My body is already making milk for the baby. I walk around feeling all engorged these days, and it’s so odd. I’m still 10 weeks away from the due date and honestly, sometimes I forget that there’s a baby coming. I don’t forget that I’m pregnant, but don’t always remember that I’m going to have an infant when I’m making plans for the future. And my body is just moving ahead, getting ready for the new baby in ways that I’m not even aware of.
I’m very conscious of this window in time, when it’s just me and Marc and the two kids. Putting them to bed last night by myself (because Marc was at the gym), I was aware of the stress of it – trying to balance out two kids who both wanted all of my attention and barely managing to keep them both content, how on earth will I pull it off with three? Won’t one of them, by definition, have to go without? Without attention, without time, without me?
And I know, and believe all the arguements in favor of a big family. That it’s better for kids to have siblings than not. It dilutes the focus a little bit, gives them a sense of belonging to something bigger than just them. Teaches them lessons about getting along, about compassion and helping and responsibility and gives them built in playmates. I think having a big family is wonderful – except for days like this, when I wonder if I’m cheating them out of attention or love. Right now, Jessie is sequestered in her bedroom, because I told her if she can’t be nice to her brother, she can play by herself. Wouldn’t she rather have the whole house to herself and not have to worry about her brother begging her for love? Is that fair to her? To make her be kind or to suffer the consequences? Even as I type it, I know the answer… of course it’s okay to teach her that she has to be kind. To make it clear that being mean to your three year old brother, even when he bugs you, is not acceptable – and banishing her to her bedroom, clean, neat, filled with toys and books, is far from a brutal punishment.
I don’t know – I guess I’m just rambling now… but I’m feeling especially aware of the stresses that are already present in my family – two children who are demanding and wonderful and greedy for attention, and feeling guilty – will they hate having another sibling? Will they feel left out and lost and spend even more time arguing and competing for attention? And how will I handle it? How will I manage to be the best mother for each of them – give Jess and Sam and this tiny one all that they need? Forget about all they want, I’m not trying to make their lives perfect, but I don’t want any of them to miss out on what they need.