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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

It's official: We're outnumbered

My playgroup has officially tipped the scales towards the pregnant members. There are nine moms/nine kids, and now five of the nine moms are pregnant with their second baby.

But that's not all. Of the four non-pregnant members: one mom is getting ready to sign a contract with a organization that connects infertile couples with surrogate mothers, one mom recently miscarried and is hoping to get pregnant again soon, another non-pregnant mom just accepted a new job--and she was grinning ear to ear about it today. That leaves me. I recently decided to put off having another baby for a while; you really can't go out dancing when you've got a balloon belly knocking you off balance.

So there are two issues here: first, I'll be the only mom left in this group who isn't pregnant or actively trying to expand my family; and second, my thoughts about Portfolio Manager Mom heading back to work are mixed. (For full disclosure purposes, I'm in two playgroups with Toddler in Chief. In the other playgroup, two moms have had second babies and the rest are decidely not pregnant).

But first things first, I found out about two of the pregnancies today and the other two, just 14 days ago. That is a lot to digest during a short amount of time. Why is everyone ready to do it again? Our kids are just turning two, and I suppose it's the standard 2 1/2- to 3-year spread in age. So what am I really upset about? Me, of course! I'm not ready, but I already feel the pressure, even though no one has said, "When are you going to have another?"

I really like going out again. My kid just weaned in January, so my body is my own. I can drink and abuse it as much as I like without affecting another person. My kid sleeps 12 hours at night, so I also sleep all night. I like my clothes. I was one of those moms who didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on clothes that I would only wear for a couple of months. That is, until I felt hideously frumpy and hormones were seeping from the walls. I broke down and bought one pair of cute jeans, a sexy Michael Starrs low cut, snug sparkly blue shirt, one oatmeal-colored turtle neck sweater, and two white fitted T-shirts. Someone did give me a frilly blue flowered shirt as well, but my belly always hung out the bottom.

But perhaps what is eating at me more than feeling silently pressured to get pregnant again, maybe all my stress is over Portfolio Manager Mom's onramp back into the workforce. While she was all smiles, we really didn't talk about how this means she's departing from our weekly gatherings. My feelings about her success are mixed. Part of me is a tiny bit jealous that she had the courage to do it. Another part of me says, you go girl. Another part of me feels like she is a traitor, leaving us at-home moms to struggle with ourselves.

But as I looked around, no one really seemed like they were struggling. Perhaps because every other woman there is gearing up for morning sickness, frumpy clothing, and more sleepless nights, they've come to terms with their current parenting status. Their new-found pregnancies or infant via surrogate has shifted their to focus to what it will be like to have two babies demanding their attentions instead of just one toddler. With a sly smile, Stanford Staffer Mom said, "I'm glad I'm not going back to work."

For me, I'm not so sure.

7 comments:

  1. I don't know how you do this Suzanne... writing these fabulous posts!?!? They mimick my thoughts exactly.

    I mean I don't go to playgroup(s)... as I work (now out of the home) and well I *have* been asked about when number 2 was coming along (unfortunately with in hours of deliverying #1 and almost every visit with others since)--but you match my EVERY other sentiment.

    My son hasn't weaned yet (now going on 28 months), but i do feel my body is increasingly mine since he only nurses 2 times a day now. I can totally relate... why another one now? I am just getting my life back.

    Now I just need to get my hubby to understand! :-) Thanks again for the GREAT and insightful post... one that I could have written myself (if I were that talented).

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  2. You and I seem to be opposite sides of the same coin. I've been hinting at my discomfort with working as compared to staying at home on my blog, fosterfest.blogspot.com. I can't be completely honest for fear of getting dooced, but reading your thoughts and conflicts over staying home makes me realize the grass is always greener (which makes me all the more in favor of pasture-jumping in general. Working part-time seems ideal).

    Anyway, great to find your blog, and good work.

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  3. Hey, that's what happened to me about a year ago! Most of the moms in my playgroup have 3-6 month olds now, and of the ones who don't, most are in fertility treatment.

    I went through a period, right after Naomi started to sleep well, of *not* wanting to get pregnant again for a *long time*. But here I am, barely pregnant, and looking forward very much to another baby. Who knew?

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  4. Wow, excellent timing! My husband and I were talking just the other night about whether and when to try to have Kid No. 2. Friends of ours who already have one had recently confided that they had just stopped trying to have no. 2. They said trying to get pregnant again was really stressing them out, and they realized that they were really only trying because they felt pressure from everyone else (friends, family, physicians) to have a second. They came to the conclusion that they liked being a family of two parents, one kid, and they are much less stressed right now. Which is not to say they won't change their minds later on and decide to try again, but I think they'll only do so when they know they really want to have another.

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  5. Noooo! Don't do it! LOL I'm just kidding of course. The transition from one child to two was a tough one for me (daughter is 4, son is 15 months). I had enough of a "break" in between them, or so I thought. Of course, in time I grew accustomed to the new addition to the family, and just when I was weaning him and getting giddy about drinking gobs of alcohol and going on a crash diet to lose the preggo weight, I got pregnant again. I'm not so nervous about baby number 3 coming along though. But I am forewarning family and friends that when September comes, they shouldn't be surprised if they don't hear from me until Christmas.

    When I was still a mom-of-one, I often went back and forth... should I go back to work? If so, when? My husband used to ask me that question constantly. After my son came along he stopped asking because it really is too much to think about, especially with all the little things we Mommies have going on in our heads. And the only time I can stop and think is when the kids are in bed. At that point I can't even begin to raise that 'going back to work' issue. Ugh, such a tough thing!

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  6. Anonymous12:43 PM

    I truly don't understand the rush to have another child... Unless someone is pushing the fertility clock.

    I think the 2 year spacing that is sooo ingrained in our culture is too close in age. Esp. now that research shows how important the first three years are.

    Enjoy your time off from nursing and dance!

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  7. I chose to space my kids around 2.5 years apart because I want to get the pregnancy/birth over with while I'm still young, and in turn be lower-middle-aged when the kids are out of the house so that I'm physically able to do various activities that I know I'll want to do later in life.

    As long as the parents are OK with it, I don't see close spacing as a problem. I grew up in a family of 5 spaced 2,2,2,5 years apart and although I have NO idea how my mom did it, I don't think any of us were harmed from it... quite the opposite, it's made it easier to be friends with my siblings as adults as we tend to go through similar life experiences around the same time.

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