My mom group is amazing, I’m lucky to share my parenthood journey with these inspiring women. Leia has friends, I have friends, it’s a beautiful thing. Our kids are all turning two this summer, give or take a few months. Two years seems to be the magical sibling spacing as almost everyone has had (or is having soon) baby number two – or two and three for one mom who had twins! A few families are waiting a while (to finish school, financial stability, etc.) before having another. I think I’m the only mom in our group that hasn’t even considered another child. My first reaction to realizing this was “well it’s because I’m single.” If I was married and we could afford it of course I’d be having another, right? I’m not sure. For the record I think it’s ideal for children to have two parents, but I have to pat myself on the back for doing a kick ass job as a single parent. Leia is loved by both parents and I know that’s what matters. So what if I won the lottery and could afford to have another child through a sperm donor or adoption? (Full disclosure: with this windfall of cash I would hire a part-time nanny, or at least a cleaning lady) I would probably give it more thought, but I’m not convinced it would automatically feel like the right thing to do.
It’s not that I don’t want Leia to have a sibling (she does have one! I’ll get to that…). Siblings are a wonderful thing – friends within family, people to share childhood experiences with, people to share memories of what our family was like when I am gone. I want Leia to have all that, I just don’t think I want to be a parent to another child. Seeing newborns doesn’t make my uterus tingle or make me feel warm and squishy. Am I happy for the family? Of course. Do I wish it was me? Heck no. I don’t see pregnant women and get nostalgic. As Leia gets older, I’m happy to give away most of her baby things. I love this stage so much more than the newborn one.
I got really lucky, Leia was an easy baby – thanks mostly to the convenience of breastfeeding and babywearing. She’s an easy going (as long as she’s close to me), loving, happy toddler. I look at her and see a perfect little human and think “crap the second child would probably be a nightmare to balance the scales.” Plus, I love being able to give Leia so much one on one time, so much attention. It makes me sad to think of her having to share my love with another child. I’m fully aware the goal of raising a healthy, happy child is to help them grow into independence. I want Leia to go off on her own someday filled with confidence, compassion, curiosity, to grow up and have her own life and family. One of my favorite quotes about parenthood says something about being a mom requiring strong arms to hold our children up in the early years, and stronger still when we let them go.
Moms of 2+ are probably rolling their eyes right now. I believe them when they tell me your heart grows to fit two, watching your kids love each other is magical, giving your child a sibling is a gift, and children need siblings when parents grow old and die. I just can’t wrap my head or my heart around wanting more than Leia.
Mike is getting married in a few weeks to Leilani, who is wonderful and a great mother figure for Leia. They had a little girl, Dresden Elle, on June 15th. Viola! Leia has a sister, an ideal outcome from my perspective. Is it traditional? No, but I’m hoping that makes it special. Leia also has her cousin Johnny, who is turning one in October. I didn’t know our cousins growing up. My mom’s brother and sister didn’t have kids. My dad’s relatives are all on the east coast and keeping in touch wasn’t as easy as Facebook makes it now. I didn’t experience that cousins-that-grow-up-like-siblings phenomenon, but I hope Leia and Johnny do. I’m pretty sure Mike and Leilani and Racheal and John will go on to have more kids, so Leia will have lots of family her age as she gets older. Whew.
But what if I meet someone? What if they want kids? Getting married years down the road and having another child isn’t ruled out as an option, but only slightly more possible than the lottery winning scenario above. I’m not interested in dating anyone right now, it seems overwhelming and time consuming. Typically dating comes before marriage (haha) so being married in the distant future isn’t something I think about. Although should Mr. Right come along it would be ideal if he was sterile and traveled a lot for work. This way I still get a lot of the alone time that I love and need. If I don’t want more kids, there’s no pressure on my end. If I did we could always adopt.