Over the weekend, I sat down to a small celebratory brunch with my mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law in honor of baby number three. It was a sweet gathering and a great opportunity for me to sit back and reflect on the time I have left before this baby arrives.
As I sat down to brunch with these women, three women who are in such different seasons of life, it was great to check in and catch up with them, something we don't do nearly enough, if not ever. It was nice to just stop and sit for a while. As a mom, many of us can relate to the constant "go go go" nature of motherhood, so I can't say enough about how much fun it was to just press "pause" on all that other stuff and be fully present without having to mother.
Have I mentioned that brunch buffets may as well be heaven on earth for an indecisive pregnant woman like myself? I don't know what it is about meals but whenever meal time rolls around, I have the hardest time deciding on what I want to eat.
The solution? Buffets. Within minutes I had filled my plate with a crab omelet, thick slices of French toast, breakfast potatoes, a spoonful of scrambled eggs for good measure and despite my strict "no food shall ever touch rule," I somehow made space for a healthy spoonful of apple crisp and a cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting. It was divine.
We began chatting, as women will do, and very quickly my mother-in-law asked me, what, if any, was my one fear about having my third baby. It didn't take me long to think about- as it's been something that's been on my mind for a while now.
When I was pregnant with Maclane, I wrote very candidly about my sole fear in the weeks before his birth. That we were robbing Carter of his time as an only child. I wondered had we spoiled him enough? Told him we loved him enough? Done enough with him as an only child?Of course the answer was always "yes" and his transition to Big Brother couldn't have been more seamless. I look back on that post now and giggle.
That's my hope with this post. That writing this out will merely serve as one of those many times I was simply overly anxious about something I knew would be fine and good and right in the end.
This fear, though, is a little bit different. When I was pregnant with Maclane, I never once worried about how Carter would take to his little brother. From the moment his tiny personality began to take shape, he was a kind, sensitive and sweet boy. At three and a half he is still very much each of those things with the largest, kindest heart.
Maclane is sweet, too. There's no doubt about that. Sensitive? Well, not particularly and he can be kind on a good day. In fact, the words "rough and tumble" and "bruiser" most often come to the forefront of my mind when asked about Maclane's personality.
That said, as much as Carter is a "mama's boy" through and through, Maclane takes that title to a whole other level and when I hear stories about siblings wanting their parents to immediately return their newest addition, I can't help but feel as though this will be Maclane.
He will be the one who pinches the baby on the sly and runs away. Who tries to hide him beneath blankets and pretend as if he's really not there. Part of me wants to blame our extended nursing relationship for this attachment and well, that's a whole post for another day. Let's just say that Maclane does not share well.
My mother-in-law was a bit surprised at this admission. She assumed I would be worrying about how I'd handle three little ones under the age of 5, but what she doesn't understand is that I thrive on chaos. It's in the midst of the Crazy that I have the best handle on what is going on around me. If I had to guess, this is why I've been blessed with three little boys. Somebody knew I could handle it, even on the days when I'm locked in the bathroom shoveling Double-Stuf Oreos into my face like they're going out of style.
Instead, I'm worried about how our youngest will take to the new baby. How he will handle the shift in attention. If I'm being honest, I worry a little bit about how I'll handle the shift in attention.
I've already thought of countless ways to make him feel special and included as we creep closer to baby number three's arrival, after all, it's those same ways I used on Carter when Maclane was born.
Maybe it's just been too long and I've forgotten how those first few weeks went. Maybe I'm worrying over nothing. After all, when I look back at these pictures, they help ease the worry in my heart.