Parenting

I'm dedicating this year to my daughter

Katie is tired of people asking, "What's next?"

Credit: Jug Jones

A funny thing happens after you have a baby. OK, a million funny things happen after you have a baby, but I’m talking about this weird shift that occurs almost immediately after you pop that kid out. It can even happen as soon as you leave the hospital. Someone will stop you to tell you how gorgeous your newborn is, you’ll thank them like a proud new mama, and then they will say “Wait ’til you have 2!” (This happened to me, and I think my uterus actually shuddered.)

Then, you’ll get the new babe home to his or her cozy new room, where the stuff you “need” inevitably multiplies like it’s breeding in there, and visitors will start to ask, “So when are you going to look for a bigger place?”

It’s always about The Next Big Thing, hereby known as TNBT.

The hilarious part is that I used to be all about TNBT, too. I have always been on the lookout for the next big adventure, whether it was travelling abroad, a new job, a promotion or a new apartment. And as a result, I’ve had a jam-packed six years. In 2005, I graduated from university and went on a tear looking for my first job (which was not in publishing — I ran a youth centre) while going to school and interning. In 2006, I got hired at Chatelaine and moved to Toronto. 2007 was relatively slow, unless you consider the fact that I’ve never worked so hard in my life. In 2008, Blaine popped the question and the wedding planning began. We got married on New Year’s Eve in 2009. In 2010, we went on our honeymoon and both switched jobs. In 2011, we had Soph. See what I mean? I’m usually looking ahead to TNBT, too. So, I guess I’m surprised that I get antsy when people start asking about a new house and the next baby.

I did find myself playing into TNBT trap in the past four weeks. I very casually started looking at MLS listings and mortgage calculators. Blaine and I have talked at length about what and where we’d like to buy. We have a savings plan in place, and we have our eye on the prize. But somewhere in there, when I looked around our cute (and actually very spacious) apartment in north Toronto, I started to think “Why are we rushing this?” Sophie is perfectly fine in her little room and will be for some time. The location is great, the building is clean and has lots of character. We’ve worked hard to make this place our first home together. Yes, we would like to buy sometime not too far off, but does 2012 have to be the Year of the House? No. It has to be the Year of the Soph. We need to spend this year getting to know our daughter, becoming our family, enjoying her first months. A house can wait. And as for Baby #2? Maybe we can talk about that when we have the space for a brother or sister for Sophie.

Oddly, upon making this decision, I felt like TNBT easily surrendered. Maybe it’s tired, too. If we had a bath tub, I’m sure I’d find it in there drinking wine and reading all of the books it didn’t have time to read in the past decade. And that’s OK. I’d much rather take our time, know what we really want and come to it with new eyes and excited hearts because it really is time for a new adventure.

Photo by Jug Jones via Flickr