Life With Two Kids
I've been a two-kid mom for nearly two months, which means I'm mostly adjusted to the craziness of a newborn and a toddler. It's surprising to me how much I love having two and how non-traumatic adding a baby was to our family (Brock's four weeks of paternity leave definitely eased the transition).
I know many people have a hard time transitioning to two kids, but it has been amazing for me. I'm constantly awed by how much I enjoy having two. There are definitely stressful times, like yesterday when both were screaming in the stroller and I had no option but to take deep breaths and power walk, but I'm able to handle those times with more calm than I would have thought possible.
|The calm before the storm|
I think one reason why the transition has been so great for me is that it feels like my brain is at a perfect equilibrium. With just one kid, I often felt bored whether we were at home or out. I couldn't really do things I wanted to do (like reading on the couch), but playing cars or watching James at the park left me looking at my watch every 5 minutes.
Now that there are two, I find myself more fully engaged. At the park I have a baby to nurse and snuggle, and when the baby is sleeping at home I have a big kid to read books to. It's so great.
Of course, it's not all amazing. I feel a bit guilty at not being able to hold Calvin as much as I want because of how needy James is. Calvin is often content in his swing or kicking his legs on a blanket, but I don't want to deprive him of being held and cuddled as much as James was as a newborn. Especially since I want to be holding him all the time. I live for the moments when I can sit in the rocking chair with him on my chest. The sad truth of the second baby is that those moments don't happen as often as I would like.
The sleep deprivation is worse this time. When it's your first baby, you really can sleep as much as the baby does, but James is usually up by 6 so that's when my day starts too. Luckily, he still naps and almost every day I've been able to get Calvin to sleep at the same time, so I've been able to squeeze in an extra hour and a half of sleep.
Plus, the thing I love most about being a second-time mom is the perspective I've gained. With James, I felt actual despair over how little I slept and occasionally went to pieces because I thought interrupted sleep was my new permanent reality. But this time, I know that the sleep evens out in a couple months, and that I can sleep train by 4ish months, so it's not the end of the world.
That perspective applies to taking care of a newborn in general. I don't fret about how much Calvin nurses or from which side, nor do I compare what he's doing with other babies his age. Most things turn out just fine, and already going through the baby experience has made this time feel so much better.
These past two months have been amazing. My life is fuller and more fulfilled, leaving me happier being a mom now than I have been before.