There are days where being a mother of two makes you feel like a rock star. The house gets cleaned, the two year old plays independently, the baby naps at the right times, both kids peaceful go to bed, and you get a shower. However, there are days where nothing goes as planned. The dog is barking, the toddler is throwing a tantrum, the baby cries every time you start to attempt any sort of productivity, and you feel yourself slowly unraveling.
Motherhood is full of ups and downs no matter how many children you have -whether it is one or ten (or somewhere in between). The first few days of motherhood with two were a trick: the toddler was well behaved and content just hanging with me and the baby, loved helping and quietly played or watched tv when I needed her to. The newborn did a lot of sleeping, wasn’t fussy and I was able to get lots accomplished each day. Within a week the calm morphed into the chaos that is now our daily life. My husband also headed back to overnight shifts (which meant/means bedtime is sort of a like a game of Russian roulette – you never know what’s going to happen!).
With two kids someone always needs something – and it is always at the worst times. The toddler is notorious for needing 18 million things the second I start to feed the baby, or the baby starts fussing as soon as the toddler and I start a bedtime story. My day is a constant battle to keep everyone happy and ensure that everyone is getting enough attention- cue the mom guilt.
Mom guilt is probably the worst aspect of having two children (and I’m assuming continues on as more children are added). Someone always needs something and usually at the same time; it is inevitable that one child has to wait an extra minute to get their needs met. Usually, I try and take care of the toddler first since the addition of the new baby is a huge change from how her daily life used to be. However, this means that the baby cries for an extra few minutes or has his bottle interrupted multiple times (poor guy!).
I have to try my hardest not to think back to my daughter as a newborn when all the attention was hers -all day every day. If I think about it too much I start to feel bad for our newest addition, and the guilt intensifies. My saving grace is that the toddler currently has an early bedtime which helps balance the attention back to the baby in the evenings. Having a newborn with a toddler couldn’t be more different than just having a newborn. The quiet moments are truly far and few.
Don’t get me wrong there are days that I really do feel like a multitasking rock star with two happy kids, a quiet dog, a (mostly) clean house, and dinner ready at a reasonable time. Other days it’s back and forth all day and before I know it the house looks like a tornado touched down, the to do list has nothing crossed off, and it’s 3pm when I realize I haven’t changed out of pjs and have consumed nothing but coffee and half a pb&j from the toddler’s lunch.
As mothers we have a habit of taking care of everyone and everything and forgetting that we need time too. At this point I usually don’t have morning time without a child awake, but I have made a point to become super-efficient in the evening hours. Making sure I get a shower in once the toddler is bed, in addition to cleaning up, and tackling whatever is on my to do list between baby feedings, naps, and cuddles.
It’s a crazy life with a 27 month old and 1 month old, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. The interactions between my toddler and baby are so amazing that there are days that I feel as though my heart might literally explode. My toddler also seems to be growing up so fast now -talking more and learning something new each day. And, I have no idea how the baby is a month old already! I feel like if I’m not careful I’ll blink and it will be another month (or six) gone.
The moral of the story is that even on the most chaotic and stressful days, it’s worth it -and I’m doing my best to soak it all in because there will come a day when the house is clean, quiet, and chaos will be missed.