DD is 23 months old and has always been a cautious, strong-willed, clingy child. She still nurses a lot throughout the day, rarely plays independently, won't let me out of her sight, and if we ever go out of the house, 90% of the time, she wants to be held in my arms. Lately, I've been able to convince her to go in my carrier on my back, at least 50% of the time. She rarely allows anyone but me to hold her.
Anyhow, the above combination can result in me feeling pretty darn exhausted at the end of the day--teething days are a total nightmare--and I am, quite honestly, terrified of the idea of having another baby. BUT...I do want one. Some day.
I was curious if anyone else has been in a similar situation and how did you handle it? Was having a second child as bad as some women have actually told me it is ? Is doing it alone (without the support of a SO) going to kill me ? Am I fooling myself that it'll get easier, if I just wait a few more years?
ETA: We live in Japan (DH's country), so I don't have any family nearby to help out. My in-laws aren't that far away, but to be honest, I don't feel comfortable asking them for too much help. They already have DD and I over to their home for dinner once a week--a huge luxury, that I greatly appreciate--my MIL still works part-time and is a busy woman, and my FIL loves DD but is pretty clueless about kids.
I have another one on the way without consciously trying to have another one on the way...so I woke up one day literally and was like, "ooooookay! time to do this again!" When I got my BFP DH was working insane hours also. I had just put DD in a mother's morning out program at a local church which (appropriately, haha) was a godsend. I was hesitant at first but I have no qualms "buying" time for myself because there was no other way to get it and I felt like I was breaking down. I have become a much more recharged and better mom because of it.
I know you are in Japan, so that might limit your opportunities. Can you even think to just either hire a sitter or do a babysitting exchange for even a few hours a week? She will adjust and you will benefit, even if you just sit on the couch and stare out the window, which I am totally not ashamed to say I did the first few times.
And with #2 on the way, I realized this hard time in life is really just a small part of life. I will not be, say, 52 and wondering when I can get a shower or having small babies clinging to me all day (at least I hope not!) I was in a job I had to have for 4 years or else I would have had to pay back my entire undergraduate degree if I quit, so I shifted into that survival mindset of "This, too, shall pass" and it did give me a bit of comfort that things always won't remain so hard. I'm about to get cheesy here about focusing on the good, sweet moments so I will end this post. Bottom line is don't be afraid to pay for some help if you can afford it; and even not, look in your budget and FIND a way to afford it or make it work. Hugs to you!
Although my DH doesn't work nearly as much as yours (hugs!!!), I was very hesitant about another child because of my (mostly perceived) high needs DD. We actually purposefully waited until she was 3 until we conceived our 2nd...I'm glad we did. My older DD was able to help and weaned a month after I got pregnant, so I had some time "to myself" before the baby. Just something to think about in terms of spacing.
This is what I'm thinking with wanting a 3rd!
My situation really isn't much like yours; DH works much less and I have more help available. Just the idea of wanting another when I already feel overwhelmed.
I have to say, I find 2 quite a bit more chaotic than one, but I love how they love each other.
Thanks, everyone, for the advice. Talk of the devil, looks like DD is teething again and things have been rough. So all my dreamy thoughts of a new baby are suddenly looking less rosy. Today I almost killed myself, DD, and the dog, trying to carry everyone plus the diaper bag down our very steep, narrow staircase, and I thought--what if there'd been a tiny baby strapped to my back? Shudder.
I think what worries me the most is that right now, DD is sleeping through the night and this makes a huge difference in my ability to be a patient (most of the time), enthusiastic parent. But if I'm back to those sleepless newborn nights PLUS have to run around after my toddler in the daytime, I'm really scared I'd lose my temper, etc. frequently, with both kids.
Pearl2, you're right that I might have to consider getting a bit of help, but I don't know if that will be enough to save me from the day-to-day exhaustion.
BUT I'm 33 and feel like if I wait any longer, it's going to only get harder--already, I find myself feeling my age and not having as much energy as I used to!
I feel ya, but I'm already pregnant with number 2. I have all those fears, but I'm trying to work through them. Luckily I have 5 more months to talk myself into being strong and willing to do what it takes to make it all work out. Millions of moms have had 2 or more kids and done okay, and never 'regreted" it! You can do it!
DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)
I have fears about this as well, though we are trying for number 2. DD is five years clingy with no end in sight. She is an intense kid. I couldn't have done (very well) with more than one when she was very little. The other thing that scares me is that my DP is an entrepreneur . His passion for employing great ideas on his own is admirable, though sometimes we are so strapped financially that life gets really stressful (like now). We are planning a tentative move across the US in March, if everything works out in our favor. It's a little scary. Also, I am an only child and no nothing about households with more than one LO. Ahhhh, let the fun begin, lol. I just try to trust that everything will work out the way it is supposed to and that it will be great. Some days that trust in life is stronger than others.
WAHSM to Ani (7) and Juddah (18mo.)
I have a 14 month old daughter, and infancy was tough. She was a champion nurser and hardly slept at all, I felt like I was trapped a lot of the time, and had no time for myself.... I hardly had time to use the bathroom or go to a shower, because she would start screaming immediately. At times, I remember feeling that there was NO WAY I would ever do it again...But now that she is older and things have become a bit easier, I find myself thinking about having another. I feel like I have gained some knowledge and would be better equipped a second time around and also, I have already made the adjustment to SAHM, which I think was one reason it was so hard... However, my DH does NOT want another, so unless there's an oops, (which is how I got my daughter, best oops ever!) I am pretty much SOL. Plus, I am almost 37, so it is getting late. It is a tough decision, but I still think about it. If my DH was agreeable, we would definitely have another one.
Two children requires a huge change in multi-tasking. The sometimes intertwined needs of two different children who both want/need your attention and time (particulary helpless newborns) is challenging. Also difficult is the splitting up on family outings (due to differing needs/interests), managing 2 children when out alone, the guilt of not meeting everyone's needs (or being fair at all times).
On a personal note: I hated that my daughter had to wait cry more than my son EVER had (in the 3 1/2 years before she arrived). I hated that my daughter didn't have my undivided attention in her first year (such an important year)! I hated that I would be nursing my daughter and my son would want me to come cuddle him in for the night but Daddy had to. Being forced to choose, which child needs me most right now, that is hard. It all adds up to lots of frustration (for parent and child).
So, I would say that a larger age gap definitely can't hurt, but it won't solve many of the underlying and more complex challenges to enlarging a family.