Before we go further, there are some myths surrounding second babies that I felt the need to explore and/or dispel.
You forget the pain of childbirth
No you do not. Nor do you forget the nine months of alcohol, caffeine and nice cheese deprivation. And don't even get me started on the sleep deprivation.
What's another fart when you've already shit your pants
Or, more accurately, what's another 9 pound baby when your vagina already looks like last week's used dishcloth and your stomach, no matter how much of that god damned cream you put on it, will forever slightly sag over the top of your jeans?
It's cost effective
Yeah, ok, so you might as well get full use of the cot, high-chair and umpteen bags of baby clothes, but frankly getting to use your baby crap again does not equate to cost-effectiveness. Secondly, "cost-effectiveness" is not a good reason for going through the aforementioned nine months of alcohol, caffeine and nice cheese deprivation, not to mention the 25 years of sleepless nights that are likely to follow. Sorry, did I mention these two things already? I'm a bit sleep deprived.
The second time around will be easier
Yes, the second time around we might actually have some clue as to what we're doing, but that doesn't guarantee it will be any easier. My sister and I are a case in point on this one. In fact, my sister can claim to have single-handedly forced my parents to relinquish their dreams of having a large family. Three months worth of colic resulting in hours of crying in the evenings will do that.
Milkbaby needs a sibling
Does he? I'm pretty sure he would see things differently. There are variations on this theme: "you need an heir and a spare" (this argument only holds water if you actually have something for your kids to inherit). Or: you'll want more than one kid to look after you in your old age. Yeah, maybe.
So why exactly do we have children?
Looked at in the cold hard light of day, even on limited hours of sleep, it doesn't really add up. Put succinctly, children will ruin your body, your house, your bank account and your mind. And all your nice shit that you've forgotten to put out of reach.
The only way I can explain humans' urge to breed is that we are, at base, animals. And therefore we are programmed to do our part to continue the human species. Though overbreeding - and by extension - overpopulation - is probably what is going to bring the human race to its knees, if not decapitate it altogether.
So there we go folks: another blog post with no pithy ending, no answer. And I haven't even begun to explore the feminist angst raised by more time off from my career. All that "can women really have it all?" stuff. For another time.