Waiting

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As I write this, I’m sitting in the hospital waiting for the arrival of my daughter. When you read this, she may have already arrived. My wife is in the early stages of labor and is resting, so I’m sitting here typing away, my mind full of all sorts of thoughts on the subject of having another child.

Can I afford it? The numbers tell me that we can afford this child easily, but the uneasiness of additional day care costs and everything else means that we’re going to be walking even more of a tight rope than before. My reaction is, as always, to make sure things are as secure as I can, so this means building up that emergency fund even higher.

How will I find the time? The high point of my day is the block of time I set aside to spend with my family, and most of that has revolved around having our son as the centerpiece of things. I want to continue to give him this rich attention while also spreading it to my daughter without shortchanging either one of them. How will I find the time? How will I balance it so everything is right?

Have I made good decisions since we found out she was coming? We bought a four bedroom house, almost tripling our living space. We started a 529 plan, funding it actually a bit better than we funded our son’s at first. We already have survivorship plans in place for both children, with guardians that were the best choice of the options available to us. Yet I sit here and wonder are we really ready?

Can I possibly love this baby as much as I love my son? Even now, knowing that he’s fine with his grandparents and that it would be a mess to have him here right now, I’d rather have him with me, teaching him things – reading a book to him, walking with him as he explores while my wife rests, and so forth. He brings such peace and such pure joy to my life that I can’t help but wonder if I can love my daughter that much. A piece of me somewhere is reassuring me that I will, that it will all make sense when I hold her. That piece of me is probably right.

All I know is this. My wife is resting now. Her eyes are closed and she’s facing away from me, probably not even realizing that I’m writing this right now. Without her as a part of my life, I genuinely wonder if I could do this. With her support, love, friendship, and care, I know that I can do this – her strength, intelligence, and fortitude constantly amaze me and drive me on to greater things. The support of someone you truly care about, and who truly cares about you as an equal, is more valuable than anything else.

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39 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. Whatever the case, congratulations on the new addition to your family!!!

    There are some things that are “not about the cost of having one” and I’m sure children is one of those things.

  2. Congratulations on the new little sweet pea!! I admire you seem to have your ducks in a row and you put alot of thought into things, but I want to leave you with a thought…….if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans….remember you are not in control.

  3. Congratulations to both you and your wife! I understand your concerns and that certainly shows what a great Dad you are. Being spoiled rotten as Daddy’s girl, I know you will love your little girl very much. May God give her a long, healthy and prosperous life surrounded by her loved ones.

  4. As someone who has a two year old and 3 months ago had a second child I can tell you – the truth is you’ll never be really ready or 100% prepared – but NO-ONE is. But with the second you’re usually more adaptable which is better than being ready (since predicting the future is hard!)

    You’re doing a great job and you should focus on the 95% you are doing right (e.g. bigger emergency fund, starting a new 529) and not the 5% you aren’t. All you can do is the best you can and beyond that to know that you cannot control everything.

    Anyway if you could control everything life would be boring right? :-)

    My advice – at this point your goal is to enjoy EVERY MINUTE with these little bundles of joy in your life. You will not be this way again
    and in 30-40 years time you’ll wish you were where you are RIGHT NOW so be in the moment.

    Best of luck to you – and most of all to the one doing all the hard work right now – your WIFE! :-)

    -F

  5. I hope everything is going well! Just a few months ago, I was mother to “two under two” (my oldest turned two in March) so I completely understand how you feel. As you already know, you’ll get through it together – especially those oh-so-difficult first weeks. And you won’t even be able to remember what life was like without your daughter, much less imagine what your family will be like. As for the fears about not being able to love my second as much as I loved my first? I completely forgot about them the moment my baby was born until just a couple of months ago, when someone who was expecting their second mentioned it.

    My one money advice during these earliest days of your daughter’s life is this: Unless you absolutely can’t afford it, go ahead and splurge on the things that will make life easier – take-out, extra baby gear, etc. The stress relief is worth it!

  6. Congrats on the new addition to your family. You will be never be 100% prepared as its next to impossible to, but the experience you gained watching your son grow will help you for sure.

    Once again congratulations and best of luck.

  7. Coming out of lurkdom to say what a beautiful post, Trent. Your love for your family is always evident in your blogging, but it’s exceptionally so in this post. Not surprising considering this is an exceptional day with the birth of your daughter. The words you wrote about your wife brought tears to my eyes. To love and be loved like that is a magnificent thing.

    As Frank said, focus on what you’re doing right – which is A LOT – and on enjoying every minute with your wife and the Little People.

    Blessings to you and your wife.

    P.

  8. Congratulations!
    It seems to me like you have a great plan in place and I am sure you will love your daughter just as much as your son.

    You sound like a great father and husband and I wish your family the best.

  9. If there’s a god, may She bless you and your family.

    And boyoboy, are your other correspondents right: You are NEVER ready for another kid. But it’s OK: you’ll find a way.

    And you know what? You never love one child in the same way as you love another. It doesn’t matter (assuming you’re not the abusive type, which you don’t seem to be): As every human being is different, so every variation on a parent’s love is different, yet that love is still the same in being love.

    To coin a 3,000-year-old cliche, children are your wealth. And you will be rich.

  10. Congratulations to you both, good luck and of course you will love this new little one every bit as much as you love your son. The second child is easier than the first because you recognize how fleeting every stage is, as soon as you’re an old hand at diapers, suddenly you’re dealing with preschool! They just keep growing and changing. I just found out that I am to become a grandmother in a few months and it seems like yesterday that I was bringing my own beautiful child home. You are already rich.

    good luck, enjoy your beautiful family, Rita

  11. Congratulations!

    Some friends of mine have a “Daddy Date Night.” Daddy takes the child out one night a month on the date the child was born. This gives him a chance to connect with his children one-on-one, even if he is walking around the mall with his sleeping infant.

    Now that the children are adults, they say the time the spent with their dad was very precious to them, and they learned so much from the dates.

    This could be a great way to get to know your daughter and connect with your son more.

  12. I wondered, too, how I could ever love someone else as much as I love my daughter. Then my son came along, and I discovered that I did. Love does not diminish when shared, but grows.

    And what a wonderful thing to have a sibling to care for and help nurture.

    warmest wishes to you all.

  13. that was the very question i worried over, will i love the new child as much as i love the first born. I don’t know how it happens, but yes, you will.

  14. Just wanted to say congratulations! (And please pass on your tips for managing a second baby once she arrives–I’m hoping we’ll need them in a couple years!)

  15. Reading you tick out the plans you’ve made bring realization that my husband and I have done much of the same subconsciously in ways of preparation. It’s become a common subject, when are we having a baby. It terrifies me and excites me at the same time.

    Babies, there is no other word but love. It always comes, in the moments you hold your children it is so evident what true love means. I found so much strength within myself the first time I became a mother that I overcame more than I ever thought possible. Like said previously, when she’s here you won’t be able to imagine life without her.

  16. Thank you once again for sharing such intimate details of your life with us…best wishes for you and your family. Your wife and kids are lucky to have you. As a reader, I feel pretty lucky too. You share a lot of yourself and you deserve all the best. Good luck and congratulations.

  17. Congratulations. And, Yes, you will lover her as much as the first. I have three and I love them equally, just differently.

  18. When I am sixty-three, when you are ten,
    and you are neither closer nor as far,
    your arms will fill with what you know by then,
    the arithmetic and love we do and are.

    from “A Poem for Emily” by Miller Williams, The Bread Loaf Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry

  19. Best wishes on your new addition. Love grows as it is given away, therefore, it grows easily when there is another to love.

  20. This time last year I was in labour with number 2, so my husband and I both know what you’re going through.

    May all four of you have a happy and healthy Labour Day.

  21. Before our second came along I secretly wondered if I was literally going to burst from love… I mean, I already had more love for my son than I knew how to cope with… how could I possibly have any room left over for #2?

    Turns out that your capacity for love expands with the requirements (like the reported “you’ll always find something to spend extra income on”).

  22. don’t worry, you will love your daughter more than your son. a daughter is always very special for a father. ask mine ;-).

    nimue, 40something and still daddys little princess

  23. From this and many of your other posts, I am sure you will be a great father to as many children as you decide to have. Best wishes to you and your whole family.

  24. I was touched by how openness and honesty in your post. The fact that you are thinking so hard about these issues shows that you are ready for whatever is thrown at you. Congratulations!

  25. I KNOW you will be as loving and caring a dad to your newborn as you are already to your son. And I don’t even know you. But your thoughts and concerns in your post speak volumes. Please keep us posted. Best wishes to your family!

  26. For us, there are some things money just can’t buy. We want a large family, and will just have to afford it on whatever budget we have by using frugal tactics. But the joy of a child is worth whatever we give up to have it… at least to us. We have friends who feel differently.

    Congrats on your two year old.

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