Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Baby Shuffle (Orig Post Date 6/12/10)

Just because babies are small doesn’t mean they can fit in anywhere. Often, there is a lot of juggling that needs to be done when a new baby will be arriving soon: room switching, furniture shuffling, and of course, all the “must have” baby paraphernalia. Those are all the physical, tangible things that must be shuffled and juggled to make room for baby, but what about the things you can’t see? The things that don’t take up space in your home but are just as, if not more important? Like priorities.

While trying to write this post, I had some writers block. Not the traditional type where you don’t know what to say, but more of the emotional kind where you know what you want to say, but you can’t make your fingers create the words. There was a block between my heart and my hands that wouldn’t let me get the words out. Yesterday, I had a great conversation with a good friend of mine. She is a writer, but more important than that, she’s also a mom.

I told her what I wanted to write about, and she knew and understood what I was trying to say immediately. I explained the problem, and even though we were on the topic for no more than ten minutes, those were the most important ten minutes for me, as a mom, that I’ve had in a really long time.

There’s a lot of emotional and mental shuffling and rearranging that has to happen, too. A lot of it probably happens without you even realizing it; usually that’s with the first child. When the second one comes along, you may be more aware of how things are going to change and be different. Then again, you might be one of those parents that just takes everything in stride, and have a basic trust that everything will “just work out” no matter what gets thrown your way.

I really wish I could be one of the relaxed “It will all work out” kind of parents. Sadly, I’m the type of parent that over-thinks everything. I’m also a worrier. I’ve tried to change, honestly I really have, but I just can’t seem to do it. Once the baby arrives and starts to grow, once it proves that it’s ok and will survive, once it meshes with the family and the current schedule, then I’m able to relax, and my blood pressure is no longer a health concern, but until then, I’m a mess.

One of the major concerns I’m having about this baby, is this: where will it fit in my heart? My daughter has been my one and only for six years. Sure, my husband was there too, but that’s different. How will I make the adjustment from one to two? More importantly, how will D make the adjustment from only to older? She doesn’t share well.

This is where the wisdom from my mommy/writer friend DH comes in. She told me that even if D doesn’t appreciate having a sibling now, she will later when bad times hit. DH is an only, and she has always hated it. That’s why she plans on having at least one more so her daughter has someone to help her through the difficult times. As DH said to me, “If it all works out the way it’s supposed to, you will not outlive your children, and it will be easier on them if they have someone they can lean on for support.” This, of course, assumes a few things that really are out of everyone’s control - for example, the simple fact that my children will outlive me. As I learned firsthand last year, that doesn’t always happen.

How do you make room in your heart for another child? Does your heart just grow to make room the way your belly does? How do you explain that to your first child when you don’t understand it yourself?

Is this all part of the mommy wisdom that just magically appears in you when the child arrives?

Boy, I hope so.

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