My son turned two about a month ago. He is in this liminal state where he is both a baby and a little boy. He turns and I see the long legs of a little boy, the scruffy hair, the rough and tumble movements. Then the next minute, he will look at me with his bright wide baby eyes, and I can see nothing but my sweet baby.
My husband and I have decided that we would not have any more children, hard stop. Yet, I sometimes get the urge to have another, go through pregnancy again. It was such a magical time. The anticipation of a new life. It was lovely. It’s the baby I’m not good with. Everything that I wanted to do from breastfeeding to cloth diapering to baby wearing was impossible with this child, so there’s some part of me, some type-A ridiculous part of me that wants to try again to “get it right.”
In truth, it’s a good idea not to have any more. We can travel. We can only afford one. My longing for more is a longing for a better life, which would be impossible for me. I will never have a clean house, or a husband who doesn’t snore, or a perfectly organized kitchen. I can never be a stay at home Mom, who gets pleasure from cleaning, or keeping up the house, or designing fun activities that are also educational. I am not that good at life. For me, life is sticky and lazy and rife with drama. I will never make my own laundry detergent. The lower level of my house will always smell like cat pee, and we will always have way too many boxes in my garage. And the number of children I have will always equal 1.
As I reread this, I realized that I am resigning not having a second child to my own failing. I wish it was about how 1 child is the right number, or that we were happy where we are. But really, when you get down to it, it’s because I’m not good enough at balancing parenting, maintaining a household, and running a business. I have a great deal of difficulty on any given day, and I don’t want to add further failure.