Last week, just before I left for the AIM Conference, C was sent home from daycare with a fever. And this week, she was sent home with another fever. My husband and I feared another ear infection, but as it turns out, her ears are "perfect" (as proclaimed by her pediatrician). We have no idea what last week's illness was, but this week the culprit was roseola: C is now sporting a fine-looking rash as proof.
Needless to say, when you have a sick child and a jam-packed work schedule, you have to do some serious rearranging, and fast. Last week, my husband stayed home with C; this week, it was my turn. As I ran out to the car the other day, I canceled/rescheduled meetings, emailed my manager and my assistant, called the pediatrician, and called my husband in rapid-fire succession. And as I was speeding down Route 128, all I could think was, "How on earth do people DO this when they have more than one child?"
The logical side of my brain knows that many, many, MANY people have more than one child, both parents work full-time, and everyone manages just fine: in fact, I have several friends who have kids roughly the same age as C, and they are currently expecting their second child. What I find somewhat amusing is that now that C is almost a year and a half old, we're often asked (by well-meaning relatives, friends, and sometimes even strangers), "So...when are you having Baby #2?" I have no real answer to that question, though, because I truly cannot contemplate adding more chaos to the mix. Every room in our house is always cluttered. Clean laundry stays in baskets for days, or sometimes even weeks, before it's folded. We eat a lot of microwaveable food and cereal. My husband is in grad school at night. I have next to no time to myself as it is. The list goes on, and on, and on.
And, there's the financial part of the equation to consider as well. My husband and I both have good jobs, but when it comes right down to it, day care is astronomically expensive, and we simply cannot afford to send two kids to day care and stay in our house. I know that there are a number of alternatives and ways to make things work (one of us could stay home, we could get a nanny, we could move, etc.) but none of those options seem particularly attractive at this point. No matter which way I think about it, another baby just isn't in the cards right now for us...and if I'm honest with myself, I am more than okay with that.
The good news is that we have time. I am only 34, and C is only 17 months old. And so, we'll continue in the path of chaos, hoping that the laundry will somehow magically fold itself and that Amy's Organic Kitchen will come up with some new frozen pizza varieties, and at some point, I guess that the equilibrium will shift just enough that we'll know it's time to grow our family. Or, maybe not.
Until then, I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that we can get through the next week or two without a fever.