“That one, definitely,” he said, pointing to the photo featuring solely our toddler. By way of explanation he added, “Because we shouldn’t hang a family photo that will be outdated in just a few months. It won’t be our family anymore.”
I felt like I’d been punched in the gut when he said it.
You see, we were having this conversation when I was three months pregnant with the little girl who is due to arrive just seven weeks from now; my husband was referencing the fact that our family makeup is currently in a state of transition—a glorious, prayed for, and much wanted transition, I should add.
And yet, looking at that beautiful family photo that would now never grace our wall, I felt a feeling that I immediately realized you’re never supposed to admit to having when expecting your second child:
I felt sadness to see our family change.
I felt grief that my family as it currently stands—this family that I love so much!—really isn’t my family anymore. At least not all of it.
You’re not supposed to say this. You’re not supposed to confess that, amidst the joy of your second baby, there’s a tiny part of you that’s mourning the loss of the family you have now. That there’s a piece of you that doesn’t want to let go of the tight little enclave you’ve created and nurtured and protected.
Of course I recognize that as much as I love this little family, it was never meant to stay this way. Indeed, we always wanted and planned for more than one child.
But that doesn’t mean that right now, I’m not trying to savor these fleeting last weeks I have with just my son.
It doesn’t mean that while having another child feels amazing and oh-so-right for us, the way it is now isn’t incredibly special too.
And it doesn’t mean that, when we walk down the street with my boy in the middle holding both Mommy and Daddy’s hands, I don’t feel a twinge of guilt for the huge transition he is about to endure.
Please don’t get me wrong: I am thrilled to see our family expand, and I can’t wait to hold this baby girl in my arms. But I also need to admit that I’m simultaneously mourning the loss of our current family of three, and grieving the fact that it will never be the same again.
Moms of two or more: Can you relate? Did you feel a similar mixture of emotions when expecting your second child?
Moms of one: Are you planning to have more children or not?
image via bonninturina/Dollar Photo Club