Today is my son’s first birthday!
He’s my second and I feel like his first year went so much faster than my daughter’s, who is only 18 months older. I’ve learned a lot throughout this past year; for instance, I’m pretty certain that two children are triple not double the work of one. Here are a few other things I’ve learned.
I’ve learned that sharing your attention is hard. My daughter is at the age where she demands my attention. Not in a naughty way, but she talks to me constantly and wants me to pay attention. For a long time my son couldn’t do this, aside from crying, and I often felt like he wasn’t getting enough of my attention, but when I turned my focus to him, the guilt of my daughter wanting me was always present. It’s a balancing act that I’m still trying hard to master.
I’ve learned that no two children are like. Just when you think you know what you’re doing, a second child will send you back to square one. My daughter is a very particular, focused, night owl with an impressive memory. My son is a laid back, super snugly, morning bird who loves to taste his way through life (he tried to eat a rock this week). They’re both happy, silly, sweet children, but have different needs and wants.
I’ve learned that time speeds up. I mentioned at the beginning of this article that I feel like my son’s first year has gone so fast. I didn’t get to pour all my attention solely into him and somehow month after month flew by and suddenly here we are. I had pretty intense postpartum anxiety that lasted months and find myself wishing to get his baby days back. Even though they aren’t that far behind me, they are still just that- behind me.
I’ve learned that convenience is key. Two children under two is no joke. They are dressed and fed and happy, but getting there is no small feat. Therefore, sometimes spending a little extra money, if you can, is 100% worth the convenience. I’m thinking pre-washed, pre-sliced produce and oh my goodness, applesauce packets. I ought to buy stock in applesauce packets. And Paw Patrol string cheese.
I’ve learned that the work may triple, but so does your love. I know, the math doesn’t add up. Hear me out. Your love more than doubles because it’s not just loving your children individually, although of course you do. But watching how my daughter hugs and kisses my son, or how he giggles at her silly antics makes me love them in a whole new way, as a unit. So yeah, they have definitely taught me a thing or two this past year and made me pull out a few hairs, but my goodness, watching them giggle over a harmonica or bath time bubbles makes my heart so happy.
So a very happy first birthday to my baby J! I am excited to see what the next year teaches me and what new wonders I watch my children discover.