Tuesday, May 19, 2009

With or without?

I am fortunate to be on paid maternity leave right now and I'm excited to "have" a summer back while I'm on leave and not go to work (yay company benefits!). Spending the last few months with my daughter (and a nanny) has been incredible and has really made me think about things. Now that I have two kids (wow, that's still hard to say), I feel that I should really maximize this time while I'm at home. And by maximize, well, I have to figure out what that means in terms of care-giving.

See, when I returned to work, I made sure that I had a nanny for my daughter, every day, all day. When I went on maternity disability leave with kid #2, I retained the nanny because at that point in my pregnancy I wasn't able to really take care of my daughter (limitations due to pregnancy). When my limitations were eased, I began feeling that the nanny was less necessary because I could take care of my daughter, and at that point my nanny left me. As the due date for #2 neared, I started to wonder - and many well-meaning people discussed this with me - how I would take care of two babies by myself. What if both are crying for food at the same time? When would I ever have time to go to the bathroom? How would I go grocery shopping? So I found a terrific lady who has been coming by to take care of #1 while I take care of #2. It's been great and not as stressful for me.

But I'm wondering again if I need this help every day. This week the lady is coming in the mornings and leaves once #1 is asleep for her morning nap. It's a very nice arrangement. Now I wonder if I can do this myself? The answer is: I don't know. I feel like I need a trial day to determine the answer to that question. Weekends don't count because Daddy doesn't go to work on weekends, and besides, weekends are existentially different from weekdays anyway. So, I basically need to do this scientifically by not having any help come in for one weekday and see how/if I survive by the end of the day.

How many more opportunities like this (on leave AND paid?!?!?!?!) will I get?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What I've been up to

Ok - so it has obviously been a while since I've posted, but I have an excuse - I've been busy. Last week we welcomed a new little boy into our family, so it's been hectic, to say the least. The last weeks before the birth I was heading towards nuttiness in terms of nesting, although I always enjoy decluttering and purging and organizing my living space. And I also felt like I needed to do something to prepare for the little one's arrival; after all, we didn't really have any baby gear that we needed to get/prepare for this one, since we already had everything from the first one. And I spent LOTS of time with my daughter, special one-on-one time that I know she won't remember but I will.

So I've been busy.

Yesterday morning, we held the bris in our home, which was a bit stressful but SO worth it. It was very beautiful and moving and as my sister said, "You could feel a lot of love in the room." The only downside is that we forgot to take pictures of our newly expanded family, but that is typical for us, but still, I would have liked pictures.

I am still getting used to the idea of having a newborn and an 18-month old, both of whom are my children. (Still getting used to the word "children", as in, plural.) Especially since my daughter is SO active. Since we came home from the hospital, I haven't been alone with the two of them except for maybe 30 minutes, and that was tough. Just right then, one needed a bath and one needed to be fed/diapered/something. So, I told everyone to calm down, I'll get to them when it's their turn, and proceeded to give a bath then quickly feed/diaper the other one. THAT was stressful.

I'm very fortunate. I never thought that before I turn 29, I would have two children. 18 months apart. One boy and one girl. I count my blessings, thank Hashem, and look forward to each day.