Why do I want another kid?
it seems I have come down with a condition known as BABY FEVER — and it's not going away. I guess it makes sense, since most of the women who had a baby around the same time as me have already given birth to their second — and some are already on their third 🤯. But before I give in to my bat shit crazy hormones, I've decided to take a step back and think about why do I actually want a second child and should I even have a second child?
I was inspired by Sheila Heti's brilliant, brutally honest book, Motherhood, in which she thinks out loud about whether or not she should have a child before it's too late. Spoiler alert: she ends up deciding not to have kids. She knew this before even starting the book. In my case, it's the opposite: I've already made up my mind about having another kid before writing this newsletter — ( even after having read that the secret to being both a successful writer and a mother is having just one kid. Not that I will ever be a successful writer, but apparently having another child will minimise those chances.) Still, this self-reflection feels like an important exercise, one that I probably should have done the first time round.
Here's the thing: if you'd ask me if I wanted a second child during Gaspar's first year, I would have answered "Are you mad?". But now that Gaspar is three and actually fun to hang out with, I have sort of forgotten about how painfully lonely and soul-crushing that first year was. I now find myself not just wanting another baby, I am CRAVING another baby. No longer am I filled with anxiety by the sound of a newborn crying. Instead, when I hear my neighbours' 3-week old daughter wail, I feel like knocking on their door and cradling her in my arms.
But just because every fibre of my being is compelled to have another child, does it mean that I should just do it? Here are some other questions I've been asking myself as I examine my decision:
Do I think another child will fill some sort of void?
Do I want to have another baby because everyone else is doing it?
Am I craving attention?
Do I think this baby will add more meaning to my/our life?
Do I think this baby will make me/us happier?
One of the questions Heti asks herself is if she's attracted to the idea of kids as a way of satisfying her own vanity: "Do I want children because I want to be admired as the admirable sort of woman who has children?” she ponders. “Because I want to be seen as a normal sort of woman, or because I want to be the best kind of woman, a woman with not only work, but the desire and ability to nurture, a body that can make babies, and someone who another person wants to make babies with?"
To be totally honest, I'm not quite sure why exactly I want another child. I just do? Wait, why do other people want kids?
I’ll just throw in another great quote by Heti here: “If no one had told me anything about the world, I would have invented boyfriends, I would have invented sex, friendships, art. I would not have invented child-rearing.”
Whatever my motivation for impregnating again, one thing is for sure: this time round, I want to better prepped. I'm not talking about the usual stuff: saving money, staying healthy, stopping birth control. I'm preparing myself emotionally. Why? 1. I absolutely do not want to go through post natal depression again. 2. I want to become a better parent.
What do I mean by getting ready emotionally? I'm making an effort to grow, by becoming aware of past traumas and healing from them, for my own sake, for the sake of all my relationships, but especially for the sake of my children.
Make no mistake, I know I'll inevitably fuck up my kids, but I'm determined to minimise the damage by putting in the necessary work. It’s both the least we could do, and also the biggest gift we can give our kids.
I actually recently read a comment on a post by Shit You Should Care About that touched on exactly that.
This was the post:
The answer to the question is obviously no, we are not the first generation to take the state of the world into consideration when having kids. But the rest of her answer really hit a chord. OK, it's a little negative: but the fact that people are talking about this made me think there might be hope for us after all.
On another note, here are some things I have been enjoying lately:
Vulture recaps of The Morning Show — This is the best piece of writing since Anna Delvey's blog posts from prison. Honestly, even if you haven't watched the show, this is worth reading. Although obviously if you do plan to watch it don't read this just yet.
Nuclear Family -Very raw, really sweet.
Insecure season 5 — I can't get over how dreamy Kendrick Sampson is.
Curb your Enthusiasm season 11: I think I would actually make a good middle person at dinner parties. Also, the concept of curating mini fridges for hotels is genius.
Scenes from a Marriage — The chemistry between Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain is HOT.
An observation I made recently: I saw my Roride (its like SoulCycle) teacher cry after class. She had spent the last 45 minutes shouting motivational speeches at us, and here she was, breaking down in tears. I thought it was endearing. And weird. And human.
I'm not sure when I’ll send out the next newsletter, so I'll just wish you happy holidays now 🍷🎄
FAREWELL AND THANKS A LOT FOR READING XXX