When my husband and I started dating, and discussions became more serious, we both were very much ready to enter the family zone of our life. We wanted time to establish ourselves as a couple, get married, buy a home, etc. But we both knew it was something that was important to us and high on the priority list. My husband was actually pushing for it before we got married even. We also both felt that we would be a two kid family. It’s what we each grew up with, and the family of four was what we dreamed of having one day.
Family planning is a deeply personal decision, and what works for one family is going to be completely different for another. Then there is the whole beauty of timelines not really being in your control when it comes to having children. Somewhere along the way though, that deeply personal decision started to go down a slightly different path for us, and we were suddenly on different pages as a couple.
My husband coached a rep level hockey team for three years with three of his good friends before we got pregnant, and during those years we became quite close to the parents of many of the kids, and spent a lot of time together with the hockey team family. Two of the families in particular, we were quite close with, and they each had an only child. Mr. M started to admire their dynamic as a family and would often mention how much he loved their values as a family, how well behaved each son was, and how he kind of loved the idea of having one child. I would listen and see the appeal of his thought process, however was not exactly connecting to the idea myself.
I grew up with an older brother and a sibling dynamic. I loved my childhood and our little family. We were all very close and had a solid core. Obviously my brother and I fought a ton and sibling rivalries were a large part of my childhood too, but we were still close and became great friends in our teens. My brother passed away when I was 19 so that connection to a sibling relationship and raising my own family with such is something I feel quite invested in on a deeper level. I obviously don’t want that to be the sole reason for having a second child, but it is a large reasoning for me as to why it is important.
My husband’s transition into parenting has not been what he expected, and over the past year he has attached himself to the notion of one and done more strongly.
My transition has been one part exhausting and the other part everything I dreamed. Before I left the hospital I was excited over the idea of having another baby, and the more rapidly my son grows, the more I think about doing it again. I think about what I would do differently and the same. I dream about what he would be like as a big brother. I think about the possibility of a sister or brother. I think about the newborn snuggles, pregnancy and quite frankly romanticize a lot of it in my head. I have my fears and doubts and know it wouldn’t be easy, but it’s just always been my vision for as long as I can remember.
Over the past year, Mr. M would often say he couldn’t see us going back to the beginning again or how he would never want to do over certain phases again. I became weary and this vision of mine seemed to be getting further away.
I knew that having a child wasn’t something I would ever want to force a compromise on. It had to feel right. So, we made a deal that we wouldn’t make a final decision until W was two. I personally had envisioned a 3+ gap, so that timeframe seemed like a lot of time for my husband to potentially come around and feel differently once we were over the baby hump and W became his own little person.
Well, colour me surprised friends when my husband very recently started to talk about a second, and that if we were going to do it, he wanted a closer age gap. He wanted to stay in the groove so that the return to the beginning wouldn’t be so drastic if we waited. He also had a very large age gap with his brother growing up, and I know that was difficult as a child.
This was legitimately a record scratch moment for me. Especially when I realized he was serious and he hasn’t wavered on it since he said it. I know that I firmly want W to be over 2 before we have a second, that I want a break from breastfeeding, and at least a few good months of sleep before thinking about pregnancy again… but my brain’s timeline just jumped up an entire year.
It has been a whirlwind to wrap my brain around, but at the end of the day I feel more than excited about it. Terrified, but excited. We’re still quite a few months away from that consideration, and a lot can change still, but feeling our pages come closer together again has been a sooner than expected nice surprise.
Did you and your partner struggle to find a similar page when family planning?