Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spaced Out

Eight years ago, when Jay & I were pregnant with Phoenix, I don't think we had any idea how our little family would eventually grow and shape itself. We knew we were going to be a family, sure; I just don't think we had a set picture of what that family would look like.

We did know one thing: we weren't in a rush to pop out more right away.

Jay is one of three boys, born in three years. His older brother was born in October 1977; Jay was born in March 1979. September of 1980, his little brother was here. I have no idea how his mom did it, physically or mentally, but I knew I wasn't up for it, however she had managed.

We both started to get the baby itch as Phoenix got older and around his third birthday, we knew it was time to give it some serious thought. Four months later, we found out Paxton would be joining us. A lot has happened since Paxton became a part of the family; the move down south, another move and well, lots of growing up.

He was only four months old when we moved down here.

Four months.

He'll never remember Portland and I don't even think he remembers the first house we had, in Orangevale. Where we live now will be where some of his first memories take place. And some of his first memories could very well be of Mom being 'pregnant' (whatever that means to a three year old), but hopefully, he'll have a few memories of life before he became a big brother.

That's one reason why we waited between kids: we wanted to be able to give them all the attention they deserve. With Phoenix in school during the day, Paxton is pretty much an only child til 4 PM, every day. He gets my undivided attention and it's just the two of us. When Jay is home from work, the three of us go on adventures like Jay & I did with Phoenix, before Paxton came about.

Sure, we feel a tinge of guilt Phoenix is missing out on fun times but isn't it important for Paxton to have one-on-one, just-him-and-Mom-and-Dad time? Yes. It is. And we deserve to be able to spend time with just Paxton. These little moments with just one kid give us the chance to really focus on that child. We get to enjoy them fully and it's in those moments you see how similar and how very different your kids truly are. You get to appreciate them as individuals instead of as a whole.

With Paxton getting ready to start preschool in the fall, I know I will have time to dedicate to the new baby, just the two of us. I will have a least a few hours every day with just one little person to care for, to feed & entertain. Then I'll have a few hours with Baby & Paxton before Phoenix gets home from school.

It's like a gradual progression from calm-craziness to crazy-craziness. I'll still get to Crazy Town on the regular but at least it won't be a constant. Hopefully, there will be an ebb & flow.

Being in the middle of this pregnancy, I can say I think it will be my last. It hasn't been particularly hard but it's seemed to snowball faster. I feel bigger, sooner, and I'm just more uncomfortable in general but I can see us following this 3-4 year pattern if we do decide to try for a fourth. It's really been a help to have those few years of adapting to our new human before throwing another new one into the mix. I am so thankful we waited to have Paxton because that time gave us a leg-up we desperately needed with Phoenix's speech & it gave us Paxton.

I'm not committing to anything right now, though; we still have 17 weeks to get through before we meet the newest member of the family and there is no telling what he'll bring to the table. If he is my last baby, I'm okay with it. I think the way we've spaced them out will help me be the best mom I can be, for each of them. I'm hoping it will give me a chance to learn to adapt to each of them as they grow up and change from boys to men. I'm hopeful it will give me time to devote to each of them, to create memories with them because in the end, I want each of them to know how incredibly special each of them is & that without each of them, our family would be vastly different.

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