Oh, this topic. It’s what I wondered my whole second pregnancy and what I’m sure some of you as my readers or soon-to-be second time moms wonder. How will I do it? How will I ever have time? Will I love my new kid the same or as much? How will the relationship with the first child change?
There’s so much to wonder about. I was listening to a Risen Motherhood podcast the other day (yeah, finally jumped on that bandwagon!!!). The topic was exactly this: adding more kids to your family and how to transition. They brought up a great point though: why do so many women freak out over this question? Why is it always being asked? What it really boils down to is we want to know what to expect. We’re already moms and want to maintain that control that we think we have.
I’m excited to share my thoughts on what being a mom of two is really like. I know I shared a few weeks ago a quick day in the life post about how things were going, but that was a month ago and a lot has already changed. That just happened to be a really easy day too and I know some of you were blown away with how “well” I am doing things. Even the “easy” days are hard. Because even if I and my girls are in a good mood, I’m still doing tons of work!
But with that said, the transition has been both really natural and really, really hard. I’m not saying that to scare anyone, but to be real. I’ve heard from so many anxious moms or moms-to-be lately wondering about how other bloggers or random social media people “do it all.” And truthfully, maybe some people like Joanna Gaines or Jen Hatmaker “do it all.” But they also have all the help, more money and resources, and you don’t see the whole picture anyway.
So back to me. Not a celebrity. A barely existent blogger at times. Wannabe photographer. Definitely not a lot of help over here not living near family & having a husband who works long hours.
Am I doing it all? No. Not even close.
What does this whole mom of two gig really feel like now?
Well, lately, it’s just been impossibly hard. C is going through a sleep regression, so she’s been getting up in the middle of the night and extremely early, missing naps, and taking hours to go to bed at night. Just that alone is a nightmare in itself. But I also have a newborn. I guess my toddler didn’t get the memo that I am already really busy with her sister.
Yes, Stella is an easier baby, but she has a dairy sensitivity (which killlllls me to give up, but I have) and possibly has reflux or just colic, because now she cries for hours every day… So on days C does nap, most of the time I spend her entire nap soothing a very fussy little sister. Not ideal. The days of getting things done during “nap time” seem to be completely gone. I did have a good run of syncing their nap times a few weeks there, but it’s mostly been a bust the past two weeks so it’s been more about survival than getting anything done.
Add to it that because C’s bedtime takes 57 hours each night, my husband and I have -8 hours together each week. Marriage? Yeah, I’m not really sure what that even is anymore at times. And please don’t suggest that we need date nights and a baby sitter. Of course we do. Of course I know that. But dang, that is theeee last thing on my to do list these days when I can hardly keep up on laundry and dishes and I listen to endless crying some days. We will get there, but not right now.
It’s hard because having children is just a huge adjustment, period. I feel like I had just finally figured some things out by the time Claire was 18 months or so. Like okay, I got this. She usually takes naps. I feed her a variety of foods. She’s growing. I’ve taught her some words and we don’t watch TV all day (except at the end of my pregnancy and most days now). I was doing alright.
Sometimes I can get them both occupied like this so I can get a workout in or load the dishwasher. But it’s not very often!
Enter another baby. I thought I “knew things” about how to take care of a baby. I did. I was less nervous. But the new baby was not my first baby. And half the things that worked for her don’t work for her sister. We have figured out how to take care of Stella in the ways she needs, but it’s just very shocking to be like “I’ve been through this before so I’ll try this,” only to realize that doesn’t work. I guess it’s like driving a stick. A Jeep is going to shift very differently than a manual BMW. They’re both cars. They’re both built differently though and require some fine tuning to learn how to “drive.”
The biggest things that are hard for me right now are just not having any time to myself. I use all my time during the day to clean our house, chase after C and make sure she’s not getting into everything, & then deal with Stella either nursing or needing to be calmed down to sleep. Randomly, I will get time to make some muffins, edit a batch of photos, meal plan, do a work out. But it’s not consistent and it’s all still work. I had these thoughts during pregnancy that my nap times that I would enjoy a Bible study or heck – nap myself! – were going to be short lived.
Right now, it feels like I have to give more than double the attention to both girls because they’re in hard stages but I have nothing left to give. Inevitably, as soon as one is asleep or as soon as I have the chance to get something done, one will wake up or need attention immediately.
It feels kind of like learning how to ride a bike. Except you still have to ride it somehow without actually knowing how. But one day, I’ll be able to take the training wheels off and pick up the speed, right?
On the other side, it also feels very natural to have expanded our family. Of course one of my biggest fears was how Claire would adjust. Just look at the photo above to see how that is going. She literally completely loves her. It makes sense now after the fact. Having a sibling is only natural. And despite there being a lot of changes to add a new sibling to her life, it’s become the new normal for her. She’s very helpful when I need things and asks for her first thing in the morning.
I also really worried about what the transition would be like to have another relationship with another daughter. I was worried I wouldn’t connect with Stella right away because I felt my connection with Claire was so strong. I had zero issues connecting and seeing Stella for the first time felt very much like when I saw Claire for the first time. I was completely in love with both of them from the moment we met. Having her around feels like she’s always been part of our family and now I can’t imagine my life and our family without her.
Overall, being a mom of two so far has taught me humility – that no amount of “I think I know what I’m doing” really helps. Although I’m more seasoned as a mom this time around, having two kids has showed me that more kids does not equal having more control over things just because it isn’t my first rodeo. I know God is using motherhood to sharpen and sanctify me. It’s not the most fun all the time right now, but I trust that His work isn’t finished and that maybe one day I’ll even look back on these long, exhausting days with joy (although mostly just because I will have forgotten how tired I was!).
Questions for You:
- Did I just make everyone’s ovaries shrivel up and die with this post or was this insightful?
- What’s been your experience adding more children to your family? Or if you haven’t, what are your fears or thoughts on it?