Monday, October 22, 2012

Baby 2.0: Being A Mother Of Two Children

It's been officially one month since we brought home our second child Remy. It feels strange, because I can honestly say that it hasn't felt like it's been a month. Things have been going pretty good, but you can tell by my lack of blogging that I have been a little busy. With that said, I have been pretty good about responding to the random emails I get from a number of friends asking many questions--- such as "How are you doing?" "Are you getting sleep?" "Are you going insane yet?" and more along those lines. I love the concern that my friends have and thought I would write a blog about the most common question of all,  "What's it like having two kids?"  Well here it goes....

The Second Is Easier
I know this one is a HUGE statement to start out this blog, but I really feel (and might regret) saying that so far having a second child is easier. I say this because you aren't as jumpy or as clueless of a parent the second time around. I remember when we first had Aiden and any little noise he made would send me running over to the bassinet. You aren't familiar with nursing (which I can say now I have had two kids, Aiden was SUPER hard to nurse) and you just aren't accustom to all the other things that come with a baby (burping, diapers, crying, and lack of sleep.) With the second one, it's just like a repeat, especially if you are like me and can remember doing it with the first one not very long ago. Now, I should also say that God has blessed me with not one, but two calm babies with quiet cries-- who enjoy sleeping.  This could change any minute with her and I might regret writing these words because she is only a month old, but so far she has been an easy baby to have.

The Balancing Act

It's somewhat of a balancing act to have a 2 year old and a 1 month old. As an only child your toddler is use to you praising every little accomplishment, laughing at all the silly things they do, and comforting every little noise of frustration they might make. When the second child comes along, it's hard to be there to "reaffirm" every little action he or she makes. Between lack of sleep, nursing a newborn, changing multiple diapers daily, and trying to maintain your household it becomes very hard to notice every little movement the first child makes and give them the praise you use to. They notice this and it's hard for them to understand. I know it's very hard it is for him to comprehend having a sibling this at this age, so I try to make my best effort to give him my undivided attention between all the other activities going on around the house. Even if it's yelling "Good job buddy!" all the way across the house, he hears me and notices that I am noticing him.

Super Powers

With the second child comes a type of parenting super power you never wished you had so much with the first--- the ability to not just protect one child, but now two children. It sounds easy enough, but you never realize until you bring home child number 2 that you might have to protect them from child number 1, especially a toddler! My toddler is all boy....loud, hyper, rough, and dirty. With the new baby around, I have to make sure he understands he can't be so rough with her and it's very difficult for him to understand. The other day I turned my back for a second and he was trying to shove a bottle into her mouth. (It was seriously a second-- I walked 5 feet from the table to the kitchen.) He has a habit of shoving a stuff in her face and yelling "THANK YOU BROTHER" as he things he is being helpful. Although you can't really grow eyes in the back of your head (which would be nice), I now have to learn to scan the room for any "harmful scenarios" that could take place between a toddler and a baby. He is learning not to be as rough with her, but he still has to be reminded once in a while.

Enjoy The Moments

In all the not so fun times of adding a second baby, it's important to remember to enjoy the moments with your kiddos especially in hard times. I found at first I was becoming very frustrated with having two kids. It gets overwhelming to change 7 "stinky" diapers in 2 hours or have your toddler mimic the cry of the baby at the same time to get attention. Not to mention the hormone fluctuations that come with just having a baby. Life can be hard adjusting to two kids and I found myself yelling more and honestly most of the yelling was directed at my toddler. Not screaming or anything like that, but just yelling "No" or "Timeout" louder. Let's face it, toddlers do naughty things because they don't know any better and they are learning. I had to stop and remind myself that at this moment-- the moment when I have a 2 year old and a 1 month old-- will never happen again! This is the only time in my life when my kids will be this age. I don't want to feel like all I do is yell at my kids. I don't want my toddler to learn yelling is the way to handle stress. I don't want the baby to grow up only knowing a mother who yells. It's important to realize that these "hard time" are not really hard. They are uncomfortable moments, but will for sure make good memories some day. It's important to keep my cool, control my emotions, and speak in a normal voice for the benefit of all of us.

Ask For Help

This one is a given. With the second child, you have less time to get things done like you use to so asking for help needs to be done. I don't think I have every had a problem asking for help when I have needed to. I am one of those people that speaks their feelings, so asking for help just comes naturally to me. I have no problem asking my Mom to watch the kids or the husband to vacuum the living room, but I have now found a new resource of help--- my toddler. Toddlers LOVE to help out with anything they can and I take full advantage of it! Aiden enjoys getting the burp rag, throwing the diapers away, getting my water bottle, unloading the dishwasher, and even burping his sister (which he has learned to do gently.) It makes me happy (and sad) to see how much he is no longer by baby but a helpful little boy that LOVES to help his Mama out!

Well that is how being mother of two has been going for me. Times aren't perfect always, but we are learning as each day goes by...and WOW is time flying by! I can't believe it's already been a month! 

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