Today is baby boy‘s one month birthday! We’ve made it. Sometimes I feel by the skin of our teeth. (That’s an expression, right?)
The ups and downs of having a newborn have reappeared, but having a toddler to care for adds an extra special dose of crazy to the mix. I never imagined the guilt I would feel about having to split my attention between My Girl and My Bear. I have sobbed thinking about this and have teared up watching my daughter throw a tantrum saying “No feed brudder!” I never imagined I would lose it in front of my daughter for the first time. I did when taking a solo road trip with both kiddos for the unexpected death of my grandfather. I never imagined I would miss Christmas morning. I did when My Bear was readmitted to the hospital for severe jaundice and I sobbed and sobbed about having to celebrate on the 26th.
Those are the emotional aspects of life with two; the physical craziness is there too. Running on (hopefully) four hours of sleep every night for a month while trying to keep up with a non-napping, early-rising toddler has left me utterly exhausted. We are eating too much processed food. My Girl is watching too much TV. My house is a cluster of dog hair and dirty laundry. We are in Survival Mode.
But the upside to the second time around? I know this is temporary. I know I will eventually get to actually sleep instead of taking glorified naps. I know My Bear will begin smiling and acknowledging my presence. I know he and My Girl are going to be the best of friends and the sadness over “feeding brudder” will pass. I know this Survival Mode is just a fleeting phase, like newborn snuggles and sweet size one diapers.
This perspective is a gift allowed to those who have already earned their first mom badge. It is hard-earned and well-deserved. And it is the one thing that keeps me going when 5am rolls around and I’m nursing my sweet newborn when my toddler begins calling for me. And I think, bittersweetly, “This too shall pass.”