Monday, November 13, 2006

Da 'Burbs and Da Baby

I know, I know. I've not been around very much, not been posting, not been commenting (I have been reading your blogs though, just so you know). You may recall when I warned you all that I was going to take blog break to do NaNoWriMo and you have jumped to the logical conclusion that that is what I'm up to, that is, if you even noticed my absence and bothered to jump to a conclusion. Well, I've written 3 chapters...all right, 2 and 1/2. I have my whole outline of the plot and my characters and all that. I just really havn't felt motivated to write during the extremely rare times when I've actually had the opportunity. So no certificate or whatever it is for me. I still plan to write the thing, just not in one month.

So what the hell have I been doing, you ask? House hunting. Yep. Well, not real house hunting, not yet. We still have about 7 months on this lease, but we decided we should go ahead and start looking at what was out there in different areas and stuff since we've never bought before and are totally freaked out by it. How do you people do this? How do you make these decisions? I've been going to open houses and driving around and looking at houses my agent is sending me and reading the details of hundreds of listings and I'm already stressed yet barely have begun. I can't narrow this down at all. And what's more - I think I might be old, because the 'burbs are lookin' real good to me right now. When Hubby and I discuss this we always decide we aren't ready to leave the city yet, but I tell ya when I'm out there looking at what's available in our price range I'm really leaning toward that little rancher with the small fenced yard and super high taxes (better schools) over that 3 story rowhouse with no parking but leaves us with money to spare. All right, that's an exaggeration. But the point is this is freakin' hard and I already feel like I'm going to have an aneurism. How do you do it and avoid a panic attack? Yesterday, for the first time, I actually liked one of the houses I saw and it felt like a panic attack because I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I don't think I can keep this up for 7 more months.

You know what else I'm totally indecisive about? Babies. It's this whole second child thing. See, about 2 months ago I was totally thinking Hubby and I would be officially "trying" by now. I was thinking around the time Sam was 18 months old would be a good time to get started. I talked about it all summer. Seriously, I was ready. Went off the pill and everything. Even almost wanted to go ahead and get going, if you know what I mean, because I was baby crazy. Now...not so much. And I don't really know what happened. I kind of just want to hang out with Sam. The apprehension about the second baby thing might have started when we had that incident at the playground. You know, he got hurt while I was trapped holding a baby. And I see other moms unable to do things with their toddlers because they're holding a younger child and I just don't want to let go of any of that with Sam. I just can't quite envision how it all works. Then I look at other moms and calculate the ages of their children in my head and see that they're doing just fine and think, "I could do that," and recognize that it will always be scary to make such a decision.

But the thing is, how do I say this, I have started to feel like I might resent another child for getting in the way of my relationship with Sam. And I hate to use the word 'resent' because it feels so harsh, especially when talking about a newborn of all things, but that's the best word I've got. I'm trying to be honest here. Are these feelings normal? For those of you that have more than one child, did you experience anything like that either when making the decision or as you waited for the second to arrive or even after the baby came? I can't tell if this is an actual change of mind and we're really not ready, or if it's just normal apprehension because the decision is so close at hand and therefore more real. Because really I can't imagine that there would ever come a time when I'm not worried about losing my time with Sam due to another baby; that threat will always be there no matter when we decide to do this. It's quite a change though. All of a sudden I feel very protective of my time with him and my ability to give him my undivided attention. And then someone passes me their 3 month old at a playgroup and Sam walks up and gently pets her head and I wonder what we're waiting for...


Blogger Beck said...

That feeling you have, that the second baby will intrude on your time with your firstborn?
Totally normal. I was so freaked out while we were considering our second kid - how could I ever love #2 as much as #1? Wouldn't I sort of resent #2 for eating up #1s time?
But the reality is that I got pregnant again (both times) when my most recent baby was about 2, 2 1/2, and by the time the new baby came, my first baby was not a baby anymore. They were much more competent, and without a toddler's dangerous unpredictability. They were also in nursery school part of the time, and honestly just did not WANT me as much. So the second baby didn't take up anything that wasn't freely relinqushed.
When I got pregnant with my third, it was much less angsty, although I did worry about being outnumbered. And with good reason...

4:44 PM  
Anonymous jaybee4000 said...

Looking at houses and having a baby are both very stressful and expensive. Either one causes tremendous anxiety.
It is totally normal to wonder if a second child can be as important or as loved as the first, but they can. It is amazing how much love a person has to give. I had planned to have my children fairly close together but it didn't work out that way. And I am glad. Fives years apart was perfect for me. The first was going to kindergarten when the second came along. So each got a lot of my time when they were really little.Things have a way of working out.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Kelli in the Mirror said...

You're back! I had noticed the absence, had not made the connection, and was just wondering why you quit playing Friday Flicks when you're the reigning queen. :)

As for the second child thing, I feel that way sometimes too, and it's a bit late to do anything about it. I'm more worried that there's no way I could love this one as much as I do my daughter. Everyone assures me it won't be a problem. I have to assume they're right.

And the 'burbs are way fun. Doesn't mean you're old. I like them and I refuse to be old.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As beck says, totally normal to feel that way about having a second child. Right now Sam is your whole life and you can't imagine things being any different or being able to love another child just as much. I felt exactly the same.

When we brought Lex home from the hospital it felt like that was how things had always been. Couldn't even remember how it was before he was born. And the love.........unreal how a person can have that much love in them. It's awesome watching your children interact and loving one another. And even though I can't give Leelee my undivided attention all of the time, it's ok. The three of us have a great time together and when he naps, she gets my time then.

When you're ready you'll know, and fortunately you'll have nine months to get even more ready!

6:04 PM  
Blogger Valarie said...

I think almost everyone has to go through these two choices. It's just lousy that you have to make them at the same time.

When we were house hunting, I would drag our agent all over the older side of Salt Lake (those areas with addresses within the actual city tend to be more trendy, liberal and unfortunatley- more expensive). We lived within walking distance of the university for the first four years of our marriage and weren't excited to leave the area. We'd spend all day looking at 60-100 year old houses on tiny lots and I'd feel gross by the end of the day. Then he'd convince me that there was a house in the suburbs that I needed to see. I was always amazed at how much more house you would get and with fewer repairs needed and a great yard, all for less money.

We ended up in a brand new house in one of the least expensive suburbs. I don't regret our choice, but I do have some issues. The schools aren't great, but we don't plan to still be here when our kids start school. Even if we are, we have known since we moved to Utah that public school isn't an option anyway.

The things I do miss like mad are the overall feel, mature trees, nice playgrounds, and restaurants and shops that aren't parts of major chains. Being in the east, trees probably aren't scarce for you. My advice for the others are look at more than just the few streets around the house you are considering. You're going to spend a lot of time in that 3-5 mile radius. If you find that you would be consistently driving 30 minutes to get to your favorite stores, you might want to reconsider the area.

I'm so with you on the second baby thing. or, I was 4-10 months ago. Now we're well on our way to #2 and I just keep reminding myself of something my mom has said for as long as I can remembe- each child brings its own love with it. You can't imagine how you can love another one nearly as much, but you do, and it doesn't detract from what you feel from the first one. As for mama's undivided attention, I'm trusting the idea that a sibling is way more important in the long run. Let's hope those both play out.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Mama D said...

Yeah, I have heard about this second child anxiety. I mean, I have it. But it's more about - Will I be really sick again? How will I look after A if I'm that sick. And then there's the - What if I get depressed again. Then I'll be treating two kids and a husband like crap. Does anyone really deserve that? I don't think I've ever even thought about the 'will I have enough love' factor. The clock is ticking till 'trying' time. And I'm not so sure I'm ready yet either...

And the house thing. Is totally stressful. We only started going to open houses and stuff about 2 months before we actually 'really' started looking. And for me, I had to fall in love with the house. For Peter it just had to be solid. That makes for an interesting house hunting adventure. You might want to take a break for a couple months and then start looking again.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Allie said...

For me - the house hunting was totally exciting and exhilerating. For my hubby - another matter entirely. It was very stressful for him and something he didn't particularly enjoy.

As for baby #2 - I am struggling with that right now. The idea of having another baby was exciting; that I could have another child to love. After our miscarriages, I was devastated to think that perhaps I would never be able to have another child or provide a sibling for my son. Now I am 6 months pregnant and the reality is just around the corner that I will have a baby, I am experiencing fear and uncertainty. How can I love another child as completely and fully as I love my son? Am I being unfair to my son by having a baby?

When voicing these fears, they often get laughed at or other women give you that "being there, thought that nod" and then you get the lecture. The lecture that the moment that baby is placed in your arms, you love them unconditionally just as much as your first child. That you make the adjustments to love them equally.

I just pray that is the case because this feeling of insecurity definitely gets overwhelming some days.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best house hunting advice I can give is to get ahold of a copy of Homebuying for Dummies. Yeah, it's one of those stupid black and yellow books. It ROCKS. Seriously.

It will walk you through everything - from chosing a realtor to choosing a mortgage to knowing how to find the right house. The book was indispensible for us.

Good luck, and hang in there. The feeling of panic tends to fade when you're really ready to buy. You can do it!

And definately go for the burbs, especially if you plan to have more kids. We bought a great 3 story townhome in the city, and while it's been good to us, there are many days when I wish we had more space. Especially yard space for the Tominator.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

I totally feared I would resent the new baby. And to be honest, it took me two months before I felt I had bonded with her. But now, now I can't imagine our family without her. I love to watch how her and her older brother interact. I love the huge family sandwich hugs we get and receive. I love how we all chase each other around.

Good luck with house hunting. Take note of what you like and don't like in each house. And remember, when you have kids, storage is essential!

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Hubby said...

Goslyn - THANK you for saying that we should buy the Homebuying for Dummies book. I've been trying to convince Beth that it was a good idea for weeks, and she kept rolling her eyes at me and huffing. Doesn't she understand that we are dummies? Somehow, I think she'll go for it now that she has a commenter telling her to get it.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

I completely understand where you're coming from, both baby and house-wise. But I think the baby thing is tougher to deal with. Houses you can buy and sell but children are forever.

9:19 PM  
Blogger sari said...

Just adding my thoughts - I had the baby freak outs too. And I think for a while I did have guilt issues (my oldest was 3-1/2 when the 2nd was born, so I had a lot of time alone with him). It's hard to juggle, and you think loving one will take away from the other.

And it does.

NO! I'm totally kidding. It doesn't, but it is like having a marriage - it doesn't just "happen" you have to learn it, and then you're ok. My two boys are awesome, I'm so glad that we had two. I always loved the idea of the family of 3 (you know, the whole 70's thing "3 is a Magic Number" song) but four is good. A nice, round, every-body-has-a-buddy number.

Hears a LONG way to say I hope your stress levels go down soon. :-)

9:20 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I wouldn't worry too much about the house buying, like Mrs. Chicky said, you can always sell and buy another one if you aren't happy with your choice. But in my opinion, it is very important that you do buy something instead of wasting money on rent.
Once you have chosen the one you want, it's easy because your agent will do everything for you, all you will have to do is sign your name a thousand times and start writing the checks :)
As for having a second child... scary as hell.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous mopsy said...

I don't remember how I felt about our second child---really. It was four babies and nearly eight years ago. I'm sure I was worried about how it would all work out. It just did. I probably overanalyzed everything, knowing me.

The fact I can't remember tells me that the reality of life with two kids was much different than my assumptions.

I guess I see my kiddos receiving so much from each other---love, time, attention, entertainment, conflict, hurt feelings, lack of privacy, invasion of space.

The good, the bad---everything is magnified when you have more than one child. The good is what keeps us coming back for more!

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck house hunting! Even though I lost my 2nd pregnancy and it was devestating, I had thoughts like that. I worried I wouldn't love the 2nd baby as much. I worried Cam would feel forgotten or left out. I worried he wouldn't get all my attention anymore. But I came to realize it would all be ok. I would love this 2nd baby as much and Cam would love a sibling. I'm even more determined to give him a sibling. I think adding another child is a very scary thing, but a good thing. But you have to do what you think is best for you and your family. I know you will be happy whatever you decide.

12:46 PM  
Blogger kate said...

oh how i struggle with this one, too. i thought i'd be all gung-ho for another baby, too. all my friends who have babies about the same age as mine all have another by now or one on the way. it's crazy. i love the idea of snuggling up to a newborn. nursing. seeing all the firsts again. and also part of me doesn't want to go back. bb is so special. our bond and our life together so far is so special.

and i've gotten accustomed to having my sleep back!

i sort of want to protect my relationship with bb. i sort of don't want another boy, you know. i like having him be my "only." BUT, i do love the idea of 2 kids when they are older and can play together. i don't want bb to be lonely. so, i get where you are coming from. all i can say is listen to your inner nudges. when/if the time is right you will know it.

as for the house stuff, we bought ours 3+ years ago and i got so stressed out i had constant cold sores for a month. so, i don't think i'd be much help in the de-stressing there!

2:49 PM  
Blogger amyjane said...

You just seem to hit on all of my life stressors...I feel like I'm six months behind you in life! The house thing FREAKS me out, although currently the market is making it impossible for us to even consider in our area...maybe next year. And we've begun the summit talks that will eventually lead to baby #2. I told my mom when Patrick was 2 days old that I didn't think I could love two people as much as I loved him. It felt like my heart had exploded already with just one. I was her firstborn (of SEVEN) and she told me straight up that it is never the same as with the first one. The love comes in a different way and it works out but you never have the capacity to completely give yourself to one baby in the same way. So, as long as I'm still the favorite... I hope it all works out for you. Good luck with all your choices and decisions.

4:09 PM  
Blogger LynAnne said...

Wow, what more can I add that hasn't already been said? I agree with the others - I've felt every single one of your feelings every single time we've talked about having another child.

With our second, we started trying early because I was worried it would take a while and I had heard a 2 year gap was ideal. I was so scared when we got pregnant right away. How could I think about another baby when our first was still a baby himself? The boys are 9 1/2 and 8 now (18 months apart) and I wouldn't change a single thing.

Even with our 3rd, I still panicked. We waited 7 years but I still worried that the new baby would be an intrusion. Again, I was very wrong. The boys love their little sister and she idolizes them.

Now, here I am with #4 and I've been writing all about my feelings about adding another child to our family (not so positive). I know those feelings will vanish as the pregnancy progresses, but it's hard to convince myself right now.

Anyhow (sorry for babbling) I think your feelings are completely normal whether its your 1st (how will the new baby change the relationship with my spouse-- Will we lose all our together time?), 2nd or beyond.

I'm guessing you'd find out that the amount of love a mother's heart can hold is unlimited. Just when you think your heart will burst from loving one child so much, you find that a second child fills a void you notice was there and you have an equal amount of love for the next child.

Good luck on the house hunting! It's overwhelming at first but you'll soon get a sense of what you like. Before you're done, you will be house experts and will swear you never want to go through it again. :)

5:25 PM  
Blogger Nikkie said...

I feel the exact same way about a second child, except I'm not in a real good position to try for another one until Boo's Daddy and I finish working out our issues.

Good luck on house hunting, I have no real advice. I was left out of the whole thing when we did it when I was stuck up at the hospital with Boo!

6:07 PM  
Blogger scraphappymama said...

My advice for house hunting is to take your time. In some ways I wish we would have waited a little longer, but at the same time I was pregnant with #2 and wanted to be in my house. We won't be here forever, so in the end it doesn't matter.

As far as your anxiety about a second baby . .. your heart just continues to grow in love. I couldn't imagine my life without both my kids. You'll know when the timing is right!!!

9:51 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

i felt it with each one - worry that they might feel replaced (which, face it, they do - but only for a little while) and that i may be too distracted by that to wholeheartedly welcome a new one into the family. before i had sasha i remember ahvign this covnersation with dh... "do i have enough love to go around?" i do, yu do. motherhood is just like volume - your love fills whatever size family you have. :)

10:34 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

sorry for the lousy typing

10:35 PM  
Blogger Staci said...

The best gift I ever gave my first child....was siblings.
You will love baby #2 just as much as you do Sam.
Being an only child would be so lonely.

10:38 AM  
Blogger bon said...

This may sound kind of funny... but in my particular case, I believe I did my first a big, fat favor when I had my second. We had Birdie under a freaking microscope, and she's one of those spirits who do not take well to the smothering. With the addition of LaLa, she gained a playmate, a cohort and a little bit of space to be herself. Plus she and I have had a much better relationship since the addition of the third.

We want four. Dadguy and I feel that there is one more, and we have for some time. That part of the decision is a no-brainer, we are going on faith.

It's the timing that has me freaked out. Our first three are all about 2 years apart. Fine. But if we keep to that timing, that's ALOT of very young kids! But would it be fair to have the last one at the tail end all by themselves? But can I handle it? But do I want to wait till I am OLDER to do this? But, but, BUT! Honestly... who's to say that we will even be ABLE to have that fourth, faith notwithstanding.

Also? I don't want to do the pregnancy thing again... for me labor and delivery have become MORE intimidating and frightening with each child, not less. I am 37, have a couple of fairly serious health issues that add to the party that is "pregnancy," plus... um, bleah! Newborns are not really my bag.

Plus... if we are to keep with the two-years-apart thing?... That would mean getting pregs this february and NOOOOOOOOoooooo! Not ready!

and after a comment of this length, I feel like I need to add...

1:41 PM  

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