Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's the Final Countdown

Baby #3 is expected to arrive in our household in T-8 weeks.

You'd think after having Baby #1 and Baby #2, Baby #3 would just be a piece of cake. But Baby #3 is causing more upheaval than either of its predecessors.

After deciding that this whole Baby #3 was a good idea, I sat down to do some actual math. And realized it makes no practical sense for me to continue working at my job. And no financial sense for me to work at all for at least 4-6 months. Part of this has to do with the timing of Baby #3's arrival (in late April, just before summer vacation - and full-time daycare for three kids is astronomical). Part of this has to do with the basic logistics of having a 7-year-old, 5-year-old and infant. Doctor's appointments. After school activities. Sick days, snow days, and pick-your-son-up-he's-biting-and-hitting days. Someone has to be on call to deal with the regular emergencies that having children entails. Since I'm the lower wage-earner in our two-income household... that someone has become me.

Some days, I think this will be a blessing. Other days, I'm not sure I'll survive. This week is a perfect example. Yesterday, I got a call from daycare. Did I notice that E has a rash? Can I come pick him up and get a doctor to check him out, because it looks like impetigo?

No - I can't come pick him up. I have two interviews scheduled for the afternoon for candidates to replace me at work. But I don't really have a choice, do I? I delay as long as possible so that I can chat with candidate #1, then leave to take E to the doctor. And of course it's impetigo, which means 24 hours before he can return to civilization. Clearly, not working would make this easier on everyone.
It looked like pimples. Or chicken pox.
Today I'm home with E. He's learning the letter M this week at school. I have no idea how to introduce enriching activities to children.  We watch some Sesame Street on the letter M. How the h-e-double hockey sticks am I going to provide him with enriching activities this summer? What if I'm home with #3 when it's a toddler?? My kids have learned letters, numbers, about animals, how to use scissors, etc. - all at daycare.  

I don't even know how to write an M. Do you do the sides first?
Then there's the issue of fulfilling activities for ME. Staying at home means my house will be cleaner, right? (we hope...) I abhor cleaning. You clean a dish, it gets dirty again. You vacuum, and two seconds later there are crumbs and cat hair everywhere. Least rewarding activity ever. And it never ends. Cooking and baking? My husband tells me not to bother, takeout is better. I love working outside the home - I accomplish tasks! Cross things off a to-do list! File applications, write press releases, send emails... I'm a competent individual! I solve problems! ... at home, I just see Christmas decorations that haven't been put away yet, piled up in the corner. A bathroom covered in soap and toothpaste. It's a disaster zone and all I want to do is play Candy Crush Saga. I have serious doubts about preserving my sanity in the months to come.

But it's too late to go back. With T-8 weeks, it's the Final Countdown. Baby #3 is about to turn my world upside down, and I have no idea what is going to happen to us.