Something weird happened last weekend. Somewhere in the midst of making lasagna, icing birthday cakes, going to the Toronto Santa Claus Parade and hosting friends and family to celebrate Sophie’s first year, people decided that it was their business to ask when we plan to have a second child. At first I thought it was just a fluke that I was asked about Baby #2 twice on Monday, but then as the week progressed, it happened three more times. Last I checked I wasn’t wearing a sign that said “Room for Rent.”
I do hope that we’ll be blessed with more kids, but I just can’t figure out what about Soph turning one has prompted the (rather nosy) queries. (Maybe I look well-rested, so others assume my child is letting me sleep again; I’ll take that as a compliment in light of the fact that she was up at 2:30 a.m. every night this week.) Something about having a toddler in tow, rather than an infant, must elicit the bump-watching.
The more I think about it, though, the more I wonder if the questions about more children aren’t incredibly inappropriate. Lots of people only want to have one (or, perhaps, they’ve realized that their income can only support one, which in itself is a difficult decision to make), and for those experiencing secondary infertility, the question is heartbreaking. For Blaine and I, we have many reasons for the timeline we have in mind (which I won’t be sharing, because frankly I believe it’s private). We want some time to enjoy Soph on her own, first, and second, we’re both very career-oriented and want to give our jobs a little more attention than we’ve been able to in the past year. This isn’t a complaint, by any stretch — I wouldn’t trade one minute with our girl — but we have both taken significant leaves of absence and we want to be fully engaged again before we consider diving back in to the early days of parenthood.
Of course we could make plans and it might not work out the way we hope — I’ve heard many stories about families who have one child relatively easily and then struggle to conceive the second — but we don’t feel right letting the fear make our decision for us. We need to be ready, and that’s all there is to it. But, how do I tell people that when I really don’t want to? I’ve been saying “Not yet” and following it up with an awkward laugh, when I really want to say “My womb is not up for discussion.” Actually, maybe that’s the answer exactly. It could save someone else having to answer the question at all.