i want your flowers like babies want god's love, or maybe as sure as tomorrow will come

When you're dating for a while, the question is always "when's the wedding?" When you've been married for, oh, a week, the question seems to morph into "when will you plan on children?" When your first child is born, you become immune to the interrogation from family, friends, strangers, all wanting to know when the second is set to arrive.


It's been my not-quite-honest (or is it?) staple response since Ethan's birth. It seems to catch a lot of people off guard since I am the girl who intensely plans every moment of my life -- I mean, want to hear about my ten year vow renewal ceremony or Ethan's fifth birthday party? Sure, I'll be happy to let you in on what I've planned so far. But ask me when you can expect my second child to arrive and all of the sudden my brain is a blank slate. Admitting I don't know, well, to me is pretty scary. So I go with a stern "never" and hope it scares the asker away, at least until I'm able to process the issue further, something I haven't allowed myself to completely do.

The truth is, I would love for Ethan to have a closer in age sibling. My only sister was born when I was almost eleven. Our once unbreakable camaraderie has been stunted by the fact that I'm a twenty-seven year old mother and she's a sixteen year old girl. I've begun to miss her, miss that comfort that only a sibling can bring. I've always been envious of large families, of people with multiple siblings who may have their share of teenage feuds but grow up to be friends, to have children together and go through life together. I've sworn up and down I would give that life to Ethan but then, really, something inside of me is stuck. Or broken. That little whirlwind that goes off in other people's minds when they hold a squishy newborn in their arms, the little cyclone of thought that goes "you want one of these, you do!" I don't have that. I revel in the newborn cuteness, the new baby smell and my heart feels no longing. It makes me sad, makes me scared that this lingers atop the future baby names I've excitedly thought up, the nursery plans I've sketched and bookmarked.

I've been letting my list of negatives and fears take over. I've let them rule my heart. I've been overcome with sheer guilt of the thought that another baby means Ethan would lose his tot school room despite the rational part of my mind ensuring me that the home office we've never once used ever? Yeah, that would be a pretty sweet tot school set up, too. I've realized that there are always unexpected expenses that pop up where you aren't planning for, ones that explode out of the blue, like formula or those medical bills. Oh, those medical bills. And then I think, well, imagine what other unexpected expenses could be lurking in the deep. Or the fact my husband and I have only had one post-baby date night. Or the fact that my husband's job in general leaves little time for a traditional family home life yet is our only source of income, so there's that. And then there's the looming fear of bedrest, of not being able to chase Ethan up and down the halls, of having to worry what do I do with Ethan when I can't leave the bed? and let my imagined fear of his hurt feelings and confusion on the matter eat away at my insides. Everyone is quick to add that every pregnancy is different and they're right. My next pregnancy could be smooth sailing. But it also couldn't be.

Or there's the fact that another baby means this house would be filled, that it'd be time to think about moving somewhere bigger. Then there's the kicker that having a baby means more expense, which means the new house goal is pushed farther away. And then there are all of the things that I want to do, you know, for me. Like the other tattoo I want, or the fact that I'd like to have our house put together since we've lived here for nearly five years at this point. Who doesn't have their house even basically decorated after having moved in five years ago? And what kind of flake does that make me, talking about a new house and a new baby when I can't even tackle this one?

But then there's the guilt that I want Ethan to have that bond. There's the way my heart, under a whole lot of dust and clutter, goes pitter-patter at the thought of Ethan holding his new sibling for the first time. Then enter that kind of guilt, the "you'll have to live most of your life as an only child because your mom didn't want to be stuck in maternity pants for a year and a half again" guilt. The kind of guilt that is quicker to dissipate when I point out to myself that I was an only child for nearly eleven years and did just fine. But I know that's not what I want for Ethan and then the other guilt shoves it's way in.

See? Way easier to grumble out a never and leave it at that.

So maybe never is a little bit of a stretch and I can alter it to a less harsh just not right now. And maybe that's a little scary, maybe there's a lot of unknown to contend with. But that's okay, because I know I can handle it. Like my husband is quick to remind me, we always do.


  1. Going through the same thinking right now. Always thought that I wanted my kids close in age. A lot of my friends are pregnant with num 2 right now. Makes me want a second too but then I think I just got my body back from breadtfeeding. Plus I'm scared that I won't be able to give A as much attention. Or I won't be able to do special things with a new baby. Ps. I totally have totally thought abt our vow renewal too!!

    1. Yes, exactly this. I think all of our friends who have ever planned on having another are currently pregnant, or planning on it in the near future and I'm all in the corner wondering what's wrong with that, at least not right now.

      Also, yes! I left out what you mentioned about doing special things with a new baby, like how I do with Ethan. So much guilt involved in these things, huh? Sigh!

      Hooray! Let's plan our vow renewals together...they'll have to be spectacular after so much planning, no?! Haha!

  2. First and foremost... I love the Iron & Wine reference!

    Second, I thought this was a beautifully honest post. I for one can't wait to have another child, but I can totally see where you are coming from. There are times when I too struggle with pangs of guilt when imagining our next baby! I will bet that if you do decide to in the future... Ethan will be an AMAZING, proud big brother!

    1. Thanks for noticing -- Iron & Wine tops my FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE list, which is a very exclusive list to be on, hahaha. ;)

      Thank you for your kind words! I always get nervous about sharing the not-so-pretty bits of my heart, but they're there, and real, so I ought to get better about that. I admire those who cannot wait to have more children, who give their children that gift of a sibling so selflessly. I truly do, and I wish I was one of them. It's such a strange thing, this motherhood!

  3. This is such a great post, and there are so many things I can relate to here. I, too, am quite a bit older than my siblings (five years older than my brother and eight years older than my sister), and I always said I wanted my kids to be closer than that. I'm not sure if that's going to happen any more. And, the uncertainty about finances and whether or not the pregnancy will go okay are lingering thoughts for me, as well.

    Also, that last photo of Ethan is so adorable. You're such an outstanding mom.

  4. Motherhood is FULL of guilt...one child, two children or five children...I'm convinced it's just something that will never go away and quite frankly, something I've been learning to hand over to God the past 4 years I've been a mother...otherwise the end of the day would set in and it'd eat away at me to the point of tears over something I may have yelled about/done or not paid attention to. I will always struggle with the mommy guilt.

    I will also say, going from 1 to 2 kids, those are rational fears. I feared all of these things with Willow on the horizon. "We need a bigger house, hey, let's move in the dead heat of Florida summer when I am 7 months pregnant. THAT sounds like a good idea!" hahaha...and we did! So stressful, but we did it. Other fears....fears of not having as much time, more kids mean less space, "number 2 won't get as much attention" All of these things will enter your mind...but I can tell you from experience....none of them matter the moment you watch your family become 4. The space issue suddenly is no longer of utmost importance. You will find you don't need a room for every kid in your house to do it :) I'm on number 3...with a 3 bedroom house...Willow & Livi are sharing a room now and watching their bond get stronger the past two months because of it I wondered how I waited so long to put them in together! Baby 2 just naturally finds a way of demanding that attention from you, and when there are moments they simply can't get it from you, rest assured, they will get it from their big brother/sister and it means just as much and builds such a special relationship.

    I don't know. SO MANY THINGS you could dwell on and stress over and worry and think about, things that with time, you simply learn to let go of. Some people really aren't cut out for more than one kid and that's okay. I would say though, if the above are your reasonings..."So maybe never is a little bit of a stretch and I can alter it to a less harsh just not right now." <---I would stick with that. I think you'd make an awesome mom of two...because you are an amazing mom of one.

  5. What amazing pictures! Love that one of him smiling and looking off to the side. And I love that you're so open and honest about your feelings about such a deep subject. I admire you for planning, but not putting off the possibility that those plans might change.


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