Before Jr. was born, everyone I talked to who had more than one kid, everything I read about it, said the same thing: Going from 1 child to 2 is a huge adjustment, much harder than going from 0 to 1. So I've been mentally preparing myself for awhile now that these next few weeks are going to be super hard, exhausting, lots of tears for everyone involved, etc.
However (and I know I'm jinxing this as I write it)....so far it really hasn't been that "hard." In actuality, my experience with incorporating Jr. into our life has been MUCH MUCH MUCH better than my experience when J was born. Looking back at myself as a first-time mom, I realize now that I had a really hard time those first few weeks, and was so much more stressed-out and anxiety-ridden than I am right now. I cried EVERY DAY for several weeks, whether it was over J's inability to take more than a 20 minute nap during the day or how much I hated breastfeeding in the beginning or just plain grieving for my old carefree life. I know what you're thinking - classic PPD symptoms. I agree. Somehow I didn't see it then, but now it seems so obvious and I feel kind of sad for me and for J during that time. Jr. is now 2 weeks old and I have yet to cry or even feel like crying. Tired, exhausted, frustrated with the 3 year old (and the husband) at times, yes. Sad, depressed, overwhelmed? Not yet.
Having J around has also made this transition easier for me in alot of ways, which I didn't expect. It's like I have a sense of perspective now that just wasn't there the first time around. When J was a baby, I remember thinking that he would never sleep through the night, that he would always have random screaming and fussiness, that we would be stuck in the super-needy frustrating little baby phase forever. Of course it was all over in the blink of an eye, and whenever I feel myself getting a little antsy while I walk up and down the hall with a wide awake baby at 2am, I can tell myself that "this too shall pass" and actually believe it this time. I'm glad that we decided to have another child if for no other reason than he's allowed me to know what it's like to feel confident and relaxed as a mother, something I didn't feel with J until he was at least 6 months old.
Overall so far it seems like it's just a matter of making adjustments. We've had a pretty good schedule going for the past 3 years, so it's been a challenge for all of us to figure out a new daily routine. Jr. has been doing pretty well sleeping in bed with us or next to us in the cosleeper, waking only to nurse and then (for the most part) going right back to sleep. Thankfully he doesn't make much noise at night so J is still sleeping well. In the mornings, however, it's a bit of a 3-ring circus, with J trying to jump into our bed while the baby is still laying next to me and TH rushing around to get ready for work and me still groggy and unable to get up early enough to get a shower in before TH leaves. Then the day goes by in a blur, with J watching waaaaay too much TV and eating too much "convenience" food (ugh I' m so ashamed, I broke down and bought Kid Cuisines, J didn't like them anyway) and the baby spending waaaaay more time in a bouncy seat or hanging out by himself in the bassinette then J The Blessed First Child ever did. Twice a week J goes to daycare so he can see his friends, I can get a break, and we can keep our usual routine going a little bit because it's only a few weeks before I'm back at work. At least Jr. is super mellow so far - this kid rarely cries except for when he's hungry. He's already good at soothing himself a bit when J is occupying my attention, and really doesn't fuss much about anything.
So far, so good. I know there are people who want me to say that this transition has been really hard and I'm losing my mind and regretting having another kid, but it just wouldn't be true. We're slowly adjusting and incorporating Jr. into our life, and yes we're tired and yes I'm a little more irritable than usual, but otherwise it's all good. We'll see if it lasts....
Practice makes perfect
8 years ago