Mom of Two: Discoveries & Important
Lessons on Life with 2 Kids
It's hard to believe that one year has gone by since my daughter was born. I think 2013 was not only the most difficult and struggling year thus far, but also the fastest. How come 9-months can fly by at the snap of your fingers, but feel like a lifetime while pregnant? Not fair!
After a horrific and difficult pregnancy with its up's and down's (WAY down's!), I realized that the fun had just begun. It wasn't like the first time around when everyone offered up their services and volunteerism was on a high. No. This time it seemed as though I was on my own.
It's only been 12-months since I earned my wings as a mom of more than one, but a long year at that. I thought everything would be twice the work — being a mom of two kids means double work, right? Wrong. It meant much more than that. I was taken back and honestly found it to be much more difficult than anticipated.
I had done it all before, but I learned quickly that my experience with my daughter was a completely individual experience. What I knew about parenting my son wouldn't apply to my daughter. Two different kids, two different pregnancies, and much more than twice the work. Going from one to two kids isn't what you would expect.
Think about this…
BABY SHOWERS: Why is it common practice to throw a baby shower for a couple's first child? Yes, I know it's customary as a way to assist the couple with the financial burden of introducing a child into their home. However, I am starting to see things from a different perspective.
I realize this isn't always the case, but stay with me on this one… The first child does come along with a sudden wakeup call as far as finances go, but expenses prior to that first child only included yourself and your significant other. Don't get me wrong — I thank my lucky stars and still appreciate every gift that we received at our baby shower in 2009 when my first born came along.
However… I must say our financial situation was a bit heavier when our second child was born. We were not only thinking about taking care of ourselves, but now we already had a child in the bunch and had to figure out how a second would fit into that equation. It's easier to support one child versus two. Let's throw a baby shower when a couple takes the big plunge — two kids or more!
FREEBIES & VOLUNTEERISM: Everyone was around after my first child was born. It was overwhelming because I was not only recovering from a horrific emergency caesarean, but I wanted to just hold him nonstop. He was my life and I really let the world revolve around him.
Don't get me wrong and don't take this the wrong way (someone will!), but I didn't have help when my second child was born last year. Sure, I had the occassional visitor, but the revolving door wasn't spinning. This was when I really needed the help. I went from one child in the center spotlight to dividing what little energy I had left between two kids — and one of them was needy (infant!).
Where did everyone go? Did they assume that I had a handle on things because this was my second child? Actually, I would like to openly admit here that it should — and is — the other way around. I wanted to be the only one caring for my son when he was all I had to care for and whatnot. Once I was a mom of two kids, I could have used a helping hand during the day when my husband was at work.
I couldn't get rid of people the first time around! I remember his first week home in 2009. We would literally be kissing a handful of friends goodbye at our front door as a new crowd piled in our door. My second child was also waking up every 3-hours during the night; I had my first child down to a perfect schedule by his 3rd night.
Where were all the people when I was running on 2 hours of sleep?! Hey, come out of hiding! I promise you'll only be put in charge of 1 out of 2 and I'll handle the diapers!
BALANCING & JUGGLING: If I thought that I was good at multi-tasking before, I had no idea about just how much I could handle. Life with two kids has shown me things about myself and my energy level that I never knew possible. I used to hear that story about the mom lifting a car to rescue her son lying underneath. Lift a car? That couldn't be true. I'd watch moms in the park or mall as they scurried around in an organized manner as thery spit out the days agenda off the top of their heads. Did they seriously have the brain capacity to remember every child's different afterschool activities?
Being a mom of one child was simple. I knew where he was, what he was doing, and how our day was going to pan out. Life with two kids took a little more adjusting. I had to find a balance and realize that I couldn't give each child 110% of myself on a daily basis. I would crash, burn, and totally fail. Instead, I had to divide the attention and give what I had — not what I wanted to give.
Moms are always put on this high pedastal with expectations of perfection, super abilities, and apparently super human strengths. Yes, I do believe we become stronger women once we graduate to the title of mother. We can do things we never dreamt about before.
We give up everything we have ever wanted in life just so that we can make sure our kids get more than they could dream of in lif. We are super human, but we still bleed like everyone else – and suffer from exhaustion.
MORAL OF THE STORY…
I'm still learning. I've only been a parent for 4 years and 9 months. Three things I need to remind myself of daily: prioritize, live in the moment, and forget the small stuff. There's too much to worry about and not enough time. Spilt milk? Awesome! Let's laugh about it and pour another glass. Flying baseball in the house crashed into my favorite picture frame? Look at the upside — no one got hurt.
I've spent too much time agonizing and building up anger in the past. One thing any mother should know if she wants to be a success: it doesn't matter. All the small things, mistakes, and broken picture frames in the world couldn't stop me from wanting to have the two happiest kids in the world. They aren't going to each get 110% of me, but 50% each isn't so bad afterall!