I have two children under a year old. And they’re not twins, nor is either of them adopted. When I tell people this I get a predictable line of questioning:
- Are you Catholic?
- Are you Irish?
- Are you insane?
I am Catholic, but haven’t practiced in years. I am also part Irish, but not so much to make me reproduce willy-nilly. I’m pretty sure that’s a negative cultural stereotype, anyway. (The 1/8 of me that’s Irish tries not to be offended.) I don’t think I’m insane, but I am getting there faster than I’d like to admit.
Here’s how I became a cautionary tale. When my older son was three months old, I was hit with a tidal wave of exhaustion. Of course I was exhausted. I was 37, working full time, and taking care of a baby who refused to sleep through the night. “Mono”, I thought. “I probably have mono. Or maybe this is just what motherhood is like. Everyone told me it would be exhausting.” And there it was–the thin blue line on the pregnancy test. I carried the test out to my husband, who looked at it, made some kind of incoherent grunting noise, and handed it right back to me. I can’t blame him. In fact, I had taken a picture of the pregnancy test because I couldn’t process what the test results really meant. It turns out that taking the picture was a pretty good idea–because, let’s face it, nobody wants to keep a three-week old pee stick and get excited over THAT.