Thoughts and Fears on Becoming a Family of Four
You know what I think is even harder than dealing with a big change in your life? The moments leading up to that big change.
Anticipation is always my worst nightmare. I spend days/weeks/months over-analyzing everything -- the good, the bad, the things that will probably never actually happen. It’s the same way for small things, like a meeting at work that I’m worried about and I spend half a day hyperventilating for a five minute meeting, to the big things, like the amount of time I spent preparing myself for being married when I really didn’t even feel all that different. Sometimes I think it’s a great thing because when the change happens, I’m prepared and it’s usually not as scary as I thought it was. Other times I wish my mind would just let up and realize that things are rarely as big of a deal as I make them out to be in my head.
On becoming a family of four: My latest thoughts/worries/excitements. Because these feelings/thoughts/emotions run through my mind just seconds apart.
I cannot wait to hold my baby girl. Honestly, I just cannot. The smell of a newborn, the knowledge that Jon and I created this tiny soft sweet being. The way that newborns know immediately who their parents are. I love all of it and I can’t wait to experience it again. The fact that we want only two kids and this will be the last time I experience it makes it all the more exciting and gives me just a tiny little ping of feeling sad that I won’t get to do this again. (Then the baby reminds me just how much I do not love pregnancies by stretching out sideways and stomping on my ribs and the world is right again.)
Almost immediately following my thoughts on how amazing it will be to hold a tiny little baby in my arms again and smell the top of her head, I remember that while I’m doing that there will be a toddler watching me. A toddler who is used to her head being smelled and her tiny body being cradled by me. A toddler who will most likely have a hard and frustrating time understanding why I choose to spend any of my time holding and hugging this little baby instead of her. That brings me so much pain I can’t even describe it to you. (Yes, I know that she might not notice that I’m holding her or that it will be a balance and all that other good stuff… but these are my thoughts, peeps, and there isn’t much I can do to stop my mind from wondering there.)
Photo via the author.
And then I remember that within a few months they will understand they’re sisters. They will have a built-in best friend at all times. Someone to roll their eyes with when mom is nagging them. Someone to giggle with when there is something funny. Someone to lean on and cry with when the world is harsh. They’ll have each other, always and forever. (Being a big sister myself, I know just how special that is.)
And then I panic. They’re going to gang up on me, I just know it. The two of them. They’re going to organize riots and plan mean tricks and Jon and I will be the grumpy parents of two that can’t keep up. Even in the newborn stages, I’m terrified of finding the balance again. I’m nervous about giving each of them the time they need. I want them both to feel loved and cared for, but I have no idea how that’s even possible when I spend half of my time feeling guilty for choosing to have another child and to take away even one minute of my attention from my little Peanut. I have heard so many times that your heart grows and that you love the second one just as much as the first without taking a single thing away from the first -- but, seriously peeps, how is that even possible?
But it is. I’m one of two. Jon is one of three. My best friend had her second baby and I watched closely as their family adjusted with ease and became even fuller and happier (something I couldn’t even imagine since they seemed like a perfect little family of three). And I get excited again -- excited to experience an outing with my two girls. Excited to watch another baby grow while my first one becomes a big sister and a big girl. I imagine us doing girly things and try to push the teenage years out of my head.