Wednesday, September 14, 2016
A Moment of Knowing
I'm not quite sure why, but for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to have two children.
Two squirming, squawking little babies to cuddle. Two, sticky, grumpy, cheeky monkeys to cart around on school runs and family holidays. Two siblings, always present and willing to steal each others toys and fight with one another in the backseat of the family car.
After giving birth to my first cheeky monkey, I merrily assumed there would be a natural progression of parenting and time until my husband and I would just magically 'know' that the time was right for baby number two.
You know, the stars would align, our debts would magically pay themselves off, we would reach parenting level ten and we would know that now was the time to double the laundry pile indefinitely.
Yet as with just about every assumption I made in the 28 years prior to giving birth, and every assumption I made in the delusional six month hurricane period that followed after I squeezed my lovely watermelon sized cheeky monkey into existence, the magical moment of 'knowing' just never came.
Perhaps I was naïve to believe that such a moment could exist. Perhaps I was whacked out from all the maternal hormones and new motherly love. Perhaps the moment came and went unnoticed, dashing past us while we had our heads stuck in the washing machine looking for the eternally lost other sock.
Regardless of the reason, somewhere between the early mornings, exhausted nights, daycare drop offs, spilt babycinos, epic tantrums in the supermarket carpark and explanations of WHY one must eat vegetables and WHY must not jump off the couch, the natural moment of 'knowing' got lost on us.
Yet our cheeky monkey was climbing higher, further, faster, we were rapidly running out of room in the shed to store our brightly coloured collection of baby and toddler collateral, and the stars didn't seem to be any closer to aligning than they were on the day I gave birth.
And so we came to an enormous crossroads, smack bang in the middle of our otherwise clearly mapped out suburban lives. A decision loomed large: to continue as a family of three, or take a chance on becoming a rambunctious rabble of four?
We tried to be logical - we tried to look at our bank balance and our credit card statements and be adult about numbers and logistics and what ifs and then whats. We tried to be emotional - we talked about our feelings and our hopes and our dreams and our fears. We tried to be drunk and detached - we just got distracted and watched a movie instead of finding the answers to the universe.
But at the end of the day, we realised that there is no magical moment of knowing and there is no perfect time. There is no right or wrong answer, and no way to predict what the future holds. And the stars are nothing but luminous balls of gas producing heat and bad metaphors in a very distance place, which have very little relevance to our reproductive decisions.
There is no way to definitively know. So we rolled the dice. We took a chance. We were incredibly lucky. And now we are three plus a bump.
And while we still don't know if we will ever know if we really knew or even know that we know, we can't wait to meet our second cheeky monkey at the end of the year.
How did you know when, or if, it was time to have another child?