Here’s a moment of transparency: I’m afraid to have a second child. And not because of the usual reasons like having anxieties about being pregnant again or not knowing if I’ll have enough love in my heart for two. When I look at my first child, I know that there would be a gift in watching him become a sibling. I get excited about the possibility of doing it all over again—carrying, giving birth, experiencing the monumental newborn stage and watching my offspring grow into their own person. But I sometimes fear that I will be incompetent. And I am often afraid that I won’t be the mother that my children deserve. 

This fear has lingered over me like a dark cloud. In every thought about one day expanding our family, I am met with intrusive angst that I just won’t be good enough.

That my first born will feel abandoned and overlooked. That my second born will feel the weight of me trying to divide my attention and love. That no matter what I do, I won’t amount to what my kids need from their mother.

Related: My children are nothing alike—so I’m learning how to parent them differently 

I think about having to protect two babies in today’s world. I think about having to parent two differing personalities. I think about having to make sure that neither one of them feels unloved or neglected. And in all those thoughts, the one question that lies at the core is: Will I be capable? 

Because honestly, I doubt that I’ll have what it takes sometimes. Maybe my fear is a product of not believing that I am enough for the child that I have right now. Most days, as I am learning to be a mother, he gets the rough version of me. He gets the woman who oftentimes feels overwhelmed and exhausted.

He gets the woman who feels weary over the lack of a village and support. He gets the woman who has to take the time to learn who she is as a mother, as someone she has never been before. He gets all of my trials and errors—and I feel like he deserves so much more.

I don’t want to give my children the worst of me.

Motherhood with one child alone is utterly exhausting most days. And if I already wonder if I’m good enough for one, how could I possibly be adequate for a second baby?

I’ll be truthful in saying that sometimes, I doubt my own strength as a mother. When I think about having a second child—I am overwhelmed with unease about what raising two kids would look like for our family. 

Because I’m afraid that I won’t be able to divide myself anymore than I already have for my first child. I’m afraid that I won’t know how to disperse my attention accordingly and therefore, I will fail at nurturing both my children as they need. I’m afraid that I will lack understanding—and that even with the wisdom collected in becoming a mother for the first time, I will have so much to learn and unlearn in becoming a mother again.

Related: To the mama wondering if there’s enough space in her heart for another baby

Overall, I fear that I just won’t have what it takes.

I don’t want to give my children the worst of me. I want them to experience a mother who is confident in her maternal calling. A mother who is assured in her ability to raise strong-willed and loving children

Sometimes I feel selfish for wondering if another baby will disrupt the flow that our family of three has finally found. Because the lingering fog of the tough newborn and infant stage is finally lifting, and I don’t want to lose my footing again—not just yet.

My husband and I both agree though that one day, we want to expand our family. And though right now may not be the time for a second child, when the time is right, I will welcome the journey with open arms—despite of the worries and the anxieties.

Related: To the mama preparing her heart for baby No. 2: You are ready

The fear of not being a good enough mother is perhaps a weight that I will always carry—when I become a mom of two, three, four. But the truth is, I have the ability to be everything that my children need—even when I doubt myself. Even when I don’t believe it. 

Because I was called to be a mother, specifically designed as a maternal instrument for the child that I have now and the children that I may one day welcome in the future. Even on my worst days, I am simply doing the best that I can. And that is all my babies will ever need from me.