Friday, March 4, 2011

A different place with number two

1. One thing that surprised me after Willow’s birth was my thought, just a few weeks later, that I could do this again. In fact, I’d like to do it once more. And I still want to adopt. This was a marked contrast from the period after River’s birth, in which I sent myself reminders of how horrible childbirth is and that I should remember the details of the horrendous pain before attempting it again.

Two months on, I would still like another child in my life. Not anytime soon. I can’t handle two little ones at once. But someday, if Mark should agree (which is a big question, as he makes frequent comments about us being done), I would like to welcome another child or two into our home.

2. Another area in which my thoughts are distinct is in the realm of employment. Last time I was eager to get back to doing something productive, to show that I could still contribute professionally while being a mom.

At this point, I’ve come to realize that the work I enjoy the most requires long trips abroad and it’s not very feasible at the moment. I do want to travel, but I don’t want to spend long periods of time without my children. I don’t want to stop breastfeeding in order to take one of these trips.

I’m not good at being a full-time parent – ie. someone who is around and who is the primarily responsible party all day. I need a breather, I need time to myself, I need to be around and in communication with adults, and I need to be able to think about topics more complicated and challenging than those at the level of a toddler.

But I do like having the time and flexibility to do fun things with my children. I like being able to attend events, to be involved in their educations, to be there when they need me. I also like having the time to take care of myself, to be able to cook, get enough sleep, exercise and be intellectually stimulated.

While I don’t think I’d be a good stay-at-home parent to small children, I’m starting to think that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad once they are in school. I could use the school time to do some independent work, then spend the afternoons with my kids.

I don’t think it’s likely it will ever happen, but just the fact that it seems remotely attractive to me is a change.

3. The third big change I’m noticing is more of an acceptance or tolerance to being more attached to my baby and a greater commitment to breastfeeding. Before, I wanted to give my baby that attachment and the benefits of breastfeeding, but I also wanted to have sleep and freedom for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still thrilled to get away for an hour or two. If she sleeps for three or four or seven or eight, I’m in heaven. But I’m willing to limit my absences to roughly two hour periods, so that I can feed her. I’m not so eager to give up a nighttime feeding to Mark, thinking that we’re better off with the prolactin stimulation, even if it means I’m likely to go months without a full night’s sleep. This time, the year or so that seemed so long before, now appears much shorter. I’m more willing to make sacrifices, knowing that they won’t last all that long.

What was different for you the second, or third, or more time around?


Cassie said...

I agree with the first one, SO MUCH. After I had Andrew I was like, "Oh no, never again," but it was mere WEEKS after I had Will that I knew I could (and wanted to!) do it again. Now, 14 months later, I'm thinking I may have changed my tune...but that's a post in and of itself.

Cassie said...

Oh, and by the way -- my friend whose daughter had hip dysplasia blogs here. Her daughter was born May 2008 so you may find some posts about it around that point.

LazyBones said...

This is such a good question. I think I need to think it over for a little while, and then I might write a post on what is different for me this time--it seems like a lot!--and link to this post. Good food for thought!