Big Fat Bellies!

[Note from Jodi: My mustache story has been selected by Momversation to compete in their Mother’s Day Contest.  If you’re into it, vote for me here, because I’m totally getting my arse whooped by other mothers. I’m calling for a cage match!] 

This picture all by itself makes me see his point.

“I want you to get a big, fat belly.”

Don’t imagine for a second that I haven’t noticed the wide-eyed infatuation Roan has exhibited towards two of my best friends, with their baby-building bellies poking out beyond their ever-growing breasts.  I see how he looks at them.  I saw this coming. 

“I want you to get a big, fat belly.  And when I’m eight, my sister will be seven, right?  I’ll be older.  I’ll be her older brother.”


Anson and I have agreed that one child is what we want.  We have asserted this to each other and to others who have no inhibitions about letting us know we should make more, that one is plenty; Roan is enough.  My sound byte is that you know – honestly the best thing we could give to Roan is a strong relationship between his mother and father.  That seems easier to come by when there’s only one child climbing between you pushing your faces apart when you try to kiss.  I don’t know how to ignore more than one child screaming “Ewwwww!” when Anson plants a movie-star smacker on me. 


Yet…we did pay lip service to the idea of batting around the possibility of maybe having another theoretical alleged could-be child if Roan ever mentioned it on his own.  Which has happened.  So I had to break it to Anson: life has become too easy.  We are happily married, with a well-adjusted child who we couldn’t possibly love more but do love more every single day, living in a community built around families and though work is stressful, it seems steady.  It’s time to think about mixing it up. 


But still…I can’t kick the idea of how ridiculous it seems to fathom loving another child in the way I love my boy.  I know that this feeling of “cheating” on the first-born is pretty common when you consider having a second. 
But I do cherish how Roan and I have this unique thing.  I love our quiet time together, and my undivided purpose in being with him anytime he wants me to be. 


So, it’s on the table so to speak.  But it’s complicated because my body is complicated and it’s complicated because there are so many great things about our lives now that would change.  One small but not unimportant thing is that Roan has recently learned how to get his own breakfast in the morning.  This is something that has a magnitude that cannot be overlooked or underestimated, if you understand anything about parenting, sleeping and how the two are in an epic battle.  But I don’t imagine at the end of my life I’ll look back and be proud of the 8 hours of sleep I got every night.  I can imagine being proud of Roan’s wanting to share me, and his push for me to have a big, fat belly.  



22 responses to “Big Fat Bellies!

  1. My wife and I went through a very similar chain of events. We were totally happy with our one child, and felt like we had it all under control. When she started asking about a little brother/sister, it began a conversation between my wife and I. We actually came to the conclusion that we were better suited to be parents to one child rather than two. I haven’t regretted that decision, but do wonder sometimes how it would have been. Good luck with your upcoming choices. Certainly it will be great, either way!

  2. Whatever you guys decide will be what is best for your family!!

  3. Stop thinking and pour the wine. I’ll watch Ro Ro

  4. That picture is hilarious. Also, he’ll probably stop wanting a little sister the first time he has to share something with her. Then, it’s too late. And one more thing, I’d be proud if I actually got 8 hours of sleep. Does that mean I don’t need to have kids?

  5. Well it’s great to know that you guys are out there – the ones who don’t automatically know they want a big brood of kids. Or uh…even two. Thanks for weighing in.

  6. bohemianbailie

    I was an only child for fourteen years and then my mom and dad had another child. I was very happy for my first little brother and then a year and a half later the night before my first day of sophmore year my told me she was pregnant again. At that point I had a heart attack but now 8 years later I would be absolutley lost without the two of them. I sometimes even imagine that when the younger of my two brothers is in college he will come live with my and my husband because I love him so so so much. And from a child point of view I will say at first there were times when I was a bit jealous of my brothers but now I know that we each offer them a different type of love and joy. I am also very happy that in later years I have my brothers to carry on family traditions and they will always be there to support me.

  7. Well I do hope that’s true. Of course we keep going back and forth so it may come down to a coin toss. Is it still true that the coin toss will determine what’s best for our family?

  8. I will if you will. C’mon…’re not that busy, PLUS you have older children who would be great babysitters. Just sayin’.

  9. Roan would probably be less angry about sharing than the fact that if he had a sister she could wear dresses out in public. And if you’re not sleeping 8 hours per night now – without kids – and you’re functioning, you’re a perfect candidate to be a parent. Go get busy.

  10. Wow – sounds like you got the benefits of being an only child AND having siblings. Your parents are awesome for having the guts to go for it like that. The thing I keep coming back to is my relationship with my brother and sisters and how important they are to me – sounds like you have that same thing going. That is so compelling. Thanks for your story!

  11. Man, this is a tough one to talk about. Much like the Should I Have Kids question, it is so personal and I fear that any assvice carries a whiff of judgment.So, no assvice, no You Should Do This. I’ll just give you my experience and you can take what you will!If I could have 5 kids, I would. We now have one, and we’ll probably stop at 3. The reasons are myriad, and run from the delightful (this babyhood of his is so fun, I cannot imagine not going through it all again) to the macabre (what if, what if, something happens to my child, God help me. Having multiple kids wouldn’t replace the lost boy, but . . . you know.) And I had 4 siblings myself. I feel like a sibling is a wonderful gift for my kid, and is a relationship that cousins, best friends, or his dad and I could never fully replace.You’ll do what’s right for you, this is just what’s right for us.

  12. I didn’t think I could love another child as much as my first…but I did, then I did again. The variety of personalities, issues, emotions, drives…totally mind-boggling in a good way.My 12 year old got to see his older bro die, then his little bro be born. They fight and play and love each other dearly. Big age gap, but the affection runs deep in both of them.Multiple children is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made…but both my sisters decided to have only children and they are happy as can be also. Multiple children- way harder to handle than one, but wow, the intricacies of all those personalities bouncing off one another…priceless. If you really want to grow in the area of patience and how to relate to others, there’s nothing like baby #2,3,4…

  13. I was an only child for about 5 years when my parents decided to adopt my sister. At first it was really hard for me to accept this – and when the social worker would ask if my sister should be sent back – I often wanted to tell her yes! I think my mom handled the jealously pretty well – we had what she called “Fireside Chats” with just her and me where we could talk about whatever I wanted and how I was feeling about having a new sibling. Now I’m really really glad I have my sister. There were lots of times in our lives when we really had to be there for each other because each other was all we had. Sounds like you’re and awesome mom now -I say go for it.

  14. My husband and I took the decision to stick at one child. We love our daughter beyond reason and I’m pretty sure we’d love another just as much, but actually we just don’t want to have a second child. My daughter has asked about having a little sister but I have to be honest and say that doesn’t sway me even for a second. I would mention that I was 39 when I had her and despite being fit and active had a terrible time physically when pregnant. But even if I could face that particular challenge again (with the added complication this time of having to look after a child as well- and I’m pretty sure THAT wouldn’t make me a nicer person), I simply do not want to change the dynamic of our threesome with more children. After much talk with baby contemporaries (most of whom have a second by now), I have come to the conclusion it’s as OK to want to stop at one as to want more. There are lots of very logical arguments for both sides, but in the end it came down to a feeling of what was right for us. Not sure if that helps – beyond saying whatever you decide will be right for you too!

  15. Hey, but wait, your boy gets his own brekkie! That’s a good thing indeed. My, um, 10yr old certainly knows how, but she gets lost in a time-space bubble every weekday morning. She’d get her own at about 10:00a.m., some 2hr40m after the bus came for school. Sigh.As for more kids, I really wanted a sibling for my girl, as I had bunches of them. That first pregnancy and delivery was brutal on my wife (and me, really – nothing like waiting on your wife for food orders while she’s virtually bedridden for months, then being with her during labor & delivery, only to have it end in a precarious C-section. I thought I would lose them both; it was rough on us both, for sure.)That’s probably TMI, but it’s real, eh?Don’t get me wrong about the waiting on my wife part. I love her dearly, but doing meal prep. 100% of the time while doing all of the outside jobs (work) and home stuff is rough. I truly don’t know how single parents get it done. Many praises for them.

  16. Gillian – I appreciate all these points of views, honestly. It doesn’t come across as judgement because really – I probably shouldn’t post it if I’m not willing to listen. I totally get the wanting my son have a sibling, because of the experience I’ve had with mine. But I actually DO think that absent that, an only child will create that kind of bond outside of the family – or with his extended family. I hope for that.LeLaLu – I’m glad to hear of someone speak to the age difference – Roan is 5 now. So if a baby ends up crashing this party at some point, they’ll be pretty far apart. Thanks for the reassurance that it works for you. By the way – I’d really like to meet your boys someday.Megan – I like your mother’s style! I suppose it all comes down to the parents carving out space and time for everyone. Also that’s a little funny that you wanted to tell the social worker to send her back. Very 5 year’s old. Debbie – you and I may be soulmates. I feel like the architecture of this family is so strong and sound, why mess with it? Somehow Roan’s requests have resonated with me though, and that may just be me reacting to the fact that I’m 38 and I’d better decide one way or the other here pretty soon. Thanks for the support.VA Biker – NOT TMI. Sounds like an intense long stretch of time for you. I suppose we always want the good pieces of our lives to be the shared with our children. It makes sense that if we’re close with our siblings, we’d want that for them. But I also love the idea that we can be fulfilled in any of many ways. I know that right now as an only child Roan gets so much support and attention that he’s got to feel like the king of the world. Who wouldn’t want that for their child? I’m getting that there’s no right answer. And that every answer is right. So…what an interesting bunch of comments on this.

  17. I like your insights Jodi. If you do have another child, don’t worry about any downside for Roan. The dude sounds like he could handle anything. I definitely agree with others that each child is so unique and amazing and painfully lovable that you cannot imagine your life without them. Our children are kind of spread out age-wise and that worked great for us. Sibling relationships are priceless too. I could go on and on, but this is a biggie and I’m sure you’ll be happy with your family whatever you ultimately choose.

  18. Take what you feel for Roan, x2million, then add the awesomeness of Roan loving his sibling – there you have it. Fear not.

  19. Though there are lots of things to consider and weigh, you can scratch the how-could-I-possibly-love-another-child-this-much-or-do-so-without-taking-away-from-#1 fear right off your list. I had it too, until the husband pointed out: the human heart’s capacity for love is infinite.And our second (and last) child is now a little over a year, and I am more amazed than ever at this truth.

  20. I don’t have time right now to read all of the above comments, so just ignore me if I say the same thing as others have. My sister and I are 6 years apart (I’m the oldest) and she is my best friend – I simply can’t imagine life without her. My sons are 5 years apart (22 & 27)and they, too, are best friends. I’m not going to say that every moment from the time of birth to the present has been bliss – there have naturally been fights and squabbles through the growing up years, and even, on occasion, now. However, the relationship and respect and love for each other that has grown through the years is something that can’t be replaced by someone that is not a sibling, no matter how close the friend is. As for your comment that you can’t imagine loving another child as much as you do your first – I had the same fear. It was gone as soon as I saw the face of my youngest son for the first time. I love both my sons more than anything in the world, but I love them differently, as they are two very different people. But these are my thoughts; in the end, whatever you decide to do will be right for you and your family, and that’s really all that matters! Good luck!

  21. One of the reasons I like living in NY is that I don’t feel like have to apologize choosing to have only one child. Siblings are great – R and I both have them and can’t imagine life without them – but M will find other ways to create those bonds. Sometimes I feel guilty, like my selfishness is depriving him of a sibling, but for a number of reasons – psychological, physical, logistical -he’s going to be an only child. It will be hard when he starts asking… he’s already asking for a pet. Yikes.

  22. You will never regret the children you have but someday you may regret those that you don’t.First time here, great blog. Kim…mom to 4 boys and a lone princess

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