Natalie blogs at Life on the Mama Track, where she chronicles the adventures of being a Harvard lawyer turned work-at-home mom. She is the mom to a busy two year old and expecting her second baby in early December. She and her family live in the Washington, D.C. area.
When I was pregnant the first time, I thought about it constantly.
The fact of being pregnant never left my mind.
I read books, every night.
Books about being pregnant.
Books about having a newborn.
Books about balancing work and motherhood.
Books addressing the week-to-week changes in my body and the baby.
Now I have a toddler.
And this baby will be my second.
I don’t read at all anymore.
Not the magazine subscriptions that have been piling up, year after year.
Not the stack of bestsellers I’ve bought, optimistically hoping I will find time to sit down and lose myself
Not even the email that is flooding my inbox and causing Gmail to threaten to suspend my account.
When I used to go out, everywhere I went, I enjoyed the attention being pregnant brought.
My belly was a billboard to the world, announcing the wonderful news that I was going to have a baby.
Now, I’m worried what my toddler, in that painfully honest toddler way, will announce to complete
Now, I have to remember sippy cups and snacks and sunscreen.
Now, I’m lucky if my clothes match and aren’t covered in almond butter or yogurt or granola.
I don’t have the luxury of reveling in the fact of this pregnancy.
Recently, several friends, in different conversations, asked me why I don’t talk more about being
It’s not because I’m not excited.
It’s not that I love this unnamed child any less than the one who already runs my life.
I am excited.
And I do love this baby.
Every bit as much as the first one.
But there are differences between being a first-born and a later-born child.
With the first, I was able to focus all of my attention and love and energy on one baby.
With the second, by definition, my time and energy are divided.
And that’s okay.
I understand more now than I did two years ago.
Let’s face it—I am better qualified to take care of a newborn than I was.
I know, intimately, what the terms Roseola and sleep training and emergency cesarean mean.
I bear the scars, in more ways than one, to prove it.
And now there is a whole other person in our family who will grow to love this baby.
So while I’m sorry this little one won’t have the benefit of me attending another “Infant Care Skills” class at the local hospital, he or she will be just fine.
Because love, unlike time and attention, isn’t something I have to divide.
And that’s really all that matters.