I never had a set idea of how many children my family would have. I came from a family of four, so big families were part of my childhood but I didn’t know whether that’s what would work for us. Then later down the line, I became step mum to the wonderful James, and this has been one of the biggest surprises in my life too. But as Emma approaches three years old, it feels like everyone around me are either pregnant or with a newborn and it’s made me rethink.
We’ve talked about having another baby several times and it always came down to space and money, of which we have neither. Unfortunately we are tied to the area in Brighton because of the closeness to my stepson’s mum’s home and this is something we wouldn’t want to budge on. With teenagers it’s hard enough grabbing those times together without putting a twenty minute drive in the way. So we have the space we have and we decided that we’re happy just as we are.
But lately I have been thinking – could I do it all again? Wouldn’t it be lovely for Emma to have a little sibling closer to her own age to play with. She’s shown a really nurturing side through being around babies at nursery and it’s made me realise how much she would adore it. Plus when I look at my brothers and sisters, those are bonds that will never be broken and relationships that are forever. As we get older, we become closer even if we spent our teenage years arguing over every tiny thing.
Then there’s the sleep deprivation. Emma took such a long time to sleep through the night and perhaps it was because I didn’t push her too hard to – but it was a struggle. Without a doubt, the whole family suffered in some way and we’re only just returning to who we were pre-children now that we’re getting longer sleeps during the night. But then those phases are so short, aren’t they? Two years and seven months sounds long, but in the grand scheme of things it is not. And every child is different – perhaps she just needed that extra time for her body to develop and to be able to sleep on her own for the duration of the night.
As we both get older, one thing we always discuss is whether we’d be able to have a baby naturally again. When I was growing up, it wasn’t talked about a lot but nowadays we have several friends who used alternative methods such as IVF conception, adoption and using a sperm bank in London and other surrounding cities.There is so much support with conceiving another child, it’s really quite impressive.
There are so many factors to decide on when it comes to contemplating another child and we’re still undecided if I’m totally honest. Bit by bit we’ll get there and I feel good that even if we don’t, we’ll be perfectly happy with the little family of four we have already.