The Fear of Two

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I grew up as one of two sisters, just under two years apart in age, and I think having a sibling close in age had a huge impact on my childhood. Having someone there to play with, to chat to, to share all those little experiences, that was a huge part of my childhood and I’m so grateful for that. Sure, there were lots of arguments, but ultimately we’re really close, both then and now.

We’re very different in so many ways – we don’t look alike, my sister is far more of a go-with-the-flow kind of person, more outgoing than me, more of a risk taker – and yet there is something about us that’s also very similar. We had our children just three weeks apart and I think that’s brought us even closer together – it’s such a huge, life changing event and to have my sister there going through it at the same time was a huge help and reassurance.

I want that relationship for Max. I want him to have a companion, someone to experience that bond with, someone to always have his back. I always imagined I would have two children – I think most people who have a sibling do; we want to replicate our own childhood, or at least the best bits of it!

But I remember when Max was born, and we commented to each other in the sleepless nights – ‘you’d have to be crazy to do this with more than one’. And those first 7 months were really hard. The hardest thing I’ve ever done, so hard that I’m not sure I can imagine doing it again with Max running around.

And that’s to say nothing of enduring pregnancy with a toddler to look after. I’ll be perfectly honest and admit that I hated pregnancy. I was sick a lot – around 12 times a day at it’s peak, and at least once a day throughout the pregnancy. I didn’t sleep well throughout the second and third trimester, so all of those helpful comments about ‘get your sleep now while you can’ went down really well, as you can imagine. I really struggle to picture myself going through that again while having to look after Max at the same time.

And even though Max has got easier as a toddler, I’m hesitant as to how he would take to sharing me with a sibling – particularly a newborn, with the demands for constant feeding, constant holding. He still wants lots of cuddles throughout the day, wants to be carried, wants me to play with him.

But like most toddlers, Max is fascinated by babies – he gets excited by photos, and babies on tv. He is affectionate and loving, and I think he’d make a wonderful older brother. And long term, I can see the benefit for him in having a sibling to share things with, I want him to have that same sibling bond that I have with my sister.

But I still have the Fear of Two. The fear that I won’t be able to cope with a second child. The fear of heading back into those days of sickness, of sleeplessness, of frustration. We’ve discussed it recently and came to the conclusion that the timing wasn’t right. But I wonder if the timing will ever seem right – is it just something that you need to take the plunge in, and worry about how you’ll manage afterwards? We’ve already happily missed the boat on replicating the age gap between my sister and I (lots of respect to my Mum!), is it something to just bite the bullet, and accept that it’ll be hard for a while?

Sorry for not coming to a conclusion on this one – it’s a tough one to work out! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences – did you struggle with the decision?

 

 

Pink Pear Bear

 

29 Comments
  • Elsie Pop
    May 16, 2016

    Great post – I’d love to help but I’m already trying to get over the fear of one! xx

  • Squished blueberries
    May 16, 2016

    Well you know me, I just go for the concieve now, worry about it later approach! Haha but I do think that maybe that is the best way sometimes. My advice would be don’t give yourself too much time to think about it or you could end up talking yourself out if it, and also the further you get away from the baby days, the less appealing it will seem to go back and start all over again. I would say, you know you definitely want 2, pregnancy is never going to be fun no matter how well you time it, just get it over and done with. But that’s just me, you have to do what’s right for you, and being pregnant with a toddler to look after is tough, there’s no way around that. But I do think there’s no perfect time, just whenever you feel ready x

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 16, 2016

      Thanks – I’m certainly guilty of overthinking things. And it’s a good point about being further away from the baby days – I have to admit that I’m not someone who enjoys the newborn stage, I’ve loved it as Max has become more interactive and more of his own person. I’m looking at siblings more and more and thinking how lovely that bond is – I love how cute your three are!

  • justsayingmum
    May 16, 2016

    Oh this is such an honest post – I really feel for you. It has totally got to feel right for you but all I can say is I have 3 – its been mad, bonkers and downright crazy but I wouldn’t change it for the world – hope you come to a decision that you’re happy with soon lovely #BigPinkLink

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 16, 2016

      Thank you! I think ultimately I’ll be happy with whatever decision I come to – not sure whether that’s because I tend to make the best of things or if I spend so damn long deliberating! When it comes down to it, I don’t think anyone has a child and regrets it.

  • Laughing Mum
    May 16, 2016

    not easy with two I will give you that! Mine are 3 years apart in age and thats quite a fair gap but it was exhausting! Daughter 1 was a great second ‘mum’ to daughter 2 when she arrived, and thankfully both my girls have always been ‘through the night’ sleepers which definitely helped, but while it was not easy, the fact they have and will always have each other is worth all of the hard times. Mine are pre-teen and teen now, and while they are at different points in their life and not really into the same things anymore (for now, just waiting for pre-teen to catch up on the make up front lol) they still have loads of moments of closeness, and I wouldn’t swap that for the world. Like you and your sister, they will be close. There is never a right time to have a baby, but if you do know that regardless it is something you are going to want, then now’s as good a time as any right? you’ll manage, us mums always do! 🙂 refreshingly honest post, love it!

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 16, 2016

      Thanks, I think that’s the reality of life as a parent – you find out can can get through things you thought were totally impossible before! 3 years is about the age gap we’d end up having – sounds like it works really well, despite being hard work at times. Thanks for commenting – I really appreciate it. I think ultimately, it’s something you just have to take the plunge with! There’ll never be a perfect time.

  • Rebecca
    May 16, 2016

    Thank you for such an honest post Katy. You captured succinctly and eloquently what so many parents must also be thinking. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help as we only have one ourselves and have decided for a few reasons not to have any more.

    I definitely think there will never be a right time as you say, but possibly a better time… Who knows. Equally, the take the plunge approach also has its plus points. And let’s face it, you WILL survive because we have to. It’s ultimately whether you think there is a better time for you and your hubby and Max or whether the benefits of doing it now outweigh the negatives. Sounds obvious but have you made lists of pros and against not just in your head but on paper? You will make the right decision. You always do. Follow your instincts. Good luck with it all. Lovely post x

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 16, 2016

      Thanks Becky. It’s such a hard one as it feels like such a big decision! And I don’t want to get it wrong. So I’m probably way overthinking it, which I’m always prone to do. I think the whole ‘you will survive’ thing sums up most things we go through as parents, doesn’t it? It’s amazing what you get through and come out the other side smiling!

  • Laura Dove
    May 16, 2016

    I love this post and I think that you are the only one that can make that decision, and it’s a tough one to make. Saying that, I’ve had five, I have four, and it’s difficult, I cant lie, but it’s amazing. To see them together, to watch them play, to know that they will always have eachother, it’s just amazing. Whatever you decide you will get through because you have no other choice, and afterwards, when they finally start to sleep through, when they learn not to drive you insane every second of every day, when they are grown, you will know that you did the right thing for your family, whatever that may be! #bigpinklink

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 17, 2016

      Thanks Laura – I always love the photos of your little family, the close sibling relationships are always so clear in your photos, it’s lovely to see. I think that’s it, isn’t it – you get through it because you have no other choice, and you just need to come out the other side!

  • This Mum's Life
    May 16, 2016

    I love the honesty in this post, and I know that so many other parents will relate. It is such a tough decision if you are in any way unsure, and I can’t imagine what it must be like for you to have it going around and around in your head, and struggling to reach a conclusion. As you probably know, I was a do it again, worry about it in the actual moment kind of person-MA was born when DT was 14 months old. It was crazy difficult, but we hadn’t really come out of the shock of the small baby stage, and were still in the night waking/trying to sort out routines stage-there had been no semblance of getting back to normal what so ever! I’m glad I did it that way-if I’d waited, I’m sure I wouldn’t have done it again. I hated being pregnant too-every single second of it. Being pregnant and having a child who wasn’t walking was hard, but he also slept for 2 long periods in the day, and went to bed for the night at 6pm, so I actually had loads of resting time. Being pregnant now would be a lot harder… It really is a tough one, and I hope that you can reach some decisions soon. xx
    #bigpinklink

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 17, 2016

      So much respect to you for going down that route! I can see lots of benefits to it, particularly the fact that we’ve finally got used to sleeping through the night again and yes, the thought of going back to that now is not at all appealing. Plus trying to wrestle with a toddler while waddling about with a bump is a logistical nightmare (putting aside having to throw up at random intervals!) It’s been really interesting to hear everyone’s experience on this – the people like you who’ve just gone for it, and then overthinkers like me, but ultimately, the big takeaway for me is that everyone is happy with the decision they made. So whatever we decide, I’m sure it’ll be the right thing for us.

  • Nat
    May 17, 2016

    James and I have had almost identical discussions! Have decided to wait maybe another year though as Jack is such a handful at the mo (physically as well as everything else) that I don’t think I’d cope very well being pregnant too!

    I also had a shitty pregnancy and part of me really fears going through that all over again, plus Jack’s birth was actually quite straight forward in the end and the irrational part of me is terrified I’ll have a rough time the second time round as some kind of karma!

    More than that though is the fact our relationship hasn’t really recovered from having Jack, which I’m really sad about and it’s not a good idea to throw another little person in to the mix at the mo.

    My cousin has a nearly 4-yr old little boy and is now no longer with her partner, but did happen to say to me not so long ago that he apparently wanted to go for round two not long after their first was born! At the time of course she couldn’t think of anything worse (I think most of us would be the same only a few months after giving birth!) but she now says she wishes she had done it to get it out of the way (newborn sleepless nights etc.) and so her little man would have a sibling. I agree that there’s never ‘a good time’ but think we’ll be waiting until Jack’s a bit older (at least get the terrible 2’s out the way!!)

    Xx

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 17, 2016

      Thanks Nat – I guess they’re all approaching that age now where it’s a consideration, but it’s reassuring to know that other people have The Fear too.

      I can really relate to the fear of the second birth too – after such an awful pregnancy I felt the birth was pretty smooth, and there is something in me that says ‘well, you won’t be that lucky next time!’. Of course, if I’d had a rubbish first birth, I’m sure that would be worrying me too! I think you and me are both massive worriers which doesn’t make it easy to make a decision on the big life decisions like this.

      Sorry to hear you’re having relationship troubles though. I think having a baby puts such a massive strain on any relationship – things change so massively that it can’t ever go back to what it was before, but it becomes something new.

      It’s been ages since we all met up though – we should definitely try to arrange something over the summer! (Was it last summer we last met up?!)

  • Mouse @mousedogbaby
    May 17, 2016

    I had that fear! We had those discussions too, but in the end we went with it and have 19 months between our little two. It’s incredibly hard work, as you’d imagine, but the benefits are incredible. They are so close and clearly adore each other. I couldn’t imagine having a big age gap, starting all over with a newborn once the school years start. Everybody is totally different I know, but this works so well for us.

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 18, 2016

      Thanks for commenting – I definitely agree with all the benefits of a smaller age gap, it’s just the reality of it that scares me!

  • Absolutely Prabulous
    May 17, 2016

    I think the way to look at it as that you are absolutely by no means the first or last person to have this worry. There’s never a right time I was sick sick sick with my first. It lifted at 17 weeks thankfully and perhaps overall I had an easier ride of it than you. I remember she slept through at 3 months and it had been a long 3 months. Now reading all these blogs by sleep-deprived mums, I realise how lucky I was. When it came to number two, I didn’t have any fear of how I’d cope but I think that’s because I’m a much older mum (had my first at 36) and had to just get on with it. I was dying to expand my family tbh. Was it easy when he came along and I had two young kids, was in a foreign country and had no family support? Nope. Bloody awful and I must admit I had PND. But if you do go for it, one day you’ll just look back and wonder what the worry was for 🙂 #BigPinkLink

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 18, 2016

      Thanks Prabs – you’re right, all the bad stuff you forget, and you do look back and wonder why you stressed about something so much. It’s hard at the time, but you get through it, and come out the other side and it’s amazing. I think age is a factor – I’m 33 this year, so although time’s not exactly running out, I do feel slightly pressured by it, but equally I could see myself potentially dithering about this for ages. P.S. You signed up to Disqus!!

      • Absolutely Prabulous
        May 18, 2016

        I had to. It was the only way to comment on your blog! But I’ve no idea what this incorrect pic is doing here for my profile avatar lol.

  • Island Living 365
    May 18, 2016

    Like you I was really unsure about having a second child. I’d had an awful pregnancy, a traumatic birth and then this resulted in Oldest not sleeping for at least the first three years. She still doesn’t need much sleep, even now! I was exhausted and convinced that I would not be able to cope with two. However, fast forward another three years and we have youngest who is now three and now I can’t imagine life without her. She was a very different baby to oldest and it was so much easier than I had anticipated. I think there never is a right time so I would just go for it as you find that you can manage and cope better than your thought! #bloggerclubuk

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 18, 2016

      I’ve heard this from so many people – that their second baby was so much easier than the first. Perhaps it’s just that we’re more prepared for it, or perhaps because they have to slot into family life more? Either way, I agree, there’s never going to be a perfect time, and I probably need to be a bit more ‘jump in with both feet’ about it!! Thanks for commenting Emma – it’s been so helpful to read everyone’s experiences.

  • Louise George
    May 18, 2016

    I don’t think there is a right time to have a second baby (if that’s what you decide you want) – I think each age gap comes with its own set of challenges. I had a lot of moments of wondering if I would cope with two (and a lot of time after Sophie arrived feeling like I wasn’t coping with two if I’m completely honest) but gradually I adjusted to the new normal and I couldn’t now imagine life any other way. For me the decision to have a second child was an easy one – I was always definite I wanted at least two children and lucky enough to be someone who did enjoy pregnancy. If I’d been very sick with my pregnancy I’m sure that would have had a huge impact on my decision though. Good luck with whatever you decide to do – but you’re definitely not alone in having “the fear of two” #BloggerClubUK

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 20, 2016

      Thanks so much Louise – I think we are definitely in the ‘pro second child’ camp, it’s just a question of when! I’m prepared for some hard times of feeling like I’m not coping – if I’m perfectly honest though, it’s the pregnancy that scares me more – at least when your child arrives you have the good bits thrown in alongside the difficult times, and you can tell yourself its just a phase, but pregnancy I found just an awful unrelenting thing that’s hard to face doing again.

  • Sarah
    May 19, 2016

    It’s so hard isn’t it! You read my last post so you know my story with this one… I did want two and ideally closer together in age but it wasn’t to be. I’m an only child and I’ll be perfectly honest I never missed not having siblings when I was young – I always had lots of friends of a similar age (forces child so close-knit communities surrounded by other kids on camp, constantly in and out of each others houses etc!) and close relationships with cousins and family friends. I guess what you don’t have you don’t miss. It was only when I lost my dad in my early twenties that I suddenly felt I would have liked to have a brother or sister to share that whole experience with – someone who understood and could help support my mum. Actually that sounds a bit selfish but I just thought IF it was possible in the future I would like to have more than one so they could support each other as adults (as it sounds like you and your sister do, wonderfully) It’s kind of what I was getting at towards the end of my post. Anyway – I’ve now (obviously) realised that the age gap doesn’t matter, and actually if we hadn’t been lucky enough to conceive again, things would have been ok with one. After all – I am ok and I am one. Sorry for rambling – great post. #bigpinklink

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      May 20, 2016

      Not rambling at all – thanks for commenting! And for what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s selfish at all – I think it’s a reality of modern life that our children are likely to support us as we get older, and I know that it takes it’s toll. And thanks for the reassurance as well – I’m sure if we do decide that we can’t face it all over again, then Max will be absolutely fine as an only child – I think it’s easy to get wrapped up in worrying about stuff like that.

  • sisterkin
    May 20, 2016

    I think you need to follow your instincts on this one and let that lead you where it may. I love what you say about your relationship with your sister (my sister and I collaborate on our blog), but being an only child is also a blessing. Good luck on making a decision. #bloggerclubuk

  • Random Musings
    May 20, 2016

    I think having baby number 2 is the same as having baby number 1 in the sense that if you wait for the perfect time, you’ll never do it. You just have to trust your gut and do what feels right
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

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