C & I are have recently decided that we will have a second child, and to be honest this was a tough decision for me. Before Wild Man was born, I assumed we'd have 2 children. I grew up with 2 siblings, as did C, and neither one of us could imagine having only 1 child. Once Wild Man was born, however, I was no longer so sure I wanted a second child. Our life is very full, with 2 careers (or almost 2) and a child; I wasn't sure how a second child could fit. On top of that, I had no idea how hard mothering an infant would be, and I simply couldn't imagine mothering an infant while mothering an older child. C, on the other hand, has always known he wanted 2 children. He has been the one starting the discussions about a second child, which is ironic considering I was the one who initiated almost all the discussions about having Wild Man. For a few months, it felt like we changed places. As I've watched Wild Man grow and change, I've come around to the idea of a second child. As much as I can't imagine mothering an infant and the rambunctious Wild Man, I also can't imagine never experiencing the joys of having an infant in the house again. But one nagging question remains (well, actually, quite a few remain, but this is the most nagging): when do we have a second child?
This has question has been so much on my mind that I actually tried to map out the major events in our life the other night. It looked something like this:
- Spring 2008: C on job market; C gets job offer (at least I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one).
- Summer 2008: We move.
- Fall 2008: C begins new job; Wild Man starts new school; M frantically tries to finish her dissertation; Wild Man turns 2.
- Spring 2009: M defends her dissertation.
- May 2009: M graduates.
- Fall 2009: M goes on job market, hoping to either find a job close to C's current job or to get a partner placement at C's school (assuming, of course, that we like the location of C's job); Wild Man turns 3.
- Spring 2010: M gets job offer and/or partner placement.
Ideally I'd like to get pregnant with a second child when Wild Man is 2, so that they would be about 3 years apart. My niece and nephew are 3 years apart, and they are really close. That means that I would need to be pregnant in the Spring of 2009, or thereabouts. That also means that I could either be pregnant or have a newborn when I go on the market for the first time. So the ideal spacing makes other things complicated. If we wait until I have a job, we might not have a baby until 2010 or 2011, which means there would be 5 years between Wild Man and Baby 2. I don't know which makes more sense, and what really bothers me is that I don't know which feels right. I feel like we're approaching a second child so much differently than we did Wild Man, and that also bothers me. With Wild Man, we knew we were in a good place in terms of our degrees, in a good location, and ok financially, so we let emotion make the decision. We waited until it felt right for both of us. I want to be able to let emotion make this decision, but I feel like there are too many other factors to consider. I hate uncertainty, and I hate feeling like I'm not in control of my life, which is how I feel right now.