I’m pregnant with a toddler already at home, and I’ve been having doubts. About coping with a second baby. Which makes me feel like the absolute pits.
Several years ago when my sister-in-law had my nephew I remember wondering why a family might choose to wait to have a second baby. Not in a judgemental way, mind – I genuinely thought once you’d made that leap and if it was in your life plan to have more then there was no reason not to keep going: once bedlam was in full swing, what was there to lose?
The Fear of Being Pregnant With a Toddler At Home Already
Of course, I get it now. Almost constantly in the back of my mind is the nagging fear that despite being better equipped to have a baby – you know, having done that once before – I won’t manage. Because I know what’s in store – only this time I have a toddler to contend with. At the same time. Am I insane?
I think I’ve mentioned this already, but to be clear: this baby was planned. We talked and talked and talked some more before taking the plunge; we want at least one more child; Pixie is probably at about the ideal age (if such a thing exists).
On top of the creeping doubts I also feel guilt that I’m allowing such intrusive thoughts to tarnish my pregnancy. I do want this baby; so why my apprehension?
I compiled many of my concerns when I penned Yes, I Know My Daughter Needs a Sibling. The list has only grown since. Dammit!
Actually, it probably only seems that way because It. Is. Happening. When I look back at that post I think I covered all bases – except now those worries feel very real, each needing to be resolved – or I at least need to make peace with them. And after much soul-searching I’ve realised that that is the answer I’ve been seeking:
It’s important to acknowledge those fears, to validate them. And then to accept that there will of course be bad days; just as there will be wonderful, magical, love-filled days. Just, in fact, as there are right now. Coping with a second baby will be a challenge, but it will also be a blessing.
We don’t have to be perfect, we don’t have to be super-mum or super-wife; we are enough as we are, flaws and all. For our families, our love is enough.
So when I published that post last week, it was a reminder to myself of why the adventure we’re about to embark on is not just a good idea – but a truly, remarkably, spectacularly brilliant one. My anxiety was missing the point: my family don’t care if I’m not perfect – they care only that I’m present.
It will be less of a fine balancing act and more of a clumsy juggling act. And if I drop (one of) the ball(s) from time to time? I shall endeavour to embrace the chaos. Please feel free to remind me of that when I’m elbow deep in soiled nappies, Lego bricks and laundry.