Thank you, Dave Matthews, for that life metaphor and this blog title. Like Dave says, “The space between the tears we cry, is the laughter that keeps me coming back for more.”
Although his was more about relationships and love, I’m talking about the space between one child and two. The space between cruise control and chaos. The space between having it all figured out and then having nothing figured out. The space between having a life to not having a life. The space between manageable and unmanageable. This space I am in right now. The space we are in right now. The space between one child and two.
Lately, I feel like I actually have my life back again. Ever since I got done nursing and Ivy is feeding herself, I have such a sense of freedom. I don’t have to race home every two-three hours to feed her. I don’t have the be the only one to put her to sleep. I don’t have to be there for her every second of the day. I don’t have to be the only one to nourish her. It is nice to be able to brush those burdens off your back. Those stresses that give you anxiety and fill your day with rushing around are hard. Ya ya, you can pump. But I hated pumping. I did the absolute minimum.
This freedom though, feels so good. I feel normal again.
Even as Ivy has grown up and older, she’s pretty self-sufficient now, understands you and says “ya” (VERY enthusiastically) or “no”, and plays and plays and plays. I feel like I have it too good sometimes. But I know that won’t be lasting long.
Indeed, I’ve enjoyed these last few months of “cruise control,” if you will. These few months of having most of it figured out finally.
They feel good. I can actually breathe. And live like a normal person.
This space between our next child is fulfilling my sanity. I need this space between. To really prepare myself. To renourish myself. To strengthen myself. To take care of myself.
I keep telling John we really need to take advantage of these next few months before baby two gets here. And we do. Take more time for each other and take time with Ivy. Somehow together but separate. I want Ivy to get her fair share of mommy/daughter and father/daughter time before baby gets here to ambush us with an uncontrollable frenzy. Ivy deserves that. We all deserve that. Three months left to herself. Scary. But exciting.
I am making sure to savor all of the moments of peace between Ivy and I. I find myself trying to hold her as much as I can before my growing belly is too big or she’s too heavy. I still squeeze her on my lap each night with her head against my chest as we read books before bed time, knowing it will not be long before she can’t sit there when my baby bump is too big and we will have to squeeze in side by side. Her night routine gets longer some nights, just because we (well mostly I) both want one more book, or both want more sweet snuggles, or both want one more minute of peace and quiet. Each of us trying to get in as much me and you time as possible, before I’m rushing down to new baby and hurrying to put Ivy to sleep. I’m appreciating all of the little things of having one child. Soaking them in like a sponge before things change.
This space between is quite exhilarating. And when this space between ends in June, well, it brings me back to the lyrics I quoted at the beginning, “The space between the tears we cry, is the laughter that keeps me coming back for more.” It will all be a struggle and lots of tears and hardships and learning, but those baby giggles and snuggles I am such a sucker for and the sibling interaction I cannot WAIT for, will certainly keep me coming back for more.