I had lunch with my old Nemesis the other day - which I do often. We have maintained a very positive and enjoyable friendship despite my all-consuming jealousy of her initially; I'm so glad I kept it to myself and just let it (eventually) pass as we both went on to have two children and live (mostly) happy lives. She was laid off from a high powered executive job in November and has not been able to get a new job since despite endless interviews and resume send outs. I really feel for her - I can't imagine trying to find a job in today's environment. Then she tells me - as I had suspected when she walked in - that she is pregnant again, and is in utter despair about it. She had no intention of ever having a third child and is distraught that this will make ever resuming her career that much more difficult. I really felt for her. Despite one mumsy moment when I had Theo, I quickly realized a third child in our lives would be an utter disaster, and push things from my usual "barely hanging on by the tip of my fingernails" to just falling right off that cliff.
It's so funny how you go from being desperate to not have a baby to being desperate to have a baby to being desperate to not have a baby. I wonder how many third babies are brought into the world being unwanted but grudgingly tolerated. I wonder how many women of more than two children are boiling cauldrons of resentment.
Is this why women in the sixties lived under hazes of Valium and booze?
I feel like there is a tipping point between two children being manageable and still being able to have somewhat of a life and having three and giving over to being consumed by family life. And many people want this, and that's great. But for me - no. Not one bit. I'm barely cutting it as it is, and this is only because I spend thousands a month on childcare even though I'm technically a stay at home mom.
To those of you who adore little children and want nothing more to be in their presence, I salute you. The world needs you and you are awesome. I, on the other hand, especially this time of year when I have mountains of work and 800 other people that need my attention, am not that person.
Even though Bobby is starting kindergarten in just a year, I often despair when I think of how many years of my life are still going to be devoted to "little kid" stuff - diapers, major food issues, having to do everything for three people. It's three more years of having a preschooler when it comes to Theo; and when Bobby starts kindergarten our lives are going to turn upside down and not in a good way. We'll have to be up at 6 AM every day for the rest of our lives, and to try to align Theo's preschool schedule with Bobby's kindergarten schedule will cost about $1000 more a month, and even then I'll still be doing full childcare four days a week. The years 2017-2019 are going to suck. So I am going to enjoy this last leisurely year to the fullest.