You and your spouse are finally getting the hang of parenthood; you finally understand the meaning behind the difference cries from your baby, you’re sleeping a little bit more, and maybe you’ve even managed to have a date night or two every once in a while. Then, a loving and good-intentioned person drops the question on you — “so, when are you going to start trying for baby #2?”
Sound familiar? Or, if this hasn’t happened to you yet, maybe you’re dreading it? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
When you hit big milestones in life people often jump to asking when you’re going to start working towards the next big thing. Sometimes, this happens before you even finished the first one.
Get to senior year of high school — what will your major be in college?
Graduate from college — where will your first “real” job be?
Start dating someone new — when are you getting married?
Get married — when are you going to try for a baby?
So on and so forth.
When the question around baby #2 comes up, it can be frustrating and quite frankly annoying to have to address. But if this is something you’re dealing with (or think you might have to deal with in the future) here are a few responses to keep in your back pocket.
“We’re enjoying baby #1 right now.”
You just had your first baby and you’re settling into being a new mom and learning all the ups and downs that come with parenthood. You’re doing a great job, and it’s completely OK to allow yourself a moment (or longer!) to take this journey as slow as you need to.
Use this response to let people know that you’re not quite ready to think about baby #2. Obviously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with reveling in the little bundle of joy you have right now and that is as good enough answer as any as to why you haven’t put any thought towards having a second baby.
Let people know that you’re enjoying (or not!) being a parent to this little one and that’s where all of your focus, love, and energy are currently.
“We’re currently trying but are in no rush.”
So, you and your spouse have decided that you’d like to slowly start trying for your second child? Good for you.
Just because you’ve started to try (whatever that means for you) doesn’t mean you have to be on a specific timeline. Whether you’re ready to get pregnant right away or are open to letting your body lead the way, that’s completely up to you!
Answering their question about baby #2 with this response gives them a little bit of info but also leaves it completely open in terms of timing. This way, they know you’re interested in having another child but know that you’re taking your time and aren’t hurrying into anything.
While you can’t control how other people respond, hopefully, this answer will keep them from continuously prying and asking this question over and over again.
“We’re keeping that private until we’re ready to share.”
While pretty straightforward, this response takes out all the fluff and goes right to the point, which is sometimes the best option when handling these types of conversations. There are so many wonderful things to share about motherhood and parenting, but there may be a few details you’d like to between you and your spouse.
When people ask questions like this one, they most likely mean well, but don’t give in to any external pressures around sharing something you’re not quite ready to yet. You probably have plenty of reasons why you don’t want to share anything more around growing your family, and know that those reasons are valid and OK.
Don’t feel bad about choosing to respond in this way. It lets them know that this is a topic and a part of parenthood that isn’t up for discussion or for outside opinions, and when you’re ready to share any piece of it, you will.
“We haven’t decided if we’re ready to expand our family.”
We all navigate motherhood differently. Maybe you’re still getting your footing as a parent, navigating postpartum depression, or you’re wanting to rebuild your emergency fund before trying again. No matter your reason behind it (you don’t have to share that part with anyone, by the way), this is a great response if you’re looking for one.
Just because you had one child doesn’t mean you want more now or ever, and it’s OK to say that. Not wanting more children than the one you currently have doesn’t make you less of a mother or mean that you don’t enjoy motherhood as much as the next mom.
You may decide one day down the road that you’re ready for more children or that you’re perfectly happy as you are. Both paths are great choices and again, don’t need further explanation to outsiders if you’re not ready for it.
We know that this question can be a little irritating and tense to navigate. But know that you and your family will make the best decision for your lives, and in the end, that’s all that truly matters.