Friday, November 15, 2013

My thoughts and feelings on having a second child

I am having a baby. I am having a SECOND baby. I am having a daughter.

When I was pregnant with Jacob I was excited about everything baby. I was THRILLED to be changing my life and going from being employed to being home raising my son. I was looking forward to holding someone most of the day. To being everything he needed. To feeding him, comforting him, playing with him and changing my life for him....I had NO idea what I was actually getting myself into. I didn't know how hard it would be to listen to my child cry for hours and not be able to console him. I didn't know how much I would want to be back at work and doing ANYTHING but the tediousness of the day-to-day life of having a child. I didn't know how hard it would be to actually leave that little person and go to work despite wanting out so badly. I didn't know I could love the way I love him. I didn't know love could hurt so much and feel so good all at the same time. There is so much I didn't know.

This time around I feel educated. I know how crazy busy and boring life can be with kids. I know how exciting it can be to see my child learn and experience new things. I know how much I can offer my child. I know that I will fail my child. A lot of this knowledge is scaring me. Going in essentially blind was easier. I didn't know to be scared. I didn't know how guilty I would feel about so much. I didn't know I would constantly be second guessing myself on I spoiling him too much or ignoring him too much? Am I expecting too much from him or too little? Am I socializing him enough or pushing him into social situations too much? Were all those medical tests a complete waste of time or do I appreciate all that he has learned that much more? Did he have enough protein today? Did he get enough fruit? Should I be forcing him to eat his veggies? It never ends. This is part of parenting....I didn't stress about parenting before I was parenting.

Now I think about this new baby girl and I am excited for us and very excited for Jacob. I think having a sibling is important. It's something I always knew I wanted to give my first born. I also knew I needed more than one child for a number of reasons. Unfortunately the excitement is quickly covered over with fear. How am I going to handle TWO? I struggle with feeling selfish now with only one kid. I hate that I need time away from him as often as I do. I hate that I get as overwhelmed as I do. I hate that everything feels so difficult for me and yet I think I see others managing a whole lot better than I am. I want to be better for my kids, for my husband and for myself. I want to feel more peaceful and happier. I know the good that can come from that for my whole family. I know that if I am not doing well my family is not doing well. Jacob picks up on everything. He knows my moods and senses my fear and stress. He is two and he is already being negatively affected by me. can I make sure I give him the attention that he needs/craves when I have another little person to care for? Jacob is a boy who loves to have your undivided attention. He plays GREAT when you are sitting next to him the whole time, following him around and helping him whenever he asks. When I am busy with other things or just needing a little time to do something for me, he struggles. This adds to my nerves. I want to be there for him. I don't want him to feel abandoned or replaced when this new little one arrives but her needs and mine are important too. I know that having a sibling will be good for him but the transition will likely be so hard. I don't want to lose my tender little boy along the way.

A number of people have told me how much harder two is than one. I believe them but I believe that to be their truth. It doesn't HAVE to be mine. My main struggle has been redefining my life. I don't handle change well. I loved my job before I had Jacob. I was comfortable there. I felt like I had found something I was good at. I loved that I was with people all day...good people, fun people. I miss being with adults. That has been the hardest part about being a stay-at-home-mom. I am an extrovert and I get my energy from people. Being home all day, alone with a child drains me. I am slowly figuring out ways to be with adults throughout my week so that I am not feeling as exhausted all the time and it's helping. I am hoping that this might mean that going from one to two kids won't be as difficult for me as going from no kids to one was. Wishful thinking? Maybe.

Did anyone else feel as much apprehension about expanding their family as I currently am? Am I in this alone?