Monday, April 8, 2013

And then there were four...and things got crazy

Having your first baby is completely life changing, there is no other way to put it. I knew having a second baby would be just as exhausting and just as time consuming, but my life already revolved around one child, now it would just revolve around two so I didn't really expect it to change my life that much.

I was wrong.

My life has changed completely. I now have to comfort a crying infant while simultaneously building a block tower with a toddler. I have to carry a (heavy!) carseat through a parking lot while also holding tight to a little hand that constantly tries to wriggle free. I have to make sure that Ryan's crying doesn't wake Nathan up in the middle of the night.

Finding balance seems to be the hardest adjustment so far. Unlike with your first baby, when the second one naps, you don't get a break because the older one still needs you. So you're up all night feeding a baby and then up all day chasing around a toddler.  It is nearly impossible to find any time for myself. So my homework gets neglected and I find myself cramming to get it done in the hours before I leave for class. Showering has become a luxury I aim for every other day, and forget about drying my hair, I can't afford those 15 minutes. I'm lucky if I remember to eat one solid meal a day and I'm embarassed to admit how many times I've cooked a healthy meal since bringing Ryan home (there's been a lot of takeout.)

And most important, is finding time to give Nathan the one on one time he needs, and deserves, without neglecting Ryan who is completely helpless and needs me constantly.  It breaks my heart when Nathan begs me to hold him, or let him sit in my lap, or just have me to himself for a minute. I try to give him as much attention as I can but there are moments when I need to hold Ryan, need to feed him, need to comfort him and I find myself telling Nathan "No" or "Not now" or "You have to wait a minute" and his little face crumples and his lip starts to quiver and he begins sobbing and just like that, all 3 of us are crying. I can't imagine what this has been like for him. Of course every first born child goes through this when they get a sibling and I know that having a brother will be a wonderful gift for him but right now I can't help but think that he is feeling confused and jealous and a little left out.

I've been told over and over by friends with 2 kids "Just hang in there until 6 weeks and it will get better." Ryan will be 6 weeks this Friday, which coincidentally is also Nathan's 3rd birthday. I am hoping the sun shines a little brighter that day and we can follow that light toward better days.

Until then, I will be hanging in here, most likely not showered, covered in spit-up and with dark bags under my eyes... but at the end of the day as long as we're all alive, I will consider it a good day.

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