I don’t know what is scarier, the thought of having another baby or never being ready to have another baby. With having started back at work and the husband no longer FIFO it is something I have had to ask myself but can’t bring myself to discuss out loud.
I guess it’s the natural progression of life, on your wedding day every man and his dog asks when you’re having kids, then you have a kid and everyone is asking when you’re having the next one before the umbilical cord is even severed. It’s no secret that I’ve struggled adjusting to motherhood and anyone that knows me would be right to assume I’m probably not ready yet but societies expectations are putting the pressure on to pop out another child. I’m still trying to loose my baby weight and perfect the mum bun I’m supposed to be sporting on the daily. Enough with your expectations! But honestly, do I want another baby in the near future? How far apart do I want my children in age? Will I survive all of this again? Will I ever get this mum bun looking decent?
Several years ago I was content with the possibility of never becoming a mother, trying to look after myself caused me enough anxiety so I didn’t know if I’d ever be ready to be responsible for another life. I can still remember my life before becoming a mother, I worked long hours during the week in a job that I didn’t necessarily love and my weekends were spent either home alone in my own bubble (usually either cleaning or just recovering from the long work week) or out seeing friends or family. I was never a big party gal, occasionally I would go out but I would always control myself and usually ended up looking after my drunker friends. I was somewhat of a home body and as any young person I was happy being free to do what I wanted when I pleased.
Now I work longer hours but I don’t dislike my job (well not everyday anyhow, the boss can be kind of a bitch though – bloody 1 year olds) and if I don’t get out of the house at least every second day I start going a little bonkers but I absolutely don’t get to do what I want when I want. A trip to the shop takes effort so planning an outing can be taxing and some days I’ll stay in just to avoid the drama of Chloe’s public meltdowns and the park-rage I get when I see a work ute parked in the full ‘parents with pram’ bays. A trip to the toilet needs to be planned, is Chloe distracted?, do I need to take her?, are toys required to entertain her?, are there things in the bathroom or the surrounding area she can get into that I don’t want her to? Life certainly isn’t about just me anymore so I can only imagine life with two mini humans fighting for my attention 24/7, just the thought is actually a little exhausting. Fucking kudos to all you mammas with more than a few babes, you deserve a trophy and a barrel of wine ladies.
Am I ready to leave my job again (my actual paying job, not the one where I work for the occasional forced cuddle and get spewed on a lot by a miniature human)? Having gone back to work part-time has been such a positive experience and has helped my sanity immensely. To be just ‘Sami’ and not ‘Sami the mummy’ for a few hours a week is incredibly fulfilling and is just enough time to clear the grumpy mummy cloud from above my head before it all gets too much and pours down on me. I know I’m only working 2 days a week so I’m by no means a career woman again but I’m not sure if I’m ready to give it up yet. I’m really loving the little bit of baby free time I get each week but I guess I have to consider if I keep working part time then once Chloe is starting school pop out another one and it all starts again for 4 years, or if I have one sooner so I can get back to work full-time quicker? I’ve only just got comfortable with having strangers watch Chloe while I get my working-mama on, I’m down to one call a day and they still seem happy to answer the same three questions “has she slept?”, “has she eaten?” and “has she taken any other babies out?”, this one plays a bit rough.
What will another baby do to my body? I am under no false assumption that my body will ever be what it was pre baby but I know putting it through another pregnancy is only going to make getting back into any shape other than an inflated butternut pumpkin even more difficult. I only recently accepted that maternity wear is no longer acceptable 12 months postpartum. I’m not ready for stretch waist bands yet, even though they are comfortable AF! That’s a lie, I would whip those babies back out tomorrow if I didn’t have to accept I still look 6 months pregnant in them. I really don’t care too much about stretch marks and the wads of cottage cheese that have found refuge on my thighs but I know now that stomach tattoos weren’t the best idea. Poor Snoopy, he’ll never be the same again, the pup is going to look like a bulldog after I’m done housing another foetus (yes, my first tattoo was a small Snoopy on my lower left pelvis area #noregrets).
Build a tribe..something I hear a lot in the blogger-sphere. Since having Chloe a lot of my friendships have changed which I really wasn’t expecting. Some have completely fizzled and some are hanging on by a thread. I really do try and keep in contact with my dearest friends but life can be a bit hectic with adulting alone but throw an unpredictable baby in the mix and sometimes it’s just all too hard. Many a plan has been cancelled as Chloe hasn’t slept enough, mamma hasn’t had enough sleep, Chloe has a strange cough or funky coloured slime dripping from her snoz so best we keep the germ on lock down or the most frequently used, Chloe won’t stop crying so mummy can’t stop crying so I may have a nervous breakdown when asked “how are you going?”. But it’s something you aren’t aware of until you become a mother yourself. I have felt it necessary to apologies to friends that have had children before me that I wasn’t there for them. You just go about your life thinking that they must be fine, they are baby spamming the shit out of Facebook on the daily – they must be killing at home with that sleeping/feeding/pooping bundle of cuteness. Now having been there myself and using the happy snaps to hide the struggles I went through daily (of course I’m not going to share a picture of both of us bawling like Kimmy K after a diamond earring goes for a dip) I know there is more behind all those cute milk drunk candid’s and first smile stills. It’s lonely and sometimes you just want to cry on a friend’s shoulder and for them to tell you it’s ok and you’re not crazy. I think if/when I do decide to have another bebe I’m going to do what I intended to do with Chloe and get that babe out of the house and used to sleeping in a pram so I can still maintain somewhat of a social life. And please Jesus, if the next one couldn’t cry so much that would be fucking sweet. The number of shops I can’t return to due to my public displays of emotion when I can’t get Chloe to stop crying is slightly ridiculous.
Silent reflux…oh typing the words just gives me chills. I won’t touch on my struggles with this hideous ailment as I’ve harped on about it enough. But as it turns out it is a family trait on the hubs side so chances are pretty high that any future children are going to suffer from it too. This in itself is probably the main reason I’m hesitant to take the plunge again, I won’t go as far as to say it robbed me of my first time mothering joy but it definitely made it a whole lot harder. People say that the second is generally easier but I don’t want to lull myself into a false sense of security so I’m preparing for the unexpected. I could get lucky and get a happy chilled out baby but I’ve been extremely lucky that Chloe is such a good sleeper so I’m bound to get a happy baby that doesn’t sleep opposed to a grumpy baby that sleeps like a champ like Chloe. Reflux, colic, soul of satan..there’s no telling what I’ll get next but if the reflux gene does repeat I would like to think I will be able to handle it better than the first time around. Plus how hard could it be, a teeny toddler terrorist and a new-born with reflux – piece of cake (wide eyed terrified emoji).
When I see a little chubby delicious baby whilst scrolling Instagram or I see a pregnant woman about to pop on the street I get all gushy and clucky. I had a pretty easy pregnancy and quick delivery so I’m definitely not scared of pregnancy or birth. But when I see a mum struggling to sooth her new little cherub all the anxiety of those early days comes flooding back. I don’t think it has gotten easier, it has gotten harder especially with the recent premature toddler tantrums Chloe is throwing at us at the moment (apparently I’m a totes asshole parent sitting her on the floor to play with her abundance toys or trying to change her nappy – how dare I!) but I am better at coping (i.e. ignoring her and making a coffee instead) and I have developed the patience of a saint in the past 12 months, the neighbours are probably stoked not to have heard me screaming “why Jesus, why me!!” several times a day in a while. I am sure we would make it through again, having the husband home every night will make things a lot easier and I am certainly more prepare for the struggles that come with a new-born. There are things that I would do differently next time around and I definitely want to feel the joy of bringing another human into the world – maybe not today, maybe not in a year but one day we will bless Chloe with a sibling…or we’ll just get a puppy, that could be fun?!