Krista is a full time working mom of two under two that blogs at Not Mommy of the Year – the very opposite of what she is in my book. Her blog lets me peek into the world of amazing women who manage to do so much, and I’ve loved reading her for over a year. She’s blogging for me today on what it’s like to have a second child so close to the first – from her fears to the reality.
It’s amazing that Diana ever lets me guest post here anymore. You’d think by now I’d have annoyed her with my rambling and she’d be telling me to keep it all to myself. But, until she comes to her senses, I’m thrilled to post when she’s willing to let me!
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When Chessa was about six months old, I started thinking about Baby #2. I saw cute pregnant women and longed for the feeling of being pregnant again. I saw her roll over, sit up and start to have a personality and I missed the newborn, itty bitty squishy baby days.
I knew our family wasn’t complete yet. I knew that I wanted our kids close together. I knew that neither of us was getting any younger. And I knew that, no matter what they tell you in ninth grade health class, sometimes pregnancy doesn’t happen as fast as you want it to.
It took us seven months to get pregnant with Chessa. So imagine my surprise when the stick turned pink on the “first try”.
Truth be told. I was terrified.
I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to parent two children equally. Love them enough. Be patient enough. I was scared to death that the baby wouldn’t sleep and the toddler would wake up and that our perfect little life as a family of three would be completely upended. Little things scared me – like which kid do I put in which seat in the car? Which one do I get out of the car first when it’s just me and I have both of them? (Spoiler alert: don’t go anywhere alone with both kids, problem solved!) And big things – will we be able to afford having two kids in diapers? What if Chessa feels neglected or like we don’t love her?
I’m a wee bit dramatic.
As it turns out, motherhood is so much better on me the second time around. Gone was the unsure-ness of a first time mom. Instead it was replaced with a quiet confidence of knowing what to expect. Here are a few things that come to mind:
· I learned that almost everything is a phase and I didn’t freak out (much) over cluster feedings, 20 minute naps, and middle of the night wake ups.
· The 5S’s came back to me with ease as I walked, bounced, swaddled and shhh’d the baby.
· I didn’t mind (too much, Ok I did after a few months) the middle of the night wake ups.
· I knew it was OK if the baby cried a little bit before I got to him.
· And that sometimes it was better to take care of a toddler tantrum before a fussy baby.
· I learned to multi-task. Like when I fed Cole while making lunch for Chessa or holding the baby while peeing and explaining what I was doing to Chessa.
· I liked baby wearing with Chessa, but with Cole it was a necessity. And I loved having him so close to me.
· I started embracing the toddler moments and became more patient with Chessa.
· I learned to pick my battles.
· I soaked in every second of napping with the baby on my chest and didn’t worry that I would smother him or that I was setting him up to never sleep in his crib.
· I also understood why it was important to start putting him down awake earlier than I did with Chessa.
But perhaps the best part of this mother-of-two thing is seeing my two babies together. When Chessa wants to “help” me bath her brother or when she leans over and kisses him, unprompted. Or when she wakes up and the first thing she asks for is “Cole Michael.” Or when he was learning how to roll over and she helped him with a giant shove! Ok, maybe that last one wasn’t so great, but it was funny.
All in all, I feel like I am a much better mother this time around. Much more relaxed. More confident. More patient. And I wonder? If I ever (lose my mind or get really drunk) decide to have Baby #3 will this confidence/relaxation/patience continue to grow to the point where I just let the baby drive him or herself home from the hospital?