By Rachel Ballin, Contributor
I am currently a mother of three precious kiddos. I have five year old son, a nineteen month old daughter and a six month old daughter. After the pregnancy and birth of our son, you could not have paid me to have another baby ever again! I joke that it took my husband and mother in-law, a solid three years of convincing to make me even think about becoming pregnant again. Of course, as medical professionals and moms will tell you, every pregnancy is different; our first daughter’s pregnancy was a breeze! So it really was no surprise to many when I became pregnant for a third time. Our daughters are almost ‘Irish twins’; they’re thirteen months apart. Recently in our family, a handsome nephew was born and our close friends welcomed a beautiful baby girl. I’m not going to lie, snuggling these new babies and seeing their adorable pictures, means the baby bug is weaseling its way back into my heart and head. Although, I would eventually love to have one more child, as I believe even numbers of kids make things easier, I don’t plan on expanding our family anytime soon. The three children we have, with two of them in diapers, are enough for me. But who knows what my family’s future holds.
If you have been bitten by the baby bug, when is the right time to try to have a baby? Whether it is your first, second or more. There really are some things to consider before you take this next step in your life. Before we started our family, I thought about the basics; finances, caring for a baby and our support network. Let’s all be honest, babies are expensive! Now, I am about as frugal as they come, within reason of course, but everything your child will need definitely starts to add up. First I suggest seeing if the basics expenses needed to support your baby are in your monthly budget. I will also say, in my opinion, if you feel like you must wait until every duck financially is in a row, you will be waiting for quite some time. This moment may even never come. Sometimes having a child is a little leap of faith, certainly within reason. In my experience, life always seems to happen regardless of your pre-planning. Caring for your baby should be next on your list. Your little bundle of joy will wake you up at all hours, without any regard for your sleep or well-being. If baby is hungry, baby will wake, yes even at two, three and four in the morning. Sometimes all those times in one night! My kids were always varied sleepers and our son’s night and day were confused for the first two weeks of his life! Something else to consider - Do you think in addition to very little sleep you can handle putting someone else’s needs completely above your own? This was a thought I went back and forth on for a while, because bringing a child into this world should truly be a selfless act. But not to fear, the sleepless nights do end and with a supportive network of people around you to help, you should know that you are not alone. Family or friends, the people that filter in and out of your life daily should also be considered. Will you get the help you think you might need? Don’t be afraid to ask! I can tell you I am not one to ask others for anything, hardly ever really. So on the off chance I do ask for help, I most likely really need it! Try to start the conversation early on, see who might be available and potentially when. It may be a little awkward at first, but trust me, you will be glad you did later on, when you’re completely exhausted and help arrives in various forms.
As I always tell everyone, who expecting, “having a baby is a completely life changing experience!” Without a doubt it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. However, the sacrifices I make on a daily basis are insurmountable and way beyond what I ever imagined. People say ‘when a baby is born, a mother is born too”. This is completely true. I believe having a child is basically taking a little piece of your heart and sending it out unshielded into the world every day.
If you’d like to keep this conversation going or have questions about other topics in relation to child development, parenting and/or motherhood please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to write about what you want to read about next Friday, so please let me know!