Fortunately the little guy is really chilled out and independent, and I'm hoping the fact he has a really good routine will make it a bit easier. Just can't wait to see them together. x

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  4. I said this to Mr E just last night, number one is very romantic, as is the whole process. Number Two is more out of practicality I presume, we are already thinking about age gaps, and birthdays and things. And I presume you just don't have enough time to sit and chat and dream about it as much. It doesn't make it any less special though I am sure. And in regards to your age gap, it's perfect for you and thats all that matters. x

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    1. Yep, it's funny how dreamy and idealistic we were about it the first time. This time was more about careful planning and making things a good fit for our lives and our family. Not that it's any less special, it's just that there are more people it will effect. x

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  5. I had never thought of it this way but I couldn't agree more. I never had the romantic planning for Leo, which is something that I wish I did have. I am not married and I do not yet own my own home. I am hoping that number 2 will be planned and will come when we do own our own house. I just need to get other half on side :-)

    Age gaps are very tricky and like you said it varies from one family to the next. For me I would like Leo to be around 5 and then have another baby.

    xx

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    1. I guess you'll find it completely different with number two then, with getting the chance to plan and prepare a bit more. It's definitely more of a negotiation when you plan number two.
      I think different age gaps work with different children and different families. We would like a third too (we think!) but we don't think we want a small gap again and that we'd wait until the older two are at nursery/school. x

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  6. Massive congratulations, like you say there is no perfect age gap. This way your little ones will be great play mates together. Mich x

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    1. Awwww, thank-you. I just cannot wait to see them together. And I love the fact that they won't remember a time without the other. x

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I absolutely love reading all your comments, so thanks for taking the time to leave them.

xx