On Being a Mom of Two

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I’ve heard it said that going from 0-1 child is the biggest adjustment for new parents, but to be honest, I thought Noweo was pretty easy. I could sleep when she slept. I wore her everywhere. I could devote all my attention to her. I felt like I mostly had it together, like I could handle this huge life change.

I didn’t always have that same peaceful feeling when I was pregnant with Leo. I was worried about how Noweo would get along with her. I was worried about neglecting one kid to care for the other. I was worried about getting enough sleep. I was worried about her getting into the messes Noweo makes.

None of those worries really had any merit – except the one about sleep, which is still completely manageable most days.

Logistically, life’s harder. Of course it’s harder. Every time I walk out the door it’s harder. Nights can sometimes be harder. Keeping them fed and happy is harder. Often times caring for one means the neglect (and subsequent screaming/whining) of the other. Keeping the house clean is impossible harder. There are certain times of the day where I’m running around like a headless chicken getting them everything they need. This especially happens during mealtime – and  I inevitably end up wishing that we didn’t have to eat so often. My days are endless streams of simple tasks. Pick this up, make a sandwich and a cup of juice, slice an apple, change a diaper, change an outfit, throw a ball, put together a puzzle, wash dishes, fold clothes  and on and on and on. One more person means more of all these other things, and I’d be lying to you if I didn’t spend a lot of time being overwhelmed with it all. 

BUT…

With this growth in responsibility has come my own personal growth, and when Leo came, I suddenly became a mom that can handle two…usually. As more is required of me, I’ve begun to require more from my kids, and they’ve risen to the occasion. Leo and Noweo sleep mostly on their own. Noweo is learning to wait for things she wants and so is Leo. Leo is pretty good at entertaining herself – especially now that she’s mobile. She’s generally content crawling around and exploring the house (which means we have to be extra vigilant and block off areas that aren’t safe.)

I also let go of some of the “first kid paranoia” that first time parents have and opted for a more relaxed approach on just about everything. I used to get really upset when Noweo cried. Not so with Leo. It’s adorable, and it won’t kill her. I ask for and accept help more often.  I’ve tried to find the simplest solutions that work for us. The more I obsess over wanting things a certain way, the more energy I waste; and energy is my most precious commodity nowadays. If my kids are fed, clean, safe, well-rested and happy, then I’m good. How we get there doesn’t really matter. Those are just details.

Mothering two is not easy, and there are definitely times where I want to scream, or run away or just take a nap because I’ve been awake for the last 18 hours, but the truth is, we can handle it.

6 comments

  1. I couldn’t have wrote this post any better myself! Logistically, life is certainly harder but it’s not as hard as I thought it’d be. The first 6 weeks were kinda crazy, when the newborn wouldn’t sleep until 10pm or was still pretty erratic in sleep and feedings. But as that became less an issue, we fell into a groove and our groove is pretty great right now! We are truly blessed to have 2 children, aren’t we? I cherish it so much more now that I have 2. I could just stare at the both of them all day. And yea, the crying used to bother me so much. Now, like you, I just laugh it off and say, “Baby O, it’s gonna be ok” and she stops, hehe. And I’m sooo much more relaxed too! It’s so freeing, really.

    1. Isn’t it amazing the kind of growth we notice in ourselves when #2 comes along? You’re right! We are so blessed to have 2 🙂

  2. You are such a good writer! 🙂
    And DITTO to everything you said!!
    Keeping the house clean IS impossible and things are so much busier / louder / demanding but having two kids is the best! 🙂

    1. Thanks! I really am so glad to have two kids. And who am I kidding? The house is NEVER clean. EVER. 🙂

  3. Being a mother is hard – period. When my other half and I first got together, I knew that being with him meant also stepping in to help raise his daughter. She had just turned two and I was still nineteen at the time! It was a huge responsibility, but one that I took on wholeheartedly. By the time she was 4, I became pregnant and I had the same worries that you did. I was actually double worried because it was my first born child and because I wanted the two of them to get along and for there not to be any feelings of jealousy or resentment between them but Aniyah and Chloe got along just perfectly together.
    It was hard at first trying to get along with a baby and a 5-year-old. Constantly trying to up after them, feeding them, playing with them, giving them equal amounts of attention – it was driving me nuts for a while. Even a simple trip to the store was like a big production – car seat, booster seat, do you need the bathroom first?, make sure everyone has footwear, where are my keys?, etc.

    Then, we had our third child a year after Chloe and you can just imagine how much harder life got. Even though Aniyah is 10, Chloe’s turning 6 soon, and Trace will be 5 in June, its still really hard to deal with. Our house always looks like a pack of dogs got loose in it because by the end of my work day I come home to cook dinner, help the girls with their homework, then get everyone showered and ready for the next day – so by the time I’ve done all of that its 10pm and I’m so exhausted I can’t possibly straighten up the living room or do laundry or sometimes even shower! With such busy weekdays, we usually designate our weekends to cleaning up but I am planning on reinstating a chore schedule for me and the kids that’s more functional and will allow for us to enjoy our weekends more.

    Now that Noweo is getting older and adapting to being a big sister, perhaps you can give her a little more responsibility by having her help you out more. Give her a small task to do by herself every day and see how she does.

    1. Wow! Not many women could do what you’ve done! Hats off to you! Your life sounds very full to say the least. I can totally relate to moving all the cleaning to Saturday. It’s SO HARD. I want to work on a chore chart for our house too, and I love the idea of giving Noweo some real responsibilities.

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