For the past few weeks, “are you ready” is my most often received question. My answer is a shaky to unequivocal no.
The room is ready. The crib is assembled, clean sheets and blankets are laid out. The newborn and 3-month size clothes are washed and folded in drawers, which have been meticulously labeled. The newborn nappies are freshly cleaned and ready to go. The car seat is ready. The house is (mostly) clean. The freezer has lasagnas in it. We’ve ticked off most of the boxes on the internet’s maelstrom of “things to do before baby” lists. My nesting urge has been strong, and I have indulged it.
But I’m not ready.
Partly because there is always more I could do – a little more cleaning, one more frozen meal, a little more work before I hand over my projects.
But mostly because a new baby means a huge change. And this time we know that.
With our first, we were so very excited and enthusiastic, but naively so. We knew that babies woke up every couple of hours to eat. We knew that babies couldn’t be left alone and had to come everywhere with us. I knew that it would take awhile to look and feel like myself again after he was born. We even knew that our life would change.
But we didn’t really know what that meant. This time we do.
Not only will me and Simon’s lives be turned upside down, but Joey’s will too. Our sweet & mischievous two-year-old is so excited to meet his baby sibling. He is looking forward to a friend and playmate. He really doesn’t know what it means to have the baby around all the time, that newborns can be kind of boring when it comes to play, and that they are also very needy. His life with regular sleep patterns, helpful skills, and a decent degree of communication that Simon & I have become used to is about to change dramatically. Joey’s ability to command both of his parents’ attention on a whim is about to be greatly diminished. How will he fare with this?
I know that at first it will be (very) hard. But I also know that amongst his other attributes, our two year old is very adaptable.
We always wanted to have two children so that they could grow up together, have a playmate and confidant when we take them to the far reaches of the earth, someone to race down the trail with when they are old enough to carry their own backpacks.
I hope that one day Joey will ask me what he did all day when it was just him – was he bored? Wasn’t he lonely?
No one told me about this part, but it hit me like a sack of bricks soon after we learned we were pregnant again, and the weight has only gotten heavier. People are often surprised that I’m not worried about labor, and not eager to be done being pregnant.
I just want a few more days of being mom to an only child. A few more hours of one-on-one time with him with no other babies on my mind. A few more minutes of keeping his life the same. I want to savor every second of our old life.
So that when our big change arrives, I’ll be ready to accept it with open arms. I’ll know that we made the most of every day we had flying solo with Joey, and embrace the opportunity to introduce him to his new best friend.