I've read a few articles and seen discussions online about whether it is easier to go from no kids to one kid, or from one to two.
Well, a month in, I've gotta say that going from one to two has been much easier for me than the first time around!
That's not to say it isn't hard. Sleep deprivation, no time to rest like with the first, juggling toddler energy with newborn needs, it can be a real struggle. Yesterday I barely managed to eat lunch. Sometimes I feel like I've got octopus arms as I focus simultaneously on a baby who refuses to latch and a toddler who might wee on the floor at any moment. My attention span is short as I'm constantly trying to keep up with what is needed in the moment. I try and do bits of housework in the spare minutes I have between tending to my kids, so nothing is ever finished. I won't tell you how many times I stopped and started writing this post.
|Juggling two. This is my life now.|
But my stress levels are way down, my expectations are more realistic and my emotions are much more in check this time, leading to an easier experience all around.
One of the most challenging aspects of parenting, first time around, was my feeling of purposelessness as my days changed from work, adult interactions and goals achieved, to a baby on a 3 hour feeding cycle, with medical issues that didn't seem to be getting better. It seemed like I'd be stuck in the roundabout of newborn days forever.
This time I'm much more used to spending time at home, and bringing my own purpose to my days. I'm also much more aware that things will change, and these newborn days don't last too long.
Also, Hunter seems to be a *whispers* easy baby.
Gosh, I know you're never supposed to admit that. Perhaps he is easy in comparison to the early days with Ada. Perhaps it's in contrast to the full on and emotional world of a two year old.
All I know is that, so far, his needs seem pretty simple and he is not hard to please. He feeds well and generally self settles. He is gaining weight like a champ and is very healthy. He does wake every 1-3 hours in the night, but I can cope with that as I know it's just a stage.
I am finding my capacity to parent two kids is bigger than I thought. Two months ago I wrote these words:
I am completely terrified of being a mum to two small children. I love my kids, but I am not one of those natural mum material types....
When thinking about the months ahead, about adding a baby to the mix, I am equal parts excited and terrified. How can I share my time and love fairly between two kids? How can I be the mum they both need? I don't know at this point.
|Rocking it at the park with two kids like a bad ass. Please note, copious amounts of coffee was consumed to make this happen|
It helps that Ada is a lovely big sister. We weren't quite sure how she would react, but she is incredibly kind and loving with Hunter- always kissing and cuddling him. She can be a bit rough as she doesn't know his limits, but it's all done with love. She has had moment of adjusting to having less attention from us, but overall she is handling it better than I ever could have expected.
|A kind and caring sister|
I make an effort everyday to get up in time to get a quick shower, to pop on a little makeup and a bit of colour on my lips. Getting dressed and feeling 'presentable' makes me feel like I can take on any challenge the day throws at me. Being in my pj's at midday doesn't give quite the same sense of empowerment.
I'm well aware that in the months ahead, things could become more challening than they are now. I'm anticipating some sibling struggles once Hunter is mobile and into Ada's toys. However, I am much more confident in my ability as a Mum than I was 2.5 years ago with Ada's arrival. I also know, despite my worries about how I parent them, that they will be ok.
I've been constantly marvelling at how this experience with Hunter has been different to that with Ada's.
Ada made me a Mum. She made me strong and taught me fierce love and protectiveness. She taught me to fight and be brave.
Hunter has introduced me to a side of motherhood I was never sure I'd see. Enjoying things more 'naturally,' appreciating every moment of this placid wee guy. He is teaching me to relax and be confident as a mother.
Here's to mothers of two (or more!) everywhere. It's a struggle, but also a joy and I'm so grateful to be on this crazy ride.