not ready yet

I don’t know about you guys, but just in the last few weeks, my Facebook has completely blown up with pregnancy announcements.  Some for their first child, some for their second child, and even one for her 4th child.  And most of those announcing adding additional children to their crew had children not long before or after we had MacKenna.

Everyone I know is either getting married or pregnant.  I'm just getting more awesome.

[image source]

Now that MacKenna’s over a year old, we’re constantly getting asked when we’re going to pop out the next one.  Well, really, I think we’ve been getting asked since before we even had MacKenna.  With all those pregnancy announcements, we definitely felt that we needed to at least talk about when we would want another child.  To put it simply, we’re just not ready yet.

Everyone who asks, I say the same thing…

How could I possible love another child as much as I love her?

I would absolutely LOVE to be pregnant again.  It was seriously one of the best times of my life and changed the way I viewed my body and how I viewed food.  It’s not the pregnancy part that scares me, it’s what comes after the pregnancy that scares me.

MacKenna has been an easy baby.  Except for her 6th nerve palsy, she’s very rarely sick, she’s an extremely happy baby, she’s smart, funny, and a bit mischievous.  She’s been a blast to play with and I love every second we spend together and miss her every second we’re apart.  She’s made me a better person and I can’t imagine my life without her.

Easter-MacKenna and mama trampoline 3

But, having a newborn was hard.  Like really hard.  Harder than anything I’ve ever done in my life (including my first year of teaching).  It was certainly an adjustment.  So, what would happen if we throw another baby into the mix?  What would happen to that time I get to spend with MacKenna?  How will she feel?  I already deal with a ton of Mommy Guilt from being so busy.  How could I possibly be able to handle working, coaching, and caring for 2 children?  It’s just totally overwhelming to me.

I guess that’s my sign that I’m just not ready yet.  I’m not ready to face those challenges because I’m scared.  I’m scared of the changes that would occur.  I’m afraid of having less time:  less time for MacKenna, less time for Matt, less time for work, and less time for me.  It really goes back to that decision of having your first child.  Taking time to be unselfish, to raise and care for an infant, and to give your whole heart to someone else.  I’m not ready to give up more of that yet.

We know that we want another child (maybe more?) sometime, but we won’t be making a pregnancy announcement anytime soon.  We do know that we don’t want them to be too far apart in age, so hopefully it also won’t be years from now.  I mean, really, we’d just be doing everyone a favor by making more adorably cute babies…

MacKenna-ouside fence-18 months

Do you have more than one child?  How did/do you balance having more than one child and other commitments?

  • Giving birth was the MOST amazing thing that I’ve ever experienced! As soon as my 1st came out, I couldn’t WAIT to do it again. Haha. Well, physically I could, but I was ready to keep going right away. My son decided he liked sleep around 3 months. We stopped “preventing” after 6 months. I didn’t get pregnant until he was 1. I was VERY ready, still a little nervous how I was going to juggle two kids but I felt pretty good about the decision.
    This time was a different story. I have a VERY hard time adjusting to 2 kids. I felt VERY overwhelmed for a long, long time. Avery was an easy baby, so I think it was mostly just mentally getting used to having more people depending on me. I can’t please everyone. I can’t keep the house spotless all the time. I can’t run to Target every time I want to. It just doesn’t work that way. Once I mentally let go things got a lot easier. The first 9 months was HARD though. Around the time Avery turned 9 months, my cycles returned. We know that we want a bigger sized family so we decided to start trying for #3. I wouldn’t say I was 100% ready this time. I was a very nervous at first. Now, Garrett is 3, Avery is 1 1/2 and baby boy will be here in July and I can’t wait! I can’t wait to see him and hold him. Garrett is SO excited! Avery doesn’t seem interested but I know she’ll be great also. I’m really not worried at all about having 3. I know we’ll have hard days (weeks) but I know we’ll be fine and make it through.

    Sorry, I rambled so long. I’m sure that probably doesn’t make you feel a lot better about #2. They are so cute together now. They play together and love each other. Sometimes Avery will babble “angry sounds” at Garrett. It’s so funny. Hang in there, mama! You’ll know when the time is right, and even if it doesn’t feel 100% right it all works out great in the end!
    Verna recently posted..Saturday

    • Kristen

      Yeah, Kenna wouldn’t know what is going on either, that’s for sure. You do great with 2. I know you’ll do great with 3.

  • Jenn

    I agree, you kindve just know when you are ready. My first two are 17mths apart and while it’s not always easy and sometimes overwhelming, seeing them play together makes it all worthwhile everytime. They make each other laugh in ways I have never been able too. I’m waiting for number three now, and they will be 19mths apart. While I am.terrified at times, I know we will figure it out.

    • Kristen

      I’m sure with that article coming out in the last week about how 3 is the hardest doesn’t help! But yes, seeing them play together will be awesome!

  • You will really know when you are ready — but at the same time you KNOW there is no perfect timing!

    My first two are 2 years, 9 months apart. I didn’t expect to get pregnant so quickly the 2nd time (it took me 2 years with my first!) – so it was a little sooner than I really wanted. The pregnancy/newborn parts were easy — it was the 2.5 year old that was hard! It works out nicely now. They play together and my son reads to my daughter, which is possibly the sweetest thing ever. They get along much better than my middle brother (who is 19 months younger than me) ever did. We decided to have a 3rd last year and again, got pregnant, surprisingly, right away. We had to wait this time to try though (due to 800 family weddings and planned travel) and I’m actually a little nervous that the gap is going to be TOO much (7 and 4 years). I guess we will find out!

    As for loving someone as much… I had the same fears, but I assure you there is always room to love!! And seeing how much THEY love each other?? It’s so worth it!
    Michelle recently posted..Baby Update #10: 40 Weeks – Happy Due Date!

    • Kristen

      Oh that’s awesome Michelle! How sweet that they love each other so much!

  • Meghan

    My son is 14 months old and we aren’t ready either. I am in a change of career to teaching, working as a PE assistant and (hopefully) movin into a classroom as a first year primary school teacher in the fall. We plan to wait until I am in a second year to even think about getting pregnant gain. Until then I will cherish time with my little guy and racing my heart out! I hate how people make it their business, my answer I usually he may be an only child, do you know how expensive daycare is!

    • Kristen

      I totally understand. The first year of teaching is hard. I definitely wanted to make it through my first year before thinking about having another child. And I love your response!

  • Erika

    My husband was ready for #2 right away – I was no where near ready. Once our son was 18 months I felt like I could handle it if it were to happen. Our son is now 21 months and we are trying a little harder to make it happen now. I don’t know if you’re ever really ready but I guess we’ll just deal with it when/if it happens.

    • Kristen

      Yeah, Matt is definitely ready for #2. He is 4 years older and has young parents so he wanted to be a young-er dad. I know he is ready for #2 whenever I am, so I’m thankful he’s willing to wait a little bit longer.

  • My oldest was about 3.5 when we decided we were ready to increase our family. I questioned how I could possibly love another one as much, and how I could fit another little person’s needs into an already bursting schedule. And you just *do*, and your heart grows another three sizes or something (just like the Grinch) to accommodate all that love. And I’ll tell you that you’ll quickly hit that point where you cannot imagine not having them in your life – just as you have with MacKenna. My second pregnancy was with twins, and I remember sitting in the hospital bed with them and reading your blog. They’re just slightly older than Mac.
    Megan recently posted..April 30th-May 6th

    • Kristen

      My fear is having twins! They just so happen to run in my family. I keep saying that if the second pregnancy is not with twins, we’re not trying for a 3rd! I don’t want more than 3 kids! 4 is too many for me!

  • Lee

    I think when you are ready, you’ll know. Until maybe like 3-4 years ago, I wasn’t sure if I wanted kids at all and then suddenly, I did.
    Lee recently posted..Late For Dinner

    • Kristen

      I wasn’t exactly ready for MacKenna, but Matt definitely was. I really debated whether or not I wanted kids out of pure selfishness, but I’m really happy we decided to do it, obviously! Hope your dreams come true too!

  • Brenda

    Our son is an October 2011 baby, and we’re hoping to welcome a second next spring. It was a decision I thought about for a long time. I don’t know if I have a job next year, so I thought maybe I’d wait until that was locked down. Then I thought I wanted to have a full year working at my new job before having another baby. Ultimately, I decided we should just go for it. Daycare is expensive, nursing takes effort, our house is small; there will never be a perfect time. I’m just going with my heart.

    • Kristen

      So very true. I guess we will just know when it’s time…

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  • Jen

    Its like you went into my brain and typed my thoughts exactly. I feel the exact same way. The blue text you wrote is word for word what I think daily. Thanks for writing. And yes, you would be doing the world a disservice by not making more adorable babies! But not until you are ready!
    Jen recently posted..Happy New Year!!

    • Kristen

      :) I’m glad someone feels the same way. It’ll happen eventually!

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