I came across an article today that discussed reasons why someone might choose to either stop after one baby, or wait after one baby for at least two years before conceiving again. The article included this quote:
" When you just have one child, you can still preserve a lot of your pre-baby lifestyle... Going out to dinner or on vacation isn't that hard." says Edward Christopherson, PhD. A Psychologist and and professor of pediatrics in Kansas City.
My response to this was utter and complete terror.
"What??? It isn't hard..??? Who does this guy think he is????"
And then it hit me - what if he's right? What if one child is a piece of cake, and I'm just a big whiny baby and having two at a time - especially when the oldest is less than two years older - will be terror?
I'm admittedly afraid.
And here are my main reasons why:
Chaos. I get flustered easily. I can't remember where I put my keys - ever. I still haven't found my camera (see post from last week). I find that the simple task of getting ready to go to work in the morning (just myself, never mind a baby) requires me to repeatedly go over my mental checklist. I'm probably the biggest flake imaginable, and I'm going to be responsible for TWO other people??
Sleep. I like sleeping. My Dad would get up with the sun (or without it, because in winter here the sun is lazy and doesn't show itself until 9am) at 5am. He was a morning person. I would have loved to inherit this particular trait - but I didn't. I can sleep in with the best of them - when the best of them were 13 years old. I haven't grown out of my ability to sleep until 2pm when left to my own devices (which granted, now only happens when I'm at home sick), and as I near 30, I sort of wonder if I will ever grow out of this. When we had Clara, everyone recommended I 'sleep when the baby sleeps'. When the realization hit me that with a toddler running around, I will no longer be able to do this - I pretty much panicked...
What if this baby is the same as Clara was? Going along with that last point about sleeping - Clara was 'colicky' for the first six weeks of her life. She started crying at about 7pm every evening and didn't stop until about 4am. It was awful. Everyone we asked for advice hadn't experienced anything quite so extreme, so no one could really offer any advice or consolation. It was hell.
What if this baby is nothing like Clara? Although Clara's first 6 weeks were hell, she quickly began sleeping straight through the night - up to 10 hours at a time - almost immediately after the 'colick' ended. Despite the insanity of those first six weeks, at least we were then able to finally rest! What if this baby doesn't sleep through the night - like, ever!?!? It crossed my mind sometimes that I was way to selfish a person to be a mom, because some days, when Clara started crying in the night, I tried for a long time to pretend I didn't hear her... Can I do that all over again - especially if this one is worse?
Pictures. This may not seem like a really big deal, but it kind of stresses me out. What if I don't take enough pictures? I find myself not taking enough pictures now (even when I know where my camera is) - what if I'm being driven crazy by two little ones and it just doesn't cross my mind to pull out a camera? This poor little girl will grow up with no baby pictures of herself! Taking pictures is just another thing on my 'to do' list. Another thing I have to remind myself to do. And that list of things seems endless and difficult some days...
I'm sure if I gave myself a week to think about this, I could come up with at least a dozen more reasons why baby #2 is kind of freaking me out... but I can't be alone in this. I ran across a blog post last month that was basically expressing the same fear - so I know I'm not the only one.
What were/are your fears going into the next baby? Were you right, or had you totally overreacted? (Please say there's nothing to be afraid of!!!)