I’m not sure when it became anyone’s business about the future activities of my womb and if it’s going to house second child, but if I had a pound for every time someone has asked me this in the last year or so, I could give up my job.
I appreciate questions around motherhood, or being a working mum, or how my son is getting on at school. They’re current. That’s where we’re at. And I love being his mum. Persistence around the whereabouts of baby number two in the future was almost sweet at first, but after a while hearing “When are you popping another one out then?” becomes an annoyance. I’m happy to share that I’d love another baby one day. But people wanting to know when? It’s an intimate, private and personal topic, that not just anyone is going to be privy to.
Having a Second Child
The continuous interrogation started when B turned two or three, but with every milestone over the last year— applying for school; accepting a place; his fourth birthday; starting school; and now approaching the fifth anniversary of his escape from my womb— I’ve had “Isn’t it about time you had another one?” or “When’s baby number two going to happen then?” or my personal favourite, “Ooh, you’d better have a second one soon! You don’t want a huge gap!” ringing in my ears, from the mouths of acquaintances. Not family or close friends. Acquaintances.
It’s on par with people touching your baby bump when you’re pregnant without asking. It’s so intrusive and assuming, and potentially applies a lot of unwanted pressure on a situation that may already be stressful for some couples. People assume you don’t want a gap over five years between your children. They assume you are able to conceive, because you’ve already had one child. They assume you even want a second child! That’s not to say any of those things do or don’t apply to me, but as a couple, we have our plan and that’s it. It’s our plan. If and when we decide to create new life, it will be shared!
People’s obsession with knowing stuff
It all starts when you reach a milestone with your partner, be it a long time together or engagement, marriage, or moving in to your own place. People assume the pitter-patter of tiny feet is on the cards. Once a smoker, but decided to give up? Must be pregnant. Not drinking on a night out, because you’re driving home? Don’t lie, you must be pregnant! Throwing up because you’ve caught a stomach bug? No no, that must be morning sickness.
Having a second child is not a race nor a competition. For some couples, it’s not what they want. For others, they want it but they can’t. So next time you see a mother with a toddler on her hip or holding the hand of a preschooler, don’t make assumptions about the plans for the future of her family.
The whispers of, “I wonder when they’ll have a baby?” started before I’d even taken my wedding dress off!