doing it again

This is the second night in a row that I didn’t see my kids after I dropped them off at preschool at 9:30 am. Last night it was because by 5:30pm, when their dad was picking them up, I was already in the bed, knocked out from exhaustion. Today it was because I had classes from 1:15 through 7, only to make a quick pit-stop at home (where they were already in the bed) on my way to choir practice at church. I didn’t make it in until 9:45pm. Tomorrow, we’ll spend the morning together, because their morning preschool is closed, but they’ll have to come with me to my office because I have a meeting with my advisors. I suppose I’ll entertain them with a movie they can watch on my computer. I wouldn’t necessarily call that quality time.

Since the quarter started last week, I’ve been perpetually exhausted. I have done no yoga, my exercise of choice. I started out doing a daily meditation before bed, but that has also slowly disappeared. I’m taking two law classes, two workshops, and a beginners piano class. I have to co-op in the preschool at least once a week. I’m singing in the church choir. I’m TA’ing a class.

I enjoy all of these things. Although I wish I’d not taken all of them on. But I want to honor my commitments. They all “fit” into my schedule. Last quarter, I was a wreck because I wasn’t sleeping and I wasn’t eating. This quarter, I’m getting 8 hours of sleep and I’m eating three meals, a definite improvement. I think I’m tired now ’cause I just haven’t found my rhythm. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. And I spend too much time on the internet. Hence, I’m here with you. But that’s for another day.

But the kicker really is this: I want to do it again. I want to do THIS again:

That’s the Big A, moments after he was born, January 20, 2006. He’ll be 5 in just a week.

I want another baby.

I know, it seems crazy. My life is crazy. The timing seems all wrong.

But something is strongly pulling at my heart, pulling at my body, something that I can’t explain, can’t account for, something….dare I say, PRIMAL?

I’ll be 30 years old this year. I had the Big A when I was 24, right before I turned 25. So much has happened in the last five years, including getting married, the Little A, grad school, a cross country move, going into the hospital, healing from that trauma. And one would think, quite rationally, that throwing a third child in the mix, a third child to where the kids outnumber the adults, would be a risky decision. I know that.

But the past five years have been all about taking risks. And for the most part, they’ve turned out to be winners. And what’s that saying – the bigger the risk, the larger the reward? And that other one – there really is no good time to have kids?

I don’t know. What do y’all think? I won’t be offended. Really. (Unless you say that I’ve already screwed up the kids I have. I will take that personally so don’t go there. Let’s just talk about the future, shall we?)

12 thoughts on “doing it again

  1. I want more too! But my husband won’t hear ANY of it and I’m following his lead on this one. Problem is, I started really late, having my first at 30, my second close do 33. And I turn FOURTY this year. 😦

    So… all that said. You’re RIGHT: there’s no good time to have a baby, ever. The only thing I will say is this — if your hubby is up for it, go for it, sister!! Follow your primal instincts. The world will benefit lots from a really wanted baby that your heart is asking for. I can’t do it, so I’m thrilled when I can encourage anyone who can. If you don’t go for it you might regret it later.

    Search your heart, though. Listen to your children’s father & your husband. And pray. I’m sure it will all turn out just fine if it’s meant to be. I tear up just thinking of a loved baby (any loved and wanted baby) coming to the world.

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  2. Awwwwwwwwwww a new little cocoababy πŸ™‚ I say go for it. I am a big fan of having babies while in grad school so that it does not result interfere with career development. I also think that the urge is worth serious consideration alone. We know what we want. As a mommy of three I can tell you it’s not much different from two. Work is work any way you slice it. Multiple kids is just multiple kids πŸ™‚

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  3. I’m going to take a slightly different perspective, and ask what is the rush, given the other challenges you’re facing right now? You started off the post by noting the things that you should be–need to be–doing for your health, but that you are not doing. And yet, another child will likely stamp out the possibility of doing things, and will also probably nix the things you are currently doing that you enjoy. Something is not right here.

    You’re right; there is rarely a “good” time to have children, but some times are “less good” than others. You talk about risk and reward, but risk and reward is often about luck. And luck happens when one is prepared for an opportunity (yes, I took that from, Oprah; I’m not ashamed). So the question is, have you done the things you know you need to do to be prepared for the opportunity to start from scratch with a precious new baby?

    A lot of your posts, here and at gradmommy, in the last few months have addressed the need to create space and time for yourself; your need to be true to yourself. To let go of the conceit of being a superwoman. Of not taking on more than you can handle, because even though it’ll look good on the outside, it will kill you on the inside. Is any of your desire an urge to further pursue the conceit? Will having another child really allow you to take care of YOURself the way you deserve to be taken care of?

    I caution you to be careful about what your urge is really about. Is it possible that your spirit is hungering for something that your brain is translating to be a baby, but is really something else all together? I don’t delight in being the one commenter (so far) to no co-sign, but I love you, and so I have to ask. If the answers to those questions are right–and only you know what the right answers are–than I hope you’ll follow your heart.

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    1. I don’t know what it’s about. By all rational accounts you are absolutely right – i can barely handle the life i have. i know rationally that adding a baby is a ton of work – where will the time come from? do i first need to make time for the baby, or will having a baby make the time for me?

      then on the other hand there is something tugging at me, this almost biological need. turning 30 is looming large. you ever tell yourself you wanted to do something by a certain age and then can’t get it out of your mind? i told myself i’d be done having kids by 30 – and i want 3 kids. 30 is 2 months away and i’m not done.

      and when will the time ever be right? i’ll finish school in 2013. i’ll be 32. i’ll clerk for a year. 33. i’ll go on the job market. 34. i’ll be working toward tenure. 35 – 38/9/40. when will the time ever be better? more right? less stressful? i coulda/shoulda/woulda started this process earlier. but i didn’t.

      i’m still thinking, mulling over my subconscious. maybe a baby signals a need for something new, not a baby at all, but a new beginning. what could that be?

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      1. All good questions you’re asking yourself. A few thoughts: maybe you are done carrying kids, but not done adding kids to your family? That is, maybe you can adopt later in life–maybe on tenure-track. Just because biologically you might be finished, doesn’t mean your family still can’t grow.

        I know a very successful black female law professor–currently the new dean at a Northeast law school–who was pregnant ON the market. She told me it was a really good way of getting a sense of the culture at the schools that interviewed her. The ones that really wanted her worked around her pregnancy schedule; I think the school she ultimately chose waited for her until AFTER her baby was born, while other schools refused.

        Also, I had my baby at the end of my 1st year of teaching. The gestational period of humans perfectly coincides with the school year! And part of what made that possible is that I got several pieces accepted for publication during that first year, which gave me some breathing space. With a dissertation coming out of your PhD, you might be able to get 2 pieces, plus one in progress, out of it during that 1st year.

        Anyway, just some things to think about…

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      2. One more thing–instead of asking whether there will be a BETTER time, shouldn’t the question be “is THIS the right time”? If this is the right time, it is. If it’s not, be faithful that the right time lies ahead of you. That time might indeed be stressful or inconvenient; maybe even less flexible than right now. But if it’s the right time, what you need will be provided for you THEN. And if right now is the wrong time, pay attention to that.

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  4. If I were crazy, I’d take this post as a sign! I picked 35 as my “done having babies” age, and I also wanted three. Well, we have two, close in age, and 35 came and went without baby #3. The question is still looming over my head and I want the third one. I’ve said many time that if I were a little younger I would do it soon. BUT. I’m tired nearly every second of my life, and I’m trying to create a career out of crumbs–still. My goal this year is to build/participate in a women’s community more than I have done in recent years, and to do some things that I enjoy that aren’t work or mommy related. I don’t know what that means for you. Another baby probably won’t ruin your life, but is it going to make it harder to be the wife/mother/scholar you want to be?

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  5. you guys are throwing monkey wrenches into my plan!!! damn internets people. πŸ™‚ everything you are saying is perfectly rational. and they are the explanations of planners, of people who “have it together” and i hear everything you guys are saying. but do any of you ever really feel that, almost, animal sense to procreate, to bring another being into the world, to experience the miracle of life again? it has its own rationality, the basest of rationality that we have to have children in order to populate the world, in order to have people to take care of us when we grow older, in order for our children to have siblings to care for them as long as they live. And yes, family is not everything, i know that, my best friends are not blood-related to me at all, but there is just something that is innate to wanting to have children. And right now that feeling is pulling me. it occupies a lot of my mental time. and i’m just wondering what does it all mean. i know the mind can play tricks on you. i don’t know if this is a trick, or a sign.

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  6. I’ll add one more thing: I do feel that inexplicable pull. Not so secretly, I already have a name chosen for another baby. But then I wonder if I will always feel that pull. If, even after a third, I will still think wistfully of babies kicking inside me and nursing quietly and want so badly to smell the top of a tiny head. Don’t know. Do what you need to, chile. That’s what I tell myself, though. πŸ™‚

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  7. LaToya I say GO FOR IT! What’s the worse that could happen, besides you dropping out of grad school? Nothing. You’re already busy, so one more on your busy schedule won’t make a difference. If you want three, go ahead and have your third and get it over with before you approach forty. That’s when life really begins, remember? So you might want to clear your schedule before you get there. As Nike says, “just do it.” Have fun!

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