By Contributor Ash Pritchard (@the.sitch)
“It’s not gonna be easy, you know”.
Was the line my Mum dropped two weeks before I had Harley. She sent me link after link to blogs about the gritty, ‘real’ side of motherhood. ‘It’s not all park dates and lattes’ read one of them.
“Ma… I’ll be fine”.
Seriously, woman – have some chill. She seemed to forget that from a very young age I single handedly ran five different households simultaneously. They grew up to have successful jobs and had children of their own.
Sadly, one of them got trapped in a small enclosure without a door and passed away. Another one died a tragic death getting eaten alive by a ravenous Cowplant. But, I poured my heart and soul into those families, and invested my precious time to ensure my Sims had a good, solid upbringing. I don’t know what they’re up to today but I still wonder how they’re doing.
K... So maybe my resume didn’t have an extensive list of experience. But hell, it was ONE baby. One mouth to feed, one ass to change, one body to wash. Piece of cake! Amiright? (like a box of Betty Crocker’s cake mix with the pre-made icing).
Luckily when Harley was born I was able to breastfeed, and formed a rather large appetite which came in handy when I ATE MY WORDS.
Looking after one baby was not exactly easy. Not in the slightest. But TWO? If I had to look after two humans simultaneously it’d be like you asking me to whip up a fucking croquembouche. (Not to be mistaken for a large reptile in a dense shrub. Ummm yup - I Googled crockenbush).
When Harls was just a little tacker, a blob if you will, I’d whiz up to the shops to grab a coffee, occasionally moseying into a store after being tempted in by a $10 rack out the front because I’ve got a cheeky two fivers in my wallet #makeitrain. The ladies would commend me for making such a delicious human and salivate over my little baby burrito.
They’d all coo and comment on his delicate yet plentiful wisps of hair. The slew of predictable questions followed:
“Are you loving motherhood?” (YES I love it, but I beg of you to stop with the incessant nattering, my coffee is going cold).
“Is he sleeping through the night yet?” (I literally unravel my tit like a firehose into his mouth for 30 minutes of silence).
“Is he a good baby?” (SPARE ME).
Occasionally I’d get thrown the ol’ chestnut “Are you planning on having #2 soon?”
Me: Um… that’s a bit of a personal question isn’t it? Look, if you must know probably in about 20 minutes. I just finished my second coffee for the morning and I can definitely feel one brewing…
Random shop lady: Ohh umm… *blank stare *
Me: OH! You meant a baby!? Yeah, nahhh. I’m happy with just him at the moment.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do want more kids. Just not at this time.
And there lies the ultimate question - how long does one wait before trying for another? It’s all subjective. Subjective to the person, the current child, the circumstances. Also, FYI, you have to have sex again to have another baby (not sure I’m sold on the last bit).
Is there such thing as a ‘perfect gap’?
I used to think 2 – 2.5 years was a good amount of time between kids. Ideally the eldest would be independent enough to entertain themselves. They’ll be at daycare. They’ll know how to wipe their own ass….
Alas, that idea was swiftly shot to shit after a friend of mine said her 3 year old was self-sufficient and was toilet trained. That was until she had another baby.
“Ohhh but don't cha just wanna get them over and done with?”
It’s like, umm, I’m sorry… WUT? Let me just clarify we’re talking about a human here, right? A long term, AMAZING, exhausting, GLORIOUS, very expensive GIFT FROM GOD people - not a pap smear. Or a license renewal. Or anything else you just wanna get done n dusted.
I do still think I’ll have my kids closer together – a smaller gap means hopefully they’ll have a strong bond, leave the nest around the same time AND THEN I can retire early enjoy my sweet, sweet superannuation savings on a sick motorised scooter and splash out on snazzy cardigans (I endeavour to be like a bad-ass version of Blanche from the Golden Girls rippin doughies in the cul-de-sac.)
But let’s be honest here – does it really matter how close or far apart they are? Being the eldest I moved out three years ago and I’m still partial to scabbing a punnet of strawberries #timesaretough and continue to ‘borrow’ Mum’s clothes (and not return them for so long that when she see’s me in the-thing-I-borrowed she compliments me on it not realising it’s actually hers).
“Well don’t wait too long to have another one, it’s harder to fall pregnant naturally when you’re older. You reach your fertility peak at 25!”
One woman advised as she smiled and gestured towards my belly. Wow. I wonder if she could smell my eggs rotting inside my ovaries. I better get a move on then!
Given my current time management/general togetherness/adulting abilities/inability to multitask with aforementioned human, I think it’s safe to say we’ll wait awhile. And as for my eggs, well hopefully they’ll still be in good working order when I get laid again.