Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Two have another

When you start seeing someone, you're soon asked 'Is it serious? Are they the one?'.

When you become serious about them, you're then asked 'When will we hear wedding bells?'.

You walk down the aisle, arm in arm, and almost before you reach the end, the questions of 'How long do you think you'll wait before you have children?' begin.

And then, if and when the pitter patter of tiny feet can be heard, you find people asking 'Do you think you'll have another?' and 'How long will you wait?'.

All these questions are said with the best of intentions. From friends, from family and even well-meaning strangers. They're commonplace queries about the different stages in life that people tend to follow (anything slightly outside of these parameters is generally avoided or can garner awkward responses and confused, raised eyebrows).

You may have a feeling about how you will respond my time, life and circumstance all come into play and sometimes, by answering these questions, you can almost become trapped by them. It's like putting it into words, out loud, to people other than your other half, becomes a verbal, binding contract. There, you said it. It's official. It's like you've made a commitment that people expect you to see through.

But what if you can't?

What if things have changed so you can't save for a baby just yet? Or perhaps you have difficulty and baby making isn't going to be so easy for you?


On Monday, a lady and her husband announced that they were expecting their second child. In fact, I'm pretty sure that several thousand people in the UK alone announced the same thing to their nearest and dearest that day. But this particular couple are well known. They live in the public eye. And due to severe morning sickness (something we are being treated to an in-depth analysis of in every paper and on every news programme), this lady and her husband have had to reveal their happy news very early on, before the press pick up on the story regardless.

It happened before, when they had their first baby boy, George. And the mother, Kate, had to endure months of speculation and scrutiny, from daily bump updates to 'expert' commentary on every decision they made and every stage they went through. And it's all going to happen again.

The attention Kate Middleton and Prince William have received already since they announced they are expecting their second child, and the attention they are going to receive over the months ahead, is quite incredible and by-and-large with good intentions. A new baby is a wonderful thing, but with a baby comes intense pressure, both perceived and real, for normal mothers, let alone one who is carrying a potential future monarch.

Prince George only recently turned one years old and much of the press so far has focused on how Kate and Wills will be parents to two under two. A handful, no doubt, but this is no ordinary couple we are talking about. However, I'm sure they would have given a lot of thought before expanding their royal brood and to each their own.

There's pros and cons to having two children close together; you can go through the bottle, nappy and sleepless night stages in quick succession and clothes, toys and baby carriers won't gather much dust in between. Perhaps your children will grow up closer, having more in common without a large age gap getting in the way of sibling fun.

Or perhaps an age gap is a good thing. You have time to devote to one child, to see them grow and help them through their early stages and years, before introducing another completely dependent child into the mix.

I can't imagine having another child now or in the near future. Ethan is everything. He is fascinating. He is dependent (although growing more confident and independent by the day). But I do know that one day, I would like to have another baby. And maybe another. Who knows?

Much as I couldn't picture what life with a baby would be like before we decided to have Ethan, I can't imagine what life would be like with a second child. I've been reading quite a few posts on this subject recently, mainly from Mummy Daddy Me and Along Came Cherry, and I find it so interesting to hear how parents the second time around have found it. How things are different with the second child, more relaxed on one hand but with perhaps less one-on-one time with number two.

As with most things parenting related, there's no real right or wrong answer. Only you can decide when is the right time for you to have a baby or to have another.

The lucky thing for most of us is that this decision can remain a private one for as long as we want it to, before the world decides what they make of it all.
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3 comments

  1. Really enjoyed reading this. I have found being a mum to two really tough, more in trying to meet each individual need. But I am so glad we have our two girls - there is nothing that makes me happier than watching them laugh together.

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    1. Thank you Karen! There's no way of knowing what it'll be like until you have a baby or have a second is there? Everyone is different. I think the attention that Kate gets is suffocating and the scrutiny that's already been placed on her is just crazy. Two under two is brave but like you say, nothing will beat seeing George with his baby brother or sister - that's a really special bond.

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  2. I have seen so much about having two under two on every site I've been on in the last few days. It's true what they say that they grow up together, my brother is 22 months younger than me and we still (in our 30's) are really great friends and help each other out. As a Mum to a nearly 3 year old, for the last year it has been the question I keep being asked again and again!

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