Sunday, January 11, 2009

The opposite of baby lust

It's no secret that Jason and I have been mulling over having another baby this year. But on days like today, I waver about whether I really want to have another kid. Zeke is teething and uncomfortable and is developing another yucky diaper rash (though, God willing, it won't be anything like the last one). He's sleeping horribly and as a result is fussy and easily frustrated and it's totally wearing me out. (How's that for a run-on sentence?)

I love the child beyond all sense. He is a sweet-tempered, funny, engaging kid. He's playful and affectionate and mischievous and inquisitive. It's so much fun to watch him learn new things and experience new experiences and take enjoyment from those experiences. Yesterday we had a wonderful time -- he woke up happy, we played outside, we went to the beach and he had a blast in the water, we took the dog for a walk, we read books, we played peek-a-boo, we wrestled. It was a pleasure to spend time with him. And it made me think of how much fun it would be to have another.

So what's the problem?

Every day for the last week, except for the day he slept until 8:15, Zeke's been up and ready to go by 5:30 at the latest. So by the end of the day, I'm completely wiped out, and have little energy to cook or do laundry or even take a shower. Plus, living with him is like running a hotel for a pint-sized rock star -- the house is constantly trashed. Multiple time a day I'm putting puzzles together to put them away, gathering up his blocks from all over the house to put them back in their bin, wiping chewed up bits of blueberry muffin and veggie burger off the floor. Chewed up because his latest charming trick is to take a bite of food, chew it as if he were going to eat it, and then push it back out of his mouth, like toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube.

And all of things are just him acting like a 1 year old. It will pass. I know this. But I spend so much time exhausted and weary.

Plus there's the fact that we're in such limbo right now -- getting ready to move but without any definite timeline because we're working on the job situation, and worried about what happens if the jobs don't come through. I feel that with this kind of uncertainty, it would be insane to get pregnant now. How will I afford daycare for 2 children? Do I really want to resign myself to not sleeping for the next 3 years?

But then I think about how millions of people throughout history have had babies under far worse circumstances. And that by the time a new baby was born, things will have worked themselves out in terms of where we'll be and what we'll be doing. And I don't really want Zeke to be an only child. It strikes me as a lonely way to grow up (I was one of 3 and loved it).

I've been off birth control since October. But I've been half-hearted in my efforts to try to get pregnant. I know exactly when I ovulate every month. I can feel it, plus there are other signs that I won't go into. So I know when is the ideal time to get the job done. And over the past couple of months, I've deliberately let that time pass without any effort to take advantage.

At the same time, every time another month passes and I get my period, I feel like I've lost something. I had no trouble getting pregnant before, but maybe it won't be so easy now. Maybe if I don't get pregnant now, I'll never be able to. The thought of that makes me really sad.

10 comments:

  1. And here I come sliding in with some unsolicited advice. No. Observations from my own life as a mother. And before I go further, may I just say that I adore my children. ADORE them.

    If I could do it over again, they'd be 17, 16, 15. Boom, boom, boom. I would have gotten the expense of the baby stuff and day care out of the way. The huge gaps between our kids can be a big problem and a huge asset.

    Ask me tomorrow and I might tell you that I'm happy they're spread out the way they are.

    And then I look at the Dancer who has just completed another set of scholarship applications online. Sigh. And now I hear the other two fighting (again) in the back of the house.

    One, just one might not have been so bad........

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know what I think? I think that whichever way it goes, it will be the exact right thing for you guys.

    Two of my best friends from junior high on are only children and while they did say that they would have liked a sibling, one of them married into a HUGE family and both of them found additional family members of their own...(their best friends families, cousins, etc...)

    (I already offer up Pickle as a super-buddy for him and you know that we can names at least 11 other short people he'll be tight with...then I stopped counting, I know their are more....)

    So my point is...(and yes, I am not even all in the parenting thing yet, so what do I know...)

    ---I feel pretty certain that, even if you need a little help down the line, you can probably get all knocked up again...gotta love the science...(yeah, money, etc....)

    ---I also feel pretty certain that families come in all fashions, so Zeke will get extra siblings anyway, plus perhaps in the conventional fashion, too....

    So really, it's the best of all things....So worry, as you will, but not so much...

    (if Pickle goes well, we're thinking of trying to do it again somewhat quickly...crazy yes, but I feel a little of the pressure, too...if it matters, my mom says it's not so bad to have two little people at the same time...but we also got lots of spankings and time outs....i dunno...but it will all be okay....)

    Okay...end of overly long and unsolicited comment...

    love you...

    ReplyDelete
  3. also re: the chewed food trick...LOVE IT...but don't expect Z to "grow out of it."

    Those tricks are awesome.

    i still find it endlessly amusing, when brushing my teeth, to let the brushing foam trickle out of my mouth and run down my chin. Then I scream, "Grrrr I have rabies."

    Then I laughed and laugh.

    (Anthony usually just rolls his eyes. Poor guy.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lisa -- I don't mind unsolicited advice. It comes with the territory of keeping a blog. And I think you're smart and have great life experience, so I view yours as particularly valuable. We've been thinking of another now partly because, like you, I'd prefer to have them close together and get the most labor intesive part out of the way sooner rather than later. Plus, at the age of 38, I don't have years and years to do it. I worry that if I don't do it now, I won't be able to later. The truth is, I think in my heart of hearts, I want another kid. I'm just really tired and scared right now.

    Elizabeth -- you're right, however it turns out, it will be fine.

    And I think the rabid dog toothpaste trick is great if you're old enough to clean up after yourself. Zeke's tricks are cute and I find myself laughing in spite of myself, but I'm still worn out at the end of the day.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous4:50 PM

    I want another. I really do; a girl this time. But becoming a single mother of 2 is NOT an option for me. And seeing as how I am not presently dating anyone nor do I forsee my wish of one day being married ever coming to fruition, Maurice will more than likely grow up to be an only child.

    I guess that isn't such a bad thing. He's got mounds of cousins to grow up with.

    Sherice

    ReplyDelete
  6. Susan O.6:28 PM

    Hey Wendy... People said I was crazy going for a third but you have to do what you feel is right for you. I honestly have say the general hassle and adjustment of 1+ another wasn't too bad. The first was hard but after that, your life is no longer your own already so you just add another child to it... Now that my oldest two are 7 and almost 5 I wonder where the years went... you honestly blink your eyes and the hard times are over. It may not seem like that when you are going through them but looking back it seems that way. As one of three, I have to agree with myself I have to agree with you that I wanted siblings for my kids but they have cousins also and a ton of friends so it's not like they would have been lonely! I was almost 39 when I had Cate- all worked fine...

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