That's not to say that a lot hasn't happened since my last post. We're making slow, but steady progress on the house. I closed another quarter at work with way too much travel. Leighton has gotten completely into the groove at school. We recovered from the stomach flu. We're enjoying the neighborhood. We saw pictures of our little girl on the way ... and she looks EXACTLY like Leighton as far as we can tell.
This brings me to the overwhelming sentiment of the last month. GUILT.
For my husband and Leighton, I've been gone more than usual, I'm pregnant and exhausted. For baby number two, I still haven't made it to my 20 week checkup and finally snuck in for the ultrasound on thursday at the end of week 22. That SO would not have happened with Leighton. I couldn't wait to have a peek at her. I would have taken the day off just to be sure I didn't miss it.
I'm an only child. One mom, one dad, one kid. It makes perfect sense to me. As an only child, I was always one third of the family vote. Having more than one child feels somewhat unnatural to me. I can't imagine having two kids share my time and attention, basically because I never had to. Everyone I know has stories of the older sibling trying to whack the younger newbie with a blunt toy of sorts, or asking mom and dad "when can we take her back?" I'm imagining that the very moment Leighton realizes little sis is ours forever will be a sad one. I can't help it.
Today's world makes it that much more difficult for me to conceptualize having multiple kids from a logistical standpoint. Ryan and I both work, and we're sticklers about the 7pm bedtime - no later than 7:30. Pediatricians say toddlers need 12 hours at night and a two hour nap and with some scheduling. We agree and we make it work. But, it's a pain in the ass for both of us to hustle to make that happen. It's a huge committment.
Ryan leaves work right at 5. I'm usually already home, so I start dinner for Leighton, get her fed, bathed and ready for the wind-down routine to kickoff when daddy walks in the door at 6:10. We sing, read, brush and wash and talk about our day. Then Ryan makes dinner for the two of us while I put Lei down for the night. We watch some TV, hang out a bit and then try to get to bed by 10pm to do it all over again.
I have no clue how I'm going to squeeze clockwork feedings and naps into a new routine. What if Lei wakes up the baby? What if the baby wakes up Lei? What if Lue barks or the phone rings or any one of a multitude of other things happens to upset my delicately balanced apple cart? Welcome to life for the next handful of years.
And that's just sleep! We work hard to eat healthy, organic food across the spectrum. We don't watch much TV. We always have activities lined up. THAT also takes planning. By the time little sis is born, we'll all be eating frozen dinners, in front of the TV, at 10pm every night. The prospect terrifies me.
Maybe we can swing it for the first few months, but I can't even think past maternity leave.
As I have mentioned ten thousand times, Ryan and I both work. Even once the girls reach school age, school ends BEFORE business hours. What the hell? Around here, there isn't really convenient after care - you have to pay a nanny to pick your kid up at one place and wither take them home, or to a secondary location for a few hours of half-assed attention.
Moms overwhelmingly appear to stay at home in Highland Park, so I'm likely making my way toward outcast, but there's nothing I can do about it. Even with sports, practice starts right after school and somehow, kids need to make it to practice, ON TIME.
We can make all of this work, and we will. I know there are plenty of people who have much more to deal with than I do. Still, I can't help approach baby number two with some guilt about the fact that her baby book might have half the pictures Leighton's does, or that I'll get to spend half the time with her that I spent with Lei in the first year, or that I'll get to spend half the time with Leighton that I would have if we hadn't had another baby at all.
Hopefully, Leighton will love her little sister to pieces and learn the gift and art of sharing - something that as an only child, has taken me thirty four years to appreciate.