Full disclosure: My husband and I are POOPCUPs — Parents Of One Perfect Child Under Preschool-age. And believe me, I know how good we have it. From birth, our son rarely cried and was easy to comfort when he did. He took to solids like a competitive eater, has mostly been a good nighttime-sleeper, and was potty trained before two. He’s never even torn a page from a book! Is my almost three-year-old perfect? Hell no, but he’s pretty close (as far as I’m concerned, and I’m the only one that matters). There’s one problem, though: statistically speaking, could we possibly get that lucky with a second kid? It seems like no — which is one of the reasons I’m terrified to do it.
Here are the rest of the reasons:
1) I’ll end up on an episode of Hoarders.
I’m kind of obsessed with making the inside of my house look nice, but having a kid has meant needing to let some of that go and allowing my once-stylish living room to become overrun with toys — even the ugly plastic ones I swore I’d never let through the door. As much as I try to stay on top of all the stuff, it’s nearly impossible when a growing toddler needs a new wardrobe every season and each developmental stage calls for new toys and books. I’m constantly getting rid of things, and yet the stuff keeps taking over my home. If we have a second kid, I’ll have to flat out give up and put dressers in the dining room and try to start some new home decor trend that involves artfully stacked plastic storage bins.
2) No one will ever hire me again.
I have only one kid and I still couldn’t turn in this story on time! School was on break, and then my son got an ear infection, and every time I sat down to write, he wanted me, or the dog was stealing his food, or I remembered I needed to order more pajamas in a bigger size. Since becoming a parent, I’ve missed more work deadlines than I’d like to admit, and if I have a second kid, I’m just gonna own it and market myself as “A hilariously self-deprecating writer who might think she’s funnier than she actually is and will most definitely miss her deadlines.” So, like I said, no one will ever hire me again.
3) Financial ruin.
Seriously, why is it so expensive to have a kid? In addition to all the toys and clothes, there’s childcare, food, diapers, and the compulsive Amazon ordering that happens when you’re up nursing at 2 am. And if you tell me this swaddle will make my baby sleep longer or that $50 concealer will really cover up my dark circles, I will throw all my money at you.
4) I’ll have to live in Depends.
Remember when you were a teenager, and Depends jokes were, like, so funny? Because only babies pee their pants LOLZOLOZ. Well, since the late stages of my pregnancy, I regularly experience what I call pee aftershocks. It’s usually just a little “bonus” pee that trickles out a minute or two after I’ve gone to the bathroom. Sometimes, though, it just comes out any old time — which is usually when I’m in public and wearing a jumpsuit that takes 10 minutes to unbutton and remove. Carrying and birthing a second child would likely turn me into an adult diaper devotee (talk about VPL!).
5) I’ll never have sex again.
Okay, okay. I’m sure if I had a second baby, I’d eventually have sex again. Someday. Maybe. Right?! But it’s hard enough to feel sexy — or even find the time to connect emotionally with your partner — after having one kid, and I can imagine it would be ten times harder as an unemployed hoarder with a leaky bladder… and two children.
6) I’ll be consumed by anxiety.
I went from being a chill childless person to a very anxious mother. If a second kid was to bring as much anxiety as the first, I could very well end up trying to convert our basement to a survivalist bunker.
7) I’m too old for this shit.
Did you know that if you’re 35 or older and you get pregnant, it’s considered a “geriatric pregnancy?” (See also: No. 4.)
Will having a second kid really ruin my life? I mean, maybe? Still, I’ll be a little heartbroken if it doesn’t happen for us. I’ve been off the pill for nearly a year this time around, and I’m certainly not getting any younger (see also: No. 5, No. 7, No. 4.). I’d love to give my PCUP a little brother or sister — even a “spirited” one who tests my every limit. So… I’ll keep you posted. And if it isn’t meant to be… I guess the bright side is that I won’t have to immediately replace all my underwear with Depends.