Make Room for Baby

Image

Pregnancy with a toddler feels a lot like this picture, taken a month or so ago. The current baby looms large while the new one (and, quite frankly, the lady gestating the little Mr. or Miss) doesn’t so much loom as tries to finagle a way into whatever space is left in the field of vision. Or mental energy of the family. First trimester was a blur of worrying, waiting, puking, and trying desperately to keep from falling asleep on the couch while a whirling 18-month-old dervish systematically destroyed the living room, paying little attention to my feeble protests. Many pizzas were ordered; many peanut butter sandwiches were consumed.

At this point, 20+ weeks in, I worry less, though anxious thoughts still crowd in at times. And–thank God–my energy levels are up, which leaves me partially capable of keeping pace with Smudgie’s ever-recharging batteries. I’m also starting to realize that it’s time to figure out how to make room for this new person: in my heart, in our family, and–perhaps the greatest challenge for a city-dweller!–in our apartment.

The heart part of the equation is the most and least complicated. I know that I will love this baby endlessly when he or she is born. But like most moms of one baby, I also can’t imagine replicating the overwhelming feeling I have for my son for someone else. How is it possible to love two people this wholeheartedly? The time I have to spend with each will be divided, so how can my affections not be as well? The only way to answer these questions is to live them, though, so there’s not much point fretting over it.

The next part requires more thought and does leave me kind of frantically incapacitated when I think it through too much. How am I going to balance having two little people dependent on me and also continue (heck, finish) writing my dissertation? Running and taking care of my health? Spending time with friends and family? Having that oh-so-important alone time with my husband. I’m already an inadequate housekeeper at best–how will I ever manage even the sub-par level I currently aspire to? And while LG is a tremendous, helpful, hands-on dad and equal partner, how will we each carve out time for ourselves and each other when it’s not just one baby we need to account for?

I also don’t have a lot of answers to this question. Other than one: Fresh Direct. After years of trying to convince my husband to give grocery delivery a try, I’m finally able to play the trump card. Pregnant mom+heavy toddler+third-floor walk-up apartment. Ain’t no way I’m adding three bags of groceries and a computer-and-book-laden shoulder bag to that sequence. Maybe this way I’ll finally be able to get around to the menu planning I’ve been meaning to try for the last few, um, years.

So then the final place to make room, the physical space where we live. This I can actually address! But fitting a fourth person into 900 sq feet is about as challenging as one might imagine, so stay tuned for a separate post: why we’re staying, how we’ll manage, and maybe that house tour I always (okay, never) promised you.

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7 thoughts on “Make Room for Baby

  1. Here’s the honest truth. I felt the same worries you did about loving a second child like the first. The day my second son was born, in my heart of hearts, I would have said I Ioved the first child more. But each day the love grew, and by six months or so, the love was equal. You see, I knew my first son and loved everything about him, but it took me some time to get to know the younger one and fall in love with him. Love the new blog by the way, and congratulations on the pregnancy!

  2. Ugh, 900 square feet? We’ve got one or two hundred on you, and the idea of putting another person in here makes me a little crazy :) Good luck with that and all the other tough questions. I wonder these things too so I have nothing insightful to add.

  3. He is so stinkin’ cute.

    We have double the square footage and people are telling me i need to move b/c I can’t possibly have two children in here. I can only imagine how functional your apartment must be…and how much I could learn from you :). i am right there with you on so many of these questions…such a crazy place to be.

  4. Wow. Your little guy is adorable. I know what you mean about making room in all those places. I’m still in the very early stages of pregnancy so I dare not even think about these things, but I do find myself looking at my toddler and thinking that there is no way on earth I could ever love another as much as I love her. It seems like an impossible proposition. And as for the physical space, that’s another thing entirely. Can’t wait for the tour!

  5. Your description of pregnancy now sounds eerily familiar to what is going on inside my own heart (as does your description of the 1st trimester, which is nearly identical to these past few weeks here…). I don’t know how we’ll make the space – emotionally and physically. Well, physically is easier – we rent, so we’ll be moving. Still in the city, and it’s unlikely we’ll have more than 1300sqft or so, but I know that will be plenty. Emotionally? No clue. I am certain that it will just happen, as I am a second child and I often think I might be the favorite. ;) So clearly parents DO find their love multiples instead of dividing. But, still… it’s HARD TO IMAGINE.

  6. WHY DOES YOUR BLOG NOT UPDATE IN MY FEED??? Glad I finally checked over here to see if you were in fact posting…
    I love the photo and the metaphor. As I enter the 3rd trimester, the idea of an actual baby is starting to become scarily real to me, and it isn’t clear at all how things will fit. But they will! As for alone time with E– I don’t know if that will ever happen again, unfortunately. Maybe the next one will ACTUALLY SLEEP as a toddler, and then we might have some time together. My toddler was jumping wildly on the bed at midnight last night, and was up at 7:30 this morning. She apparently doesn’t need sleep, not at all. None ever.

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