Lately, we’ve been talking about a hypothetical second baby.
Not for right now, but eventually. When bills are paid on schedule, we have health insurance, and I’m no longer washing laundry at mom’s to save money (to be fair, I might never stop doing that. Her fabric softener smells really nice.)
But we’re actually nearing that time more quickly than anticipated, and as a result, we’re talking about babies in a much more deliberate way than makes me comfortable.
Because Little J showed up about five years earlier than scheduled, he sort of changed the entire plan. All of the reasons for waiting five years are now moot (thanks, kiddo!), and he’s started that baby avalanche. I’m not hoping for kids that are ten, twelve years apart and we’d like to have a few, so if baby-making time is now, let’s get it all out of the way at once, yeah?
Oddly, I think I’m just as reluctant this time as I would’ve been if we, you know, were thinking and planning about it the first time. I always counted it a blessing that we didn’t have the chance to sit and ponder if we did or didn’t want to have a baby and should it be now. He just took it upon himself to show up when it best suited him. Didn’t really ask permission or check for anyone else’s opinion, which, as it turns out, seems to be his way in handling most things. We were pushed into the pool. I sincerely doubt I would’ve ever been able to make that decision to jump or not to jump. It seems too huge, with so many factors and unknowns.
But I guess I wasn’t spared anything. Here I am, wondering if this is a good idea or not, and if so, if the timing is right.
The sad, selfish, but real truth is that I’m not looking forward to being pregnant again. It wasn’t anything outside the normal realm of human discomfort. But it also wasn’t fun fun, party all the time. I’m dreading putting myself through that all over again (this time, willingly), when it feels like I just finished a round of that nonsense. I’m not eager to sign up for nine months of various levels of “uncomfortable.”
The other really interesting (to me, at least) reason I’m reluctant is that I start to get sentimental pangs about life changing. I have a fear that I’ll lose a piece of Little Josh if I have one more thing to focus my attention on. How crazy is that? For every single major life change, I’ve faced this weird question of what parts of my already wonderful life I’d lose. When I was getting married, I worried I’d lose myself. When having a baby, I worried I’d lose time with my husband, and now that I’ve done both of those things and managed to hold onto the important stuff, I’m worried hypothetical baby #2 will mean I lose time with the baby I already have. Logically, I can scoff at my idiocy. But that doesn’t change the emotions of the thing. Friggin emotions.
This time around, it’s completely unexpected for me. I guess I’d assumed that since the first kid didn’t screw anything up too bad (other than that wall where I can’t get the pen scribbles off), I wouldn’t worry so much about the next time around. Turns out, just because one baby didn’t turn out to be demon spawn sent from hell to sever all of my ties with human civilization, doesn’t mean I’m convinced all babies will leave me as lucky. I might enjoy hanging out with this first guy, but that doesn’t guarantee I’ll like hanging out with the second, does it? And further, what if being forced to hang out with that second, possibly unlikable jerk of a baby doesn’t leave me time for the baby I already know I like? I know I can handle this mom-of-one nonsense (two if we count Salvador. I do.), but what if I can’t handle more?
It’s all stupid. I even tell myself that. Self, you’re being stupid. Duh, things will change. Obviously, priorities will shift. But we’ve had practice keeping the big things in their place while still piling on more big things. And it’s worked out mostly okay every time, with just a smidge of adjusting and recalibrating. So knock it off.
I just find it incredible that this same, old, sorry thought process kicks back into gear whenever we talk about life change of every sort. I guess I hadn’t figured that a mom could be baby ambivalent. I sort of stun myself with my thorough insistence to be worried about things that I logically know are fine.
It is certainly a privileged question. I’ll jump ahead of you and call me on that. But, the piling on of blessings seems to inherently entail the piling on of responsibilities, and it’s that second part that I’m not too keen on.
It seems to be the misery of being really super fortunate. In the same way that there was a sort of special time to being single, or to being newlyweds, it feels like this time of having just one little pal is special unto itself. When things are already really lovely, it makes sense to fear throwing a wrench in the works. Even if that wrench is really, really cuddly.
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