Mon 4 Sep 2006
okay, i’m over the momentary yearning for another one.
maybe in another year Dave & i will evaluate that option. maybe eighteen months…we’re starting to get five and six hours of sleep in a row here with Oscar, and it feels too luxurious to let go of, even in fantasy. i like the idea of another baby and a sibling for O…but for the moment, my hands and arms are full enough, methinks. and my eardrums, too, when Oscar has a morning like this one, replete with outraged expressions of frustration from a pre-verbal little person who doesn’t feel like napping. at those moments, the idea of two feels like sheer wanton insanity. :)
but, truth is, people cope…with two, with three, with four under four, even. and i probably could, though not gracefully. but i don’t want to, not yet. it’s not anything about O, even in his crankiest moments, that holds me back. it’s me.
admittedly, the overexposed train wreck that is Britney Spears, back-to-back baby machine, has reinforced my closet class prejudices about family spacing. i think two in twelve months is too soon, particularly if you can’t afford a manny (that’s a bodyguard/nanny/paparazzi blocker, in case you don’t devour People Magazine in the grocery lineups) to accompany you and your offspring on all your Starbucks’ runs. but i could suck up the raised eyebrows should we find ourselves expecting another soonish. what i’m not sure i could suck up is my own selfishness. much as i’ve enjoyed day-dreaming about dragging out my faithful baby-name list again since Angus’ little face kindled the old broody spark in me last week, i’m just not ready. me. myself. and the reason that realisation feels so weighty and serious is that i’m not sure i’ve given much thought to me myself in the months since O was born. amazingly, i’m still here…still a whole – if somewhat altered – person. but just the idea that i have agency in the decision about whether we have another is suddenly quite fascinating, because i’ve spent the better part of the last few months simply coping, taking what comes and trying to deal with it as efficiently and compassionately as i can. i kinda forgot about the larger picture, and that i get to make plans, have wishes, control some things. how neat.
so i’m going to start working towards a little goal of my own, in the coming days…just for me. after two births in a year, my body feels pretty worn out…like i can barely scrounge up the stomach musculature to stand up straight. i was never a bikini model, or much of an athlete, but i’m going to try to get in shape. i’ve suddenly gotten impatient about the post-partum muffin-top spilling over my jeans…and the weariness that settles in a body when it’s only used to push a stroller. so i’m making a change, for me. my stay-puffed marshmallow middle and i are going to start jogging.
it’s going to suck, in one sense. i’m not a natural runner, or an experienced one. the summer weather’s fading fast, and Oscar’s not old enough to run with yet, so i’m going to have to carve out time from my evenings or weekends to go out and get sweaty, when Dave or my mum can take the baby. but i think the payoff will outweigh the pain-in-the-ass factor – not so much in the physical rewards, though those will gradually emerge if i can stick with it for awhile – but in the very act of carving out that time for me. i’ve been feeling like it’s not there, like it simply doesn’t exist. i think i’ve been lazy, really. and i think that learning to value – and push – myself along with Oscar and Dave in this new family we’re building is a really important part of my learning to be a mother…as important, maybe, as learning to revel in five hours sleep, and learning to slow down enough to take delight in the tiny things that fascinate my son. it’s certainly a necessary thing for me to do before i leap into expanding that family in any way.
i’m only making the commitment to run for two months. i’ll see what i can do with myself – with my body and how i use my time and energy – before the snow flies…after that, no promises. but i hope i’ll be better for it. and if i am, i think O will be too.