I'm a night-worrier. Ever since I can remember, I do my best worrying at night. I'll wake up out of a perfectly-sound sleep and immediately commence to wasting an hour or so of precious time enjoying a barely-contained panic attack.
When I was younger, I stressed about school, not being popular, not being attractive to boys, my parents relationship, my hair. As an adult, I've mostly panicked about money. When I was a university student, I panicked about money and school. Before I got a dog, I panicked about the overwhelming sense of responsibility.
I was happily surprised when I got pregnant the first time and didn't once find myself waking up in a cold sweat. I was confident. I had a secure job, a paid maternity leave, a solid house and a great husband that I knew would make a wonderful father.
I was also ignorant.
I knew that raising a child was going to make serious demands on my personal time and space. I think I actually underestimated my ability to handle these demands. I've found myself to be a much more patient and tolerant parent than I ever imagined. I also (mostly) enjoy being a parent far more than I ever thought I would.
But now I find myself stressing about exactly how much more capacity I have for patience and tolerance.
I'm not worried that I won't be able to love this next child just as much as my first. I know that love is in infinite and renewable resource. I'm just not sure that I'll be able to maintain the relative parenting zen I've achieved when my time, attention and ability to patiently attend to the high-needs of a little person are split two ways.
I worry that I'll find myself tapped-out far quicker than I would like. I worry that I won't be able to handle the moments of frustration as gracefully; especially since I'm sure that two kids means a much higher frequency of such moments. I worry that I won't like myself as much as a mother of two.
I'm pretty confident that I'll soon find out we've made the right decision to stop at two.