I don't think I'll be as good of a mother once I have more than one kid.
There. I said it. The thought that has been lurking in my head for a while now, pretty much ever since Bella was born.
It's interesting. I was always quite confident that I would be a good mother and, as it turns out, I am a good mother. For the most part, I enjoy the often-boring toddler activities, can marvel at the tiniest accomplishments, and have quite a bit of patience when it comes to the infuriating. (To be clear: I have patience with Bella. I have no patience when it comes to anything else in this world.) But that confidence in my ability to be a good mother crumbles when I think about having more than one kid to manage. You'd think it would be the opposite - I would be MORE confident in my abilities as a mother now that I have experience. So why would I lose my mama skillz once we add a new baby to our family?
Here's the thing: a new addition - a new addition that is a baby - means that my sleep is going to be dramatically reduced. And that really scares me because sometimes I feel like I'm not totally functioning on my 7-8 hours of sleep most nights. I was a 10-hour-a night sleeper for all of my adult life until pregnancy. Sleep and me? We were real tight, yo. Why, I could sleep that much and then take a nap on top of it! I am a prime example of sleep expert Dr. Weissbluth's of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child claim that sleep begets sleep. Mmmm....sleep.
Just how much I depend on good sleep for normal functioning came to a head this week. Bella's sleep went all wonky for several days and she was only getting 9-10 hours of interrupted sleep at night (waking 1-2 times in the middle of the night) and taking only hour-long naps. My ability to function went out the window, which is ridiculous, because her "bad" sleeping isn't really that bad. By Thursday afternoon I was unshowered, crabby as hell, and could barely muster the energy to half-heartedly wipe off the Chipotle smeared on Bella face off after dinner.
And that's what scares me. This is what two kids will be like ALL THE TIME. In fact, it will be way worse that than because I will be trying to wipe Chipotle off a fussy toddler while simultaneously nursing the second baby. If I am not capable of handling a few nights of semi-crappy sleeping, how will I possibly handle upcoming YEARS of crappy sleeping? And the chance of both kids naps overlapping so that I could catch up on my own sleep a bit seems unlikely. Even if their naps did overlap, what are the chances that I would be able to fall asleep given that my mind will be racing with all the other things I should be doing? Chores! Blogging! Phone-call making! Exercising! Crafting! Even relaxing! Seriously - how will I stay sane?
For real - how does this work? How do people have more than one kid and not lose it from the sleep deprivation? Do people just adjust? Am I being princess-y about sleeping? Will I be haggard-looking with dirty hair and have kids covered in Chipotle for the next few years? Should I maybe just not worry about this type of thing until I'm actually pregnant and/or delivering said future baby?* HALP!
*Um, yeah. That would be the normal thing to do.