Month One: Settling In

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      Bright eyes, squeaky noises, and so many expressions.

E is out with Grandma and M is asleep in her swing. It’s hard to put her down but there’s more to get done these days than there was with her sister. I’m slowly accepting that second children spend a little more time on their own.

The attachment parenting voice in my head says I should hold her against me while I write, but the realist tells me to save the babywearing for when I need it, for when the dishes are piling up or I have to chase her sister. Besides, she’s peacefully asleep over there.

Everything has felt easier this time around, except for the division of attention. M receives a little less than her sister did, and E has to learn to share. A friend  reminded me E got to be the only child for almost three years. M will always have to share me. Somehow this makes me feel better when one of the girls has to wait.

There’s definitely more waiting happening around here. Thankfully E’s always happy to see her sister, even if she isn’t always happy to see me. I don’t mind, I’d rather receive the blame for the changes. Still, I’ve shed a few tears, alone in my room, remembering how we slept snuggled against each other until just a few days before her sister arrived. It doesn’t help that she still calls for me in the dark, sometimes screaming, others crying. She wants me to sleep next to her, but I can’t.

Instead, I spend my nights doing the newborn shuffle. Nursing and diapers and little blocks of sleep. M is still working on the difference between night and day. Sometimes she doesn’t settle in for a good stretch of sleep until the wee hours of the morning. The sleep deprivation is finally catching me, the cumulative affect of just four broken hours of sleep a night. Forget napping when the baby naps. I have a big girl running around this house.

That’s the thing, though. To someone who has never had children, it all sounds so challenging. I know because I used to be that person and hear these stories and think, “Oh, God, how will I ever survive that?” But you do, and with a smile on your face, most of the time.

I’m falling more in love with M each day. It wasn’t the same ripped open, crazy, knock you over feeling I had with E, but I’m certain that’s because this time I’d already transformed into a mom. With M, it’s a deep, familiar love, like it’s been there all along and each day I get the joy of rediscovering it a little more. I’d worried I couldn’t possibly love someone as much as E, but now I know you can’t compare the love for your children. It’s different, but no more or less than the other.

One month in, I still can’t believe I’m going on this adventure again. I’m doing my best to fill them both with enough love and attention. I know it’s enough, it’s just an adjustment.

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My heart is full, my eyes are tired, and it’s all worth it.

4 thoughts on “Month One: Settling In

  1. I told myself when I saw that you had posted that I was just going to respond with something along the lines of “you know what I think about all this.” But there are two things you mention that I just need to respond to.

    You mention that before you had kids you couldn’t imagine how you could survive “all that.” Wait 20 years and then when you look back, you’ll ask yourself, “how did I survive all that?” Whenever I talk to parents of young children and their experiences (or read your posts), I marvel at my memories of those times and simply do not understand how I was able to continue functioning with the sleep deprivation I experienced for a few years.

    But you do it because … you have to. But more importantly because … you want to. Because those little beings mean the world to you. And you love them and you’d do anything you could for them.

    And the second thing … I totally get the differences you feel between the first and the second. With our first, every second, every moment, every day of those first few months and years meant something. I lived them, I breathed them, I wallowed in them. And then when our second was born … well, I’ve been here before. It doesn’t mean I didn’t love any less, or love him any less now … it’s just a completely different experience, in some respects.

    As always, thanks for taking me back to those years … you can’t imagine how much this helps me appreciate what I had back then and what I have now with my grown up munchkins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been wanting to respond to your comment for more than a week– I’m so glad you took the time to share. It’s nice to hear the sleep deprivation eventually becomes a memory and that your experiences varied from kid to kid. I think that’s what’s sinking in the most for me right now, different doesn’t mean more or less. I appreciate feeling your love for your children through your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A week? What took so long? I simply cannot imagine what is filling your time. 😉

        I thought of a different way to describe the difference in my experience with the birth of my children. I may have even said this to you in an email … or it may have been to somebody else. But, anyway …

        when my older son was born, it was very emotional for me. It was a mind-blowing experience.

        when my younger son was born, it was much more procedural.

        If that makes any sense.

        Like

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