A girl a little older than Camille ran up to us, so I helped Camille to make room in the chair so that they could both spin the wheel together. The mom of the little girl ran over with her diaper bag and a baby on her hip. "When are you due?" she asked me.
(This question always brings me back to the reality that I have a huge preggo belly. Sometimes I forget it, and then someone will ask -- and I'm like, ohhh riiight, everyone knows! It's evident!)
We started chatting about the distance between siblings and hers are 18 months apart. Ours will be about 23 months apart. I looked right at her and said -- lay it on me. How crazy is it?
She responded, "You just have to give yourself grace."
(I sort of groaned internally. Yes, cute saying, trendy saying. But what does it meannnnnn?)
But she went on -- thank goodness. She said, you have to embrace the craziness. You have to let your house be messier. You have to forgive yourself for a showerless day.
Okay, this is where my second biggest fear about adding on to our family kicks in. Exactly all of that. But it's not really because of me. I think that I am the kind of person that could have four children and a fairly unkempt house. Not filthy, but just a little untidy. I'm a little more free-flow, "god made dirt, dirt don't hurt", life is crazy but wonderful, ain't nobody got time for perfection. But my husband? Different story! He is a "place for everything and everything in its place" man. I knew this entering a relationship with him. And I respect the fact that having a neat/tidy house makes him feel more relaxed and calm on the inside as he handles a fairly high-stress job, especially as the sole breadwinner in our family.
So, with that said, he is realistic and understanding enough that I know he is not going to come home expecting me to spin around from the oven with a baking sheet of warm cookies ... and he knows that me at home with a newborn and a two-year-old is going to be a totally new adventure. The truth? He is probably going to give me more "grace" than I will give myself. I think what scares me here is putting so much pressure on myself to still make it all work -- keep the house pretty. Meal plan. Shower, and wash my hair at least a few times a week (ha). Pay the bills on time. Come up with fun, stimulating, educational activities for Camille. And maintain some of the things I still like to do ... like blog regularly.
Speaking of Camille -- let's talk about my number one biggest fear about having a second baby.
I love her so much, y'all. Ian and I look at each other all of the time and just marvel at how NEAT she is. She is unique. She is hilarious. It's probably because she's ours, but we truly believe she is different from all other 20-month olds we know! She is so smart. She is just crazy fun to be around!
I am scared about comparing another baby to her. I am scared about comparing love. Countless mothers, including my own, have said "You think you can't love another baby any more. Then you look into the new baby's eyes, and you know that you can love this second baby with a whole new part of your heart." But this is a truth I won't realize until I experience it.
Another mom told me that it's not necessarily that you'll take away time from the toddler to devote to the newborn, but it's moreso that you will spend the same amount of time with your toddler and just not have all of those hours upon hours of relaxing with your newborn on your chest, gazing lovingly at their immaculate perfection. Okay, I get that. But I loved that time with Camille, and it is so crucial! I want that with the new baby! I already feel guilt that I may not have that precious time with the new baby due to balancing time and attention with Camille.
Thank you for being a sounding board to my crazy. These are the thoughts that keep me up at 3am!
And obviously, we are thrilled to meet this sweet baby. I cannot WAIT to find out if we are having a boy or a girl. Our family will feel complete, I just know it. And I'm ready to embrace the wild, love-filled times. I just want to know what baby's eyes look like! Will he or she have Camille's scrumptious nose? Will we have another brown-haired child, or will it be a nordic-looking babe like Ian was as a newborn?
Mothers of two or more, talk to me. Tell me about that grace I need to give myself. :)