After yesterday’s depressing post about how terrified I am about the arrival of ANOTHER baby into our home, I thought I’d consider this event from another angle.
Because honestly – despite the things I am very much not looking forward to again, like infant poo and all the incessant crying that has no magic ‘stop’ button – there are a lot of things I’m actually really excited about.
A Baby! I really love babies! I never really used to, but after having one of my own, I experienced a novelty that just doesn’t come from anything else. I love the floppy cuddly way babies feel when you hold them up to your shoulder. I love their little not-quite-deliberate movements, and grunty noises. I love the smell of baby heads! My daughter turned out to be a very independent child – pretty much from birth – and as soon as I caught on to her preference, she was almost always left to lie on the couch or a table instead of being held closely because she really didn’t like to have any restrictions. I’m not-so-secretly hoping that this baby will like to be cuddled! Even if it means I have to do more rocking and holding to get her to sleep. I might end up eating my words on this one… :)
Baby Stuff! Who doesn’t love baby stuff? I do, anyway. My daughter has already reached the stage where she’s opinionated about what she wants and what she wears – most days I announce to people that she picked out her outfit so that I can not be blamed for such a… unique… fashion sense. I’m really excited to be able to dress up a baby who doesn’t care what she’s wearing, or at least can’t voice her opinion. Does this make me awful?
Also, because we are having another girl – we really don’t NEED anything for this baby that we didn’t already get for Clara. Which means that instead of worrying about the necessities – I can focus on just getting some really nice things occasionally for parties or photos, etc.
Clara needs a sibling… As she gets older, I think she gets more and more accustomed to being at the center of our universe. She could use a reality check. I have met wonderful, well-behaved only children – but I wasn’t one of them. I don’t know if it’s personality or discipline (because granted, as a child I wasn’t very disciplined), but Clara is already displaying all of my personality traits – determination, stubbornness and a little bit of defiance – so I don’t want to take any chances!
I feel – at least a little more – like I now know what I’m doing. There were a few things we did with Clara regarding parenting choices that I would like to do differently with Baby #2. Mostly, though, I felt a certain level of insecurity that I hope I will no longer feel when this baby arrives. As Clara grows, I feel more and more confident as her mother, but there is still the very real knowledge that ‘I have never been here before’. With Baby #2, I will have. So, I hope I will do a better job of asserting myself and making confident decisions as a ‘New’ Mommy again! :)
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!!!)
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