Monday, April 24, 2006

The b-word

No, not that b-word – although I have been called that from time to time.

I knew that when this whole job interviewing stuff started that a major part of my decision would be deciding whether or not we were going to try and have another baby. The reality of the situation is that I’ll be 37 in December and Monkey Man will be 5 in November…so if we’re going to have another baby, we need to make a decision and move in one direction or the other. And if we’re going to do that then taking a high-pressure job that requires travel is probably not a good idea for me right now.

I’ve been dodging the issue for about two years now, mostly for selfish reasons. I am so very happy with my life right now that I question what it will do to add another little human into the mix here at Builder Mama Headquarters. The cost for daycare alone will be astronomical – the current rate at our daycare is $1,000 per month for an infant. That’s more than our first mortgage payment was. I am scared to death of having another child that has been as sick as Monkey Man has been. I am frightened of being depressed again. I am just scared, scared, scared.

Saturday morning, I took Monkey Man to the pediatrician’s office to see if they would give us some good drugs to make the nighttime coughing stop so we can all finally get some sleep. While we were in the waiting room, a mother came in with four children. As I found out later from talking to her, she has six children altogether but I guess the other two are now old enough to stay home for an hour or so by themselves. I sat there and watched the four brothers and sisters playing with each other – typical kid stuff – but the amount of love they obviously had for each other was so real and viable that it was like a swift punch in my stomach. I looked over at Monkey Man and saw him smiling as he watched the two youngest children hugging each other and making faces at each other.

It hit me like a freight train. This is something I just don’t feel like I can deny him.

My friend M. and I have been discussing my fears about having #2 for several months now. On Saturday night I was telling her about my job interview and all of the factors that I will have to consider if they make an offer, and then the b-word came up. She said something to me that brought everything into a new focus: “I think you’re focusing on all of the negatives of having another baby instead of thinking about all of the wonderful things.”

She’s right.

There isn’t anything in my List O’ Fears that can’t be conquered. We can make the daycare situation work – it will be a little tight for a few months until Monkey Man starts school, but we can do it. If another child of ours does have the same problems as Monkey Man has had, it is manageable – and after learning from a friend of ours that his wife is pregnant and the baby has a heart defect with a 40% chance of survival, I’ll take a bunch of sinus infections any day. And the depression – well, I think I know enough this time not to let it get so bad before I get help. I’m not going to let another three years of my life pass me by this time.

As for the job stuff – I’m going to go through the next round of interviews and see if they make an offer, and then make up my mind what I’m going to do. Having had a few days to think about what was discussed and the people I met, I am getting the distinct impression that I probably wouldn’t be a good fit for the organization personality-wise. Everyone there was so…stoic…and I am so...not. And I have such great flexibility where I currently work, plus seniority, that I know that I could take off as much time as I needed and still fit right back in. That’s definitely something to consider in all of this. They were so wonderful when I had Monkey Man and then through the three years of constant absences due to his sicknesses and surgeries that it’s hard to overlook.

So it’s time for me to shit or get off the pot, so to speak. I have been so firmly on the fence about having another baby that the pickets are getting darn uncomfortable and I am getting a nasty case of splinters.

I think I’ve just gotten a little bit closer to making that jump and landing with both feet firmly planted on the ground.


Christina000 said...

holy crap you are in the same boat I am. I realized today that while I can say outloud that I'm quite content with life as it is and that is really my choice. I have stayed off BC and any other meds since January.....and it must be for a reason. If I am in control of all of that, why do I still refrain, when I say I want to remain a monther of just one? Maybe you and M can help me jump off the fence too?

Heather said...

Good luck Liz! I know the decision is hard but once you jump off the fence you won't remember being on it.

Anonymous said...

I was on the same fence for a long time as well. Watching our daughter with other little ones, how she comforts them if they need it, how she plays with them, how downright considerate she is with them, was definitely a motivating factor. We are trying for another not just because of her desire for a sibling, but also because of the joy we know we'll experience, both from our perspective and hers. And now that I'm 38, dh is 42, and munchkin will be 5 in July, I'm starting to feel a little desperate. Of course, the time it takes for me to get pg and the m/c I just had could play into that desperation a bit.

Conversely, in spite of all that I've just said, it sometimes occurs to me that I am, like you, feeling myself again...and do I really want to upset the comfortable balance we have? The answer is yes.

Good luck in your decision. :)


Tree said...

Oh, wow, I missed this yesterday! I was teased by your post of this morning and completely missed this one.

Yes, I am off the fence, but I would have to say I had to be convinced. W wanted N to have a sibling so bad, my mom is an only child and hates that she has nobody to call family now that my gparents are dead, and then N himself has been asking for quite some time.

It's not that bad, the 2nd time around. So far, that is. My mind is already trying to wrap itself around how to manage getting two beings + myself out the door on time every morning. But I know that mothers have an innate ability to do what has to be done.

I look forward to following your journey.

Gretchen said...

Well now. The boy has taken to asking me if there are any more babies in my tummy - he wants a brother. Um. No. Three's enough.

Sometimes the hardest part of a decision is making it.