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.
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.