Author’s note: if you are related to me, please do not read this post. Trust me. Click away, and come back tomorrow. Thank you.
We could be facing a major shake-up around here, people*.
NewDotDad and I are in agreement about most of the major goals in our life. We have a big move coming up in June, and we’ll live there for at least four years. At that point NDD will go into “real” practice. We want to homeschool NDB at least through the primary years (grade 3) and I’m open to going higher, but NDD wants to wait and see the evidence before he weighs in on that decision. We want to have at least one more baby, and I’d love to have two more after that… but NewDotDad still isn’t sold on having three kids, so we’ll take it one conception at a time.
We just recently had a big conversation about child spacing, and even though we were in agreement long ago that we’d have a #2, apparently our answers to the question, “When?” were on two separate pages. I’d been thinking of a 24 to 30 month gap, and NewDotDad thought it would be nice to start trying for the second baby when NDB turned four. Okay, obviously those expectations are very different, so we needed to talk it out.
I am so proud of us. Three years ago, those two statements would have gotten us both riled up, aghast at the sheer idiocy of the other for thinking that Any Other Child Spacing Arrangement could possibly ever work!!!! We really have grown up, and we really have gotten better at communication and respect.
Instead of condemning either idea, we just each expressed the thought behind it – why we thought our preferred spacing would work and why sooner or later wouldn’t. It was a matter of pros and cons.
In case you’re curious, the pros for 5 years apart (according to NewDotDad) are that NDB would be independent and able to understand that a new baby has needs, and NDB would surely be sleeping through the night by then so I’d have at least a year or so of good sleep before starting over with a newborn. The cons of sooner, obviously, were that NDB would still be needy and I would Never Sleep Again. (His sleep isn’t a factor because that man can sleep through all sorts of ruckus. Like smoke alarms. It’s scary.) The pros for 2-2.5 years apart (according to NewDotMom) are that by having the babies closer together, I would be younger at the birth of subsequent babies than if we spaced ‘em out, which lowers all sorts of risks. Plus, I figure that having the first two closer together keeps the window of opportunity for a third open a little longer. Also, that way after a few more years I can move on to getting my body back. I also mentioned that a con for the 5 year spacing would be that a new baby would arrive smack-dab in the middle of NDB’s first homeschooling year. I’d like to spend the next few years in the babymaking and babyraising phase of life, and then around the time we have the last baby I’d be ready to start the homeschooling and childrearing phase of life.
Now one of the big things we learned in the beginning of our life together is that there are a lot of things in God’s plans for us, that we don’t know yet. The timing of our goals and plans may, or may not, be His. I don’t think it’s wrong to make goals and plans, but I think we need to keep our hearts and minds open to a change in the course if that’s what God has in store.
So here’s the thing. I’ll know for sure in a week or so, but it is entirely possibly that ALL of that great dialogue about child spacing pros and cons could be for naught. It might just be that God is hatching a plan without, you know, checking with us first. That wouldn’t be the first time – or, I daresay, the last time – He gave us something unexpected. Like I said, we could be facing a major shake-up here.
*Have you read any of the Junie B. books by Barbara Park? Because that little girl is funny, people! She uses that descriptive all the time, and after a while I got so used to hearing my voice reading Junie B.’s voice (the B. stands for Beatrice. But she doesn’t like Beatrice, she just likes B. And that’s all.) that I started using “people” too. If you have a pre-K, Kinder, or Firstie in your house, I highly recommend the Junie B. books for read alouds (with a little parental censorship, because Junie B. does tend to say “stupid” and “darn.”)