The baby days the second time around have gone so, so much faster. Yes, being distracted by a toddler for all of Stella’s baby days have made it go by in a blink. Plus, she has done everything much faster than Claire ever did, so it feels like it’s just disappearing fast!
But here we are, close to a year later. And guess what? We are still in survival mode. While Stella has been a more easy going baby, she’s still demanding and still didn’t really start sleeping through the night until recently. She’s still been by far a better sleeper, but I’ve basically been sleep deprived for the past four years, if you count my first pregnancy. It hasn’t gotten all that much easier.
I think I had high hopes that the baby days would be better the second time around. The sleep deprivation from Claire waking 5+ times a night for months was impossible. I thought, surely, no baby days will be that hard again. And they weren’t, from the sleep standpoint.
But now I have two sleep schedules to manage. Two kids who can (and often do) wake up at 4 AM. Together. I’m glad I was blessed with a better sleeper the second time around (for now, seriously, I won’t hold my breath on anyone’s sleep “lasting”). But the sleep thing with two very small kids just plain sucks.
Last year was just tumultuous for us. We had a lot going on as a family and consistency was hard to find. Even if we didn’t have a lot going on, I still think it would have been hard anyway. I’ve never done the mom of two thing before, so I’m still just learning.
I won’t lie that I thought we’d been in a better place by now. I thought I’d have a routine down. I thought I’d be doing preschool prep workbooks with Claire while Stella happily played with toys on the floor next to us. All while I was definitely my pre-baby weight, in better shape, and with a cute outfit on. HAHAHA.
Maybe (I hope) we will be doing that soon. But we’re not right now. Every day is a constant battle of omg everyone needs food and needed it five minutes ago. And it has to be waffles. For every meal. Because toddlers. And don’t touch that. And please, please just share your toys and realize your “little” sister who weighs almost as much as you is too little to realize you don’t want her to play with that.
It’s been even more of a struggle of my time and sacrificing myself, of course. With two kids, there is double the lack of me time. Yet, I want time for myself even more now than ever because I am doubly stretched thin. I have two to watch, feed, bathe, put to bed, wake up early with, and right now, that’s also all on my own.
Anyone not in my situation sees that it’s a lot. And sees that I need grace and to just keep on surviving. It’s been so hard to have almost a year of feeling like I’ve done very little for them and even less for myself. Yes, I’ve not only kept them alive, but kept them nourished and hopefully they’ve learned a few things.
But wow, nothing about this motherhood gig has looked or felt anything like I thought it would. It’s been the ultimate you-are-not-in-control experience. Coupled with postpartum depression and anxiety, it’s been hard to enjoy this phase.
It’s hard to say that when I have this smiling face staring back at me. Seriously, she is ALWAYS smiling. She is the happiest and I love that. I’ve come to realize that my unhappiness doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom, though.
Having two kids has made me realize just how easy one baby was. Even though the first year with Claire was really hard, I actually felt like I enjoyed it more because I only had to focus on one baby. And when she napped, that meant all my children were napping.
It’s been hard to learn how to split my time between them. Of course, the first few months, I was just trying to make sure everyone was alive, including me. But as time has gone on, it’s become more apparent to me how much each of them needs just my attention.
When Stella naps, Claire is in a much better mood if I’m playing with her or down on the floor doing an activity with her than if I just plop her in front of the TV because I really hope I can utilize Stella’s nap and have a moment of peace. That’s such a hard balance though. There is a very small plate in motherhood in these early years and way too much to fill it.
I know in just a few months we will be in a different place though. It really is all going by in a blur. The whole “the days are long but the years are short” saying definitely rings true. Those long days are such long days. But the good days are so good and make me feel like I’m winning.
This didn’t come out quite like I thought, but I wrote this to share the reality of being a mom of two. And that no, you probably won’t be back to your pre-baby weight and all with it just because this isn’t your first rodeo.
Things definitely fell into place quicker for me the first time around. I was younger, had more motivation, and more hands per child. I was back at my pre-baby weight 9 months later and this time I’m not even close. At least this time, I know it doesn’t really affect anything and won’t (hopefully) last forever.
At the very least, it was therapeutic to say that I don’t have it all together. Not even close. And the more I am thrust into motherhood, the more I am okay with admitting and sharing that. I hope that it’s helpful to someone somewhere.
Questions for You:
- How has second, third, or more time motherhood affected you?
- How do you deal with seasons of your life that aren’t how you envisioned?