adventures and misadventures in parenting, marriage, and life
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Pregnant People Everywhere
Why is it that when you are thinking about having another baby, pregnant women come out of hiding like lightning bugs at dusk? First, there were the two pregnant women in my new book club. Then, a third announced she was pregnant. Then, a good friend who was visiting from out of town. Then, two of my best friends. Then, a friend-of-a-friend (who announced on Facebook, no less).
But even before all of the announcements from the women I knew, I would see pregnant women everywhere I went: the grocery store, restaurants, the library, the bookstore, the bicycle shop. The farmer's market, the beach, the playground. And not just pregnant women, but pregnant women with toddlers. I shamelessly found myself comparing the ages of the children these women had: that one's looks about two; this one might be four; maybe her kid is three? I was looking for some affirmation that having waited this long is not only ok, but maybe some kind of new "norm." That if my two kids were never in the same school together, they would be ok. I would be ok. The world would be in harmony.
I envied those women and families who chose to time their children close together in age. Because there are four years' difference between my siblings and I, I always thought having children closer together (say, two years apart) would be more ideal. You know, ensure a closeness, some kind of bond between siblings. But after we had our first child, I realized how quickly a year passes, and how totally not ready to be pregnant I was. There was no way I could space my children two years apart; I was physically and mentally not ready to take the leap again so quickly.
Then, our daughter was two, and potty trained, and life was good. And I got a little selfish. I was really enjoying our new-found freedom. Our daughter was independent, and charming, and...easy to take care of. We found ourselves going out more, with and without her. I found I had not only the desire but also the energy to see friends, go to the gym, read a book--in short, do a whole lot more than curl up on the couch every free moment I got. And I smugly enjoyed this while I watched others struggle to juggle two kids, or a toddler and an infant. But then, suddenly, things changed.
As with everything else in my life, when I finally decide it's time to do something (diet, buy furniture, cut my hair, clean the house), I need it done NOW. This, much to my husband's (and daughter's, now) chagrin. I don't give people much of a chance to get on board with what I need done or am doing. I don't do a lot of thinking aloud. By the time you hear about something, I've pretty much already decided it needs to have been done yesterday. So, once I realized I was ready to have another baby, of course I wanted to be pregnant last month. Still, knowing all of this doesn't help the feeling that I am surrounded by pregnant people--people who, for all I know, have been trying to achieve their current state for far longer than I have even known I wanted to be in it as well.