One and Done (But Probably Not)

On days like this, I wonder, do I really want to have more children?

We’re not in any hurry to have another baby, but I never imagined I’d be the mom of an only child. I remember, when R was still a newborn, I thought I wanted another one immediately. I’ve always heard that it’s best to give your body at least a year to recover from having a baby, and once R turned a year old, I thought I’d want to convince my boyfriend at the time (now, my fiance) that we needed to have another child right away. I wanted my kids close in age. I wanted to give my daughter the thing I always wanted growing up: a sibling that she could be close to as she got older.

Then we hit the year mark, and I realized I didn’t want another baby after all. Not yet anyway. I mean, I did, but not anytime in the near future. I thought we’d revisit the topic again later this year, around our wedding date, but we’re just over three months out from that and really, I can’t imagine having another baby anytime soon. The thought is a little bit terrifying, if I’m being completely honest.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy being a mom, because I do. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had, but it’s also the most rewarding. I love my daughter more than anything in the world, but the thought of going through that first year again kind of makes me want to cry. Having a newborn is so hard.

Having a toddler is no walk in the park, either. My sleep schedule is all screwed up because after putting R to bed, instead of going to bed myself and attempting to get a nice, long rest, I get back up to have some time to myself or spend time with my fiance. Inevitably, I end up being awake far too late, which was the case last night, and as luck would have it, my daughter likes to wake me up early on those mornings when I haven’t gone to bed early. She also isn’t sleeping through the night yet. I feel like a zombie most days, I’m lucky if I’m able to get through the day without falling asleep – which, lately, isn’t often. The lack of sleep is the worst part about this whole parenting thing, really. I’m just so tired.

Doing this all this over again? I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for that. The sleepless nights, the breastfeeding struggles, the colic, the tantrums, the complete meltdowns, the battles over everything – would I do it a second time? Well, I could, and I probably will one day, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for that day to come. I suppose it’ll likely happen once I forget how exhausting these first couple years actually are.

And maybe after I’ve caught up on several months’ worth of sleep.

I don’t know how parents of more than one child do it. You all deserve awards for everything you do.

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