Before I had my first child, I casually assumed I’d have two or three kids fairly close together because, well, why not? That plan seemed logical and "normal" enough, and didn’t require too much explanation. I mean, the main questions posed are when to have a second child (I wish there was a magic answer), how much do we care about the possibility of having more than one kid in college at the same time (not very much), and what if they’re all the same gender (eh, don’t care)? However, now that my son is almost two and (spoiler alert!) I’m not currently pregnant, a few things are clear. Among them are the fact that I’m enjoying all the brie and blue cheese and smoked salmon I can, and looking forward to riding roller coasters this spring, but also the fact that I feel ever-so-slightly more knowledgeable about what it takes to raise a kid now that I’m in the midst of it. Like, I call the doctor’s office way less now than I did in my son’s first couple months at home, and I remember to respond when someone refers to me as “Mama.”
So, perhaps it’s obvious then that with my new parenting skillz, I’m also revisiting the ideas I previously had about family size. The good news? Now my friends are having their second babies (and third, and in some cases, fourth babies). This is important because, in addition to the human life they’re bringing into this world and into their families, I can also ask them some questions! For example:
OK, How Tired Are You Really?
Perhaps the reason why those early weeks at home with a newborn are fuzzy is because I wasn’t sleeping enough to actually form legit memories. Even so, I'm a bit weary just thinking about the exhaustion that would surely ensue if we were to add to our family.
How Did You Know You Were Ready?
Though if their choice to expand their brood wasn’t so much a readiness thing, as it was more of a SURPRISE, YOU'RE PREGNANT thing, then they should feel free to give me a vague “I just knew” response and we’ll leave it at that. Although hearing, "One kid is exhausting and I probably never would've felt "ready" but then we got pregnant and decided to roll with it, so we're just hoping for the best like we did with the first, weeeeee!" would also be a more-than-reasonable response.
Does Pregnancy Feel Smoother Now That You’ve Been Through It?
Logically, I know that every pregnancy is different, but I can only imagine (HOPE) that it’s not quite as overwhelming the second time around because every twinge, kick, and twitch are not completely new and shocking. Right? Right? Oh, please, someone confirm that this is right.
How Did You Manage Pregnancy With A Small Child In The House?
This makes me kinda nervous, you guys. I remember spending lots of time lying around my house in various states of horizontality during my pregnancy, so I’m having a hard time picturing how my toddler will feel about that. He currently seems to think that seeing his mom lie down is simply an invitation to climb on her (which, let’s be honest, isn’t always unwelcome) but something tells me that I’d feel differently about this during that first trimester. Or, actually, all the trimesters.
Do You Really Forget How Hard It Is?
Perhaps you’ve also heard those jokes about the only reason parents have a second child (or why moms deliver a second baby) is because they conveniently forget the challenges of the first. IS THERE ANY SHRED OF TRUTH TO THIS? I MUST KNOW.
Are You Able To Manage Any Time For Yourself?
On a personal note, I live in kind of a strange alternate reality where I work from home while my toddler and my partner are out of the house for a good chunk of the day, a few days a week. This gives me the illusion of “me” time, but in reality, that’s not exactly what it is. Still, it took us many, many months to find an arrangement that worked smoothly for our family, and I assume that adding a newborn to the mix would change things up. The point is, tell me there's still room for you the take breaths of air on your own.
Does Your Kid Totally Want To Eat Whatever You’re Craving?
During my pregnancy, I was all about nacho cheese and donuts. I think my toddler would go out of his mind with glee if he was served either of these items on a regular basis.
Can I Bring Your Older Kiddo A Present? And You? And Your Partner? And The Baby? Can Everyone Just Have Presents?
Something I remember my mom doing when I was a kid was always bringing the sibling or siblings of a new baby a small gift, so they can feel special, too. I’m slightly eager to pay it forward since I can’t think of a better reason to buy some new toys.
How Did It Feel To Get Back In Your Maternity Clothes? I Have A Lot Of Feelings About That.
For some reason, when thinking about a second pregnancy, these foggy images of belly bands drift in and out of my mind. And not necessarily in a good way.
Is It Awesome? I Feel Like It Would Be Awesome.
Cheesiness alert: Now that I’ve seen how much love multiplied in our household when our little one arrived, I can only assume that it exponentially grows with the addition of another. Plus, swaddles are the cutest.
Here, I Brought You Some Coffee And Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans.
This isn’t a question so much as a humble offering in reverence of your energy and efforts.