Sunday, March 27, 2011

self help

I feel slightly ridiculous saying this since approximately 4,003 of my friends are currently pregnant right along with me, but being pregnant for the second time is kind of a lonely experience. There is no What To Expect the Next Time You Get Pregnant When You Already Have a Brilliant, Independent, Busy Toddler book. I actually looked. Not for that exact title, obviously, but I did peruse the Family and Parenting section at Barnes and Noble when we took Laine to play with the train set develop her young literary mind. I scanned the shelves for anything about introducing a second (or third, or fourth, or eighteenth if you're the Duggars) baby into your pre-existing little family. Nothing. There were books on children with special needs, discipline, how and where and what to feed your toddler, baby sign language, baby underwater basket weaving, and how to control sibling rivalry once those other babies have made their debut and are fighting it out Darwinian style. But what can this anxious second time mommy turn to while awaiting #2? Even the best of the best websites for expectant mother (What To Expect, The Bump, etc.) don't have articles beyond "Are You Ready For Another Baby"? TOO LATE, The Bump. Now what do I do?? Of course the other moms in my life are a huge resource. My college roomie Katie is expecting her second (a little boy!) in August, and she and I discussed this very issue while our precious little firstborns were napping the other day. She told me that her husband sent out a message to their friends with multiple children asking what advice they wish they had been given when expecting (brilliant) and almost all of them said they didn't expect the guilt and difficulty of balancing the needs of their toddler with the demands of a newborn. Well... yeah. At least I know I'm nervous about the right things.

Of course I know that once BC2 is here we will adjust to the "new normal" of having two kids. Laine will never really remember a time before she was a big sister (I don't, and I was older than her when my sisters were born) and the guilt will fade as we learn how to balance their needs and divide time and attention between the two of them. But I knew the same things when I was pregnant with Laine: having a baby would be our "new normal", we would learn how to manage our time and keep our marriage a priority. But it was calming, refreshing, and encouraging to have shelves and websites full of expert advice and other people's experiences to guide me along the way and to remind me that other women- thousands and thousands of other women- have been through the very same things. I wonder why no one has capitalized on the needs and questions of all of us anxious, excited, terrified, and thrilled second time mothers?

Maybe it's time I wrote a book after all...

5 comments:

Steph said...

Greer- I can totally relate! Baby 2 can definitely be a lonely experience at times, and exhausting, as you have to keep up with #1, as well. Napping and lazily dreaming about the nursery and perusing all the baby aisles at Target without distraction is no longer a luxurious, introspective prenatal pasttime! Just know that you are giving your sweet little girl a sibling and witnessing that relationship develop between my 5 year old and (almost!) 1 year old has been such an amazing experience! But, motherhood is a tricky balancing act: you are never alone, but sometimes can feel lonely. Simultaneously needing personal space but yearning for adult communication is all too familiar over here!

p-lee said...

I feel for you, Greer. I'm a study fanatic. Start something new and read all the articles and books I can find. I don't know what I would do if there weren't some helpful text out there during a huge thing like baby #2. I can't really relate, but tell you what my mom, Aaron's mom, and my sister-in-law told me: the guilt is there and you feel it more often than you hope, but that it makes the older children more independent and teaches them to work their own little creative minds to start problem solving on their own. So you can be proud that you are encouraging your sweet Laine to start higher level thinking at such a young age. Plus, you are giving Laine her best friend for ever. I don't know what I would do without my little sister.

I think you should write a book, back to the main topic. You are a great writer. For being un-married, a non-home-owner, and not at all wanting to have kids any time soon, I love reading your blog just because you write so beautifully. (and of course to keep up on adorable little Laine and you of course.)

Marie, Michael, Libby and Commissioner Gordon said...

Greer- when you figure out how to manage your time with two, you should DEFINITELY write a book! You are such a talented writer and I love reading your posts here. I'm sure a book would be even more satisfying!

Speaking of... thanks for a new post!

Kirby Lynn said...

I think about such things too, though not because baby #2 is on the way but because I dream of/plan for a day when there will be baby #2. I found some helpful information on babycenter.com and hope it will help you out too! I still feel guilty for not giving my dog the attention I used to before Felicity, so I can't imagine what I'll feel like with another kid! Praying for your sweet family. I know you will adapt beautifully!

Jot said...

There are a startling number of highly relevant and important topics related to parenting that are almost completely neglected. I have seriously considered writing, myself...