Saturday, April 02, 2011

the countdown begins...

I have been achieving small victories almost weekly lately.

It has been a long haul to get to this least it feels that way. I have been working like a crazy person while being much more pregnant than last time with my son. Last time, I was able to be on school summer vacation at the beginning of my 7th month, and basically had 3 months to sluff off and not do much but grow a child and get baby things ready and lay on a beach getting my huge belly tan.

Now...not so much. But, different does not mean bad. Just, very different.

I am working less than I was (only teaching part-time vs. full time), but then again, I stopped working for summer vacation when I was full time, and then didn't go back to that job because it was...well, full time, and being a mom seemed too important a duty to leave my kid with someone else most of the week. I'm not necessarily judging here, since I know a lot of women do this, but it didn't feel right for me. I felt that God gave me that child, and I needed to risk unemployment for a time to fulfill my new role as his mom.


I am working part-time, as I said before, and will be on long-term maternity leave starting April 26. This gives me about 3 weeks or so to focus solely on the new baby coming...although not really, since I still have my other baby who is not really a baby anymore, and I can't believe how amazing he is. And how much work he can be. Correction, work he is.

I cannot just "veg out" and read a book or nap or go to the beach when I am feeling particularly large and uncomfortable, nor will I be able to always nap when the baby naps this time around. I have an adorable son who wants lunch and dinner and playtimes at regular intervals and who will need his mommy more than ever while he tries to adjust to this new scenario.

No wonder parents are so tired all the time. I was exhausted for Jeremiah's whole first year, and have only in the last year or so started to feel like a normal person again. And now, we are introducing a new little life with more needs and quirks into this "new normal?" Except, I have to make this little life fit into our lives a bit more than I did with Jeremiah...for Jeremiah's sake. I can't completely turn his world upside down. So, we will have regular mealtimes and other routines he's come to expect. I know he will adjust, I just expect to be a complete zombie for about half a year while I accept the fact that I have 2 small needy, yet wonderful, children.

I will have TWO kids. I think that makes you a bona fide parent. Wasn't it Bill Cosby who said that parents of only one child aren't really parents? Whatever it was, it was pretty funny - his point being that the parenting style for multiple children is completely alien to parenting one.

Which brings me to something else I've been pondering: Parenting different children. I know some families that I've grown up around that tried to parent all children the same, and others that varied their parenting based on the individual child. Neither style is perfect, but I think I would lean (at this point) toward parenting individuals rather than parenting as a black-and-white strict line.

I don't even know if that makes sense. Let me say it a different way: I want my children to know, without question, that my husband and I love them without rhyme or reason, just the way they are, and nothing can or will change that, ever. But, as each child is different, correcting mistakes and sin in their lives is going to look different for each of them. They will have their own ways of cognitive processing, emotional responses, manifestations of sin nature, and ways of giving and receiving love. I want to do my best to parent the child, not have the child feel like a cog in the wheel of my parenting style. Of course there will still be rules and consequences for not following the rules, but I want them to know that I am trying to hear and see why rules have been broken so as to parent the heart of the child and not slap the hand blindly in response to them questioning authority.

This post has gone way off of where I intended, but is good for me to get down. I have gotten through one of two school concerts I need to do before maternity leave. I am done with the professional choir I'm in for the short-term, so I can have this baby. I feel bad leaving them in a bit of an alto lurch, but the next gig is about a week and a half from my due date of May 13, so I decided to skip out on that one. And, I am finally washing baby clothes and the summer maternity dresses my mom made for me last time, because the sun has started to bravely take over these dreary days. I want warmth!!

Jeremiah and I took a walk today - put him in the stroller even though he's way too big for it at this point....but it's nice to be able to walk at my (slooooow) pace without worrying about his running off. He tolerated it happily for most of the walk, then wanted to get out and push the stroller for me, which aside from a being a bit of a skitzophrenic steer-er, he did alright. :) and it wore him out for bedtime.

He's so cute lately, I don't know how I'm going to let go of him being my baby. I have no doubt that I'll have enough love for the two of them, but I don't want him to feel put aside for a moment, though I can't control how he feels when this new little one arrives. He loves babies, so I know it will all eventually be fine - even great!- but I am worried he will feel a bit replaced, if only with me, since he has a big attachment to me at times. I wish I could understand how his brain and emotions work more. He is lightyears ahead of where he was this past summer, but I wish I could help him express himself more. It will come in due time.

Maybe this baby will jumpstart some new expressions. :) Pray for us. ;)


~Me said...

Thinking of you and praying for you. Wish we could be out in the waiting room you guys!

Ab said...

You have really realistic expectations so I think you're prepared as you possibly can be for the transition from one to two. And I can't imagine Jeremiah being anything but a loving, sweet big brother. He will follow your example too. :-) We would love to help with whatever you guys need.