It’s a question most first time or, one time mothers will get. As soon as your first born starts to talk people begin asking when you’ll push out another one. To be honest, the question doesn’t really bother me. I’m not a stickler for privacy, especially since I myself haven’t fully grasped the concept of boundaries (love me or hate me I don’t always mind my business ;)). What gets to me is how easy everyone thinks it is, including the husband.Somehow he’s managed to forget that the initial words uttered from his mouth on the first night of being jolted awake for the umpteenth time by a crying infant were “we’re not going to make it”. That he was permitted refuge in our guest bedroom while I managed the midnight feedings as long as my adrenaline pumped body would allow. That we have holes plastered on our walls from his fist punching through them because our toddler incessantly refused to succumb to much needed slumbers. Add to this that I am, while currently unemployed due to personal aspirations and a refusal to sit a desk for eight hours of day, a working mom so the notion that having a second child is easy can be particularly frustrating
Depending on the industry you’re in and the career you’ve chosen or would like to choose, having a baby can really put a stint in your job growth. As soon as that stick turns blue your career is stalled for the next two years no matter what. Forget trying to make that much needed move and applying for jobs that seem to be the perfect fit, we all know that taking a new position then announcing you’re going on mat leave three months later is an unspoken taboo. Then there’s the dreaded return to work following, what some call, your 12 month vacation. I found myself in an office that had switched demographics in the short period I was away. All of a sudden my colleagues were Instagram sensations supporting overgrown beards, convincing me to join Snapchat and throwing around words like “perf” and “inspo”(note to self: increase Instagram followers from 62 to 10k). Whatever the case, it’s not always as simple as “sure hun, go on, stick a bun in the oven!”
That said, I can likely handle the career plunge and have given hubby some pointers on upping his game. The real issue I’m having is with the complete and utter loss of freedom. You don’t always wind up with a “good baby” who naps through brunch with your friends, who lets you carry her around in a sling while mindlessly sucking on her thumb, who stares into space as you take in some sun and sip on a cocktail. Not every child can stay overnight with the grandparents without waking up in panic and now that we’ve finally reached this point, a point where we can spend some time alone as a couple or with friends remembering who we once were, it’s seems foolish, almost idiotic, to throw it all away. I mean, the other night when baby girl asked to stay over at nani and nanu’s house, I threw her blankie at my mother, kissed them goodbye and road off into the sunset with a smile on my face.
Yes, there are those noble women who find true bliss in their role as mother, who enjoy nothing more than spending time with the family, who could never imagine taking a weekend away from their kids but, sadly, I don’t belong to this respectable breed. I need my freedom and rely on it to keep me sane.
I do, however, see the value in growing a family even if mine is a little crazy. Nothing beats being surrounded by people who love and appreciate each other wholeheartedly and the fact is, kids need company. Last week after breaking the news to my daughter that her friends were not coming over for dinner, I found her on the couch by herself looking like this:
That was the moment I heard the amalgamation of lectures I’ve received throughout the last couple of months stating “There’s never a perfect moment, you should just do it. Things have a way of working themselves out.” Unfortunately, a louder more prominent voice was saying, “Put on Frozen and make yourself a drink, she’ll be fine.”
Interesting. In the end, even freedom comes with responsibility.