Handling the pressure to have another baby
- February 9, 2012 at 11:01 am #22673
I’m the mother of an almost-two-year old and I’ve recently started getting questioned by family and friends about when I’m going to have another baby. I know they mean well, but the frequency in which the question is now coming up is a bit ridiculous. I feel like I still have my hands full with just the one! A second baby isn’t yet on my radar.
Is there a way to tactfully handle these questions? I know they aren’t trying to be rude…but the it’s getting to be a little much.February 9, 2012 at 11:23 am #22675
I feel like I know EXACTLY how you feel! :smileyfrustrated: It seems like the day after my daughter turned one (last April), everyone started asking when we were planning on another baby!! I think to myself that I am literally going crazy some days just dealing with balancing everything it takes to have a job, a baby, and keep a normal household together with only ONE child, let alone even the IDEA of another child right now!
She will be two this April, and like you said, anyone and everyone (even my co-workers!) are asking when we are going to "start trying for #2." At first, I would just laugh it off. But then I started worrying that maybe people would think that my avoidance of their question meant we were actually trying now, which is most definitely NOT the case! So, whether or not this is tactful, I politely say, "Well, right now one child is just about all I can handle. But if you are willing to pay for and take care of and worry (ALL the time) about another child for me, I might re-consider!" That usually gets the subject changed pretty quickly, especially with family!
In the meantime, sometimes I have worried if we are doing the right or wrong thing by desiring so much space between our children. There’s the one side of me that thinks having them so close together would be perfect because they would hopefully form a really close bond and stay close, and there’s the other side that thinks that spacing them out is better in the long run because I will financially and emotionally be able to devote more time and energy to each individually. I guess when it comes down to the decision, there is really no right or wrong answer. I have friends and family in both situations (some with children as close together as a little over a year, and some with children as far apart as 5-6 years) and it seems to work for everyone. I grew up as an only child, so I am most definitely no expert in the matter of siblings. But, my husband (who has two sisters that are close in age to eachother but 8 and 10 years older than him) re-assured me that at least "our" way will be best for us by telling me this: "We hear people all the time say that their kids grow up so fast and to savor every moment, and those same people are ALWAYS rushing from this to that and never able to slow down because all their kids are so little and close together in age. But, I think our decision to wait will give us more time to enjoy our daughter now, and because it (hopefully) won’t be as hectic when we DO have another baby further down the road, we will be able to enjoy BOTH of them and savor every moment a little more." :heart:
All that being said, I do realize that *surprises* do happen that are sometimes out of our control. So sometimes you don’t get to choose how long to wait until baby number 2! Hopefully, that won’t be the case for us (or you!) though.February 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm #22676
We never tell our friends with multiple children "When are you going to STOP having kids?" so I don’t know why it’s socially acceptable to badger people with one child (or very young children) over when they’re going to have another! Drives me crazy, too. I always employed the technique of laughing it off with a bit of a joke as was suggested in the last comment. Let them know you’ll have another baby as soon as they want to become a free on-call babysitter for your other child!
I know they mean well, but I hear you on it being frustrating! Don’t let outside forces like that make you feel pressured to do anything you’re not yet ready to do – it’s a personal decision and every family needs to do what is right for them.March 5, 2012 at 8:02 am #22677
Thank you for your thoughts, friends! It’s nice to know I’m not alone in feeling frustrated about this. For now, my small family with one child is keeping my PLENTY busy. Who knows what the next few years will bring… But for now I am content. :smileyhappy:
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