I am not even going to start with the cliché that time flies and babies get big too fast. It just does, and all parents know the feeling I guess. You look foward to the next step of your little one and you get sad at how quickly they grow at the same time. Stella is three months old now, meaning I`ve been the mom of two for the quarter of a year. Time to gather some toughts on motherhood with two children…
During my second pregnancy, I read a lot about having two children. How to prepare our first child, what the impact would be for him and us as parents. I also read whatever I could find about the personal experiences from other moms. You hear different things: some parents say that the arrival of their second child didn’t have as much of an impact as the birth of their first baby. Others tell you the exact opposite.
During the very first weeks, I didn’t feel like suddenly having two kids was a big shock. Henrik reacted super calm and was the most patient nice boy I could imagine. Even when Stella was crying, interrupted our reading time and was basically attached to me for the whole first month, you wouldn’t hear a bad thing about her or me from his mouth. Maybe it helped that he still had kind of his schedule, and his sister`s arrival didn`t change that. He still goes to daycare two days a week during my maternity leave. Next to getting to play with kids his age there, he learns what it means to share the attention of a grownup with other kids. And as I`ve always worked, he wasn`t used to have me around every day of the week. The biggest surprise for me though was how having a newborn again hit me. After all, it had been almost three years since I had my first baby. Suddenly, 8 pm didn’t mean the evening for myself anymore, followed by a good night’s rest. Mom duty was back to 24/7.
Now, we’re three months into this new family constellation. Henrik is still well-behaved and hasn’t really shown signs of jalousy. I feel like he is claiming extra attention now though. Asking for my help and participation with things and games he used to do by himself. As if it took him some time to realize that his baby sister is here to stay, and he now wants to make sure he’s not being forgotten in the process :-).
Here’s a few thoughts from me as a fairly new mom of two children. Since I have a toddler and a baby…
- I have even more respect for moms with 3, 4, 5… kids. How do you do it??
- I have even more respect for single moms. Seriously, how do you do it???
- I know that it’s true: you actually can love a second baby as much as your first one, the moment she enters this world.
- I know that you find your way. The first evening on my own, I cried. Baby crying (she did that every evening during the first month), toddler waiting for bedtime routine.. Me exhausted and feeling like neglecting both children at the same time. Couple of nights further, I felt like a rock star when I managed to smoothly fit in Henrik`s dinner and bedtime routine around baby’s feedings and naps. And by now, I’m still exhausted at the end of the day, but 8 pm is me-time again.
- The days with just the baby feel like a lot of time for myself. She naps. And she doesn’t talk and ask questions all day like her big brother haha.
- It feels like total luxury that Henrik goes to daycare for two days and I get to give Stella the extra attention that her brother enjoyed 24/7 when he was born. She`s starting to chat and smile when you talk to her. Those two days a week with just her mean I get to cuddle her and enjoy our one-on-one chats endlessly and without feeling like I`m excluding Henrik or provoking jealousy.
- I regularly play with the thought of shaving my head. Having long thick hair costs time. Time has become even more precious now.
- I am glad with the age difference of our kids (3 years). Henrik`s independence (which doesn`t go as far as he often thinks it should haha), him knowing our rules and being (quite :-)) obedient by now, sleeping well and going to the toilet.. It all helps a lot.
- I`m even more thankful to have my mom who comes to visit and babysits her two grandchildren as if it was the easiest thing in the world straight away.
- I wonder how I will manage to get to work before lunch time, showered, dressed, with make up on.. I have almost three months before the real life starts again. Maybe I should start practising..
- moments feeling like I`m going to go nuts are closely followed by moments thinking I could explode with joy and happiness that having these two kids give me.
- I yearn for some time for myself. And once I get it (thanks to husband or babysitter.. and to my Medela Swing :)) I miss them within no time and yearn to be back home with them.
- I enjoy and absorb Stella`s development even more than I did with Henrik. Because now I know how quickly it all goes by and how I`ll soon wake up finding she`s a big girl.
So here`s to the next quarter of this new mom life. Life never gets boring with kids, that`s for sure. And while I feel I have found my way with two kids, there`s new challenges ahead: traveling on a plane on my own with the two of them (only one way luckily) in July and going back to work in August. Keep you posted 🙂