I’ll never forget the day I found out I was pregnant with Kate- our first daughter, our first child, the little lady who made me a mommy. I spent 9 months planning everything to a T. And, then I delivered her- she was perfect, absolutely precious in every sense of the word. Everything was so new to me- I had lots to learn- but I enjoyed almost every minute of it. No matter how hard it was, no matter how much sleep I had (or didn’t have), I was a MOM. Nothing else mattered
A little over 3 months ago, I had our second daughter, Adeline, and I’ve realized over the past few months how different things are with two children. I was sitting in bed at 3am this morning feeding her. When she finished, I was just so tired, battling an ear infection and cold, and decided, what the heck- I’ll just put her right back into her crib without changing her diaper- she’ll be fine- if she leaks through, I’ll just deal with it in the morning. And, that got me thinking, once again, about how different it is the second time around.
So, here are 18 things that have changed since having my second child…
1. The girls are not in matching outfits every day with cute headbands. They wear whatever’s clean- and sometimes it’s not even clean, because the washer machine is preoccupied with moldy clothes that I keep forgetting to transfer to the dryer.
2. We don’t have perfect diets. The other day, I was feeding Adeline, while Kate decided to fix herself breakfast- stale tortilla chips that I left out from the night before with a Rolo for dessert that she found under a couch cushion.
3. Our lives are not scheduled to the minute. We eat some time between 6pm and 9pm, we bathe when we stink, and we just try to enjoy the moment.
4. Between selling our house, and me trying not to lose my mind with a collicky newborn and a sassy two year old, I think my mother-in-law and I have split custody of the girls these past few months :/
5. We watch TV. A lot. I can probably sing every song from the Daniel Tiger’s series, AND Caillou.
6. The girls play with plastic toys- and they certainly aren’t made with beet juice for coloring, and organic cotton or wood. Last week, Kate was trying to feed Adeline a plastic banana while chomping down on the end of a marker cap.
7. My house is messy more than it is clean.
8. My husband has had to help with cooking dinner.
9. I have had to accept the phrase I can’t.
10. We eat wherever there is a clean spot to eat- and we’re running out. Kate spilled salsa all over her spot on the couch the other day, and I have yet to wash the cushion cover.
11. Sometimes we forget to feed the dog on time :/ Thank goodness it’s winter- that helps with the whole “I haven’t walked him in ages” thing.
12. We stay in more than we go out.
13. I don’t shower every day, and rarely have time to do my hair. If I change my outfit in the morning, I consider that success.
14. I don’t sing “Jesus Loves Me” and stroke Adeline’s face everytime I feed her, because I’m too busy asking Kate to stop eating the dog food. Seriously.
15. I yell.
16. Adeline doesn’t wear “My first…whatever” shirts every day of the month, and if I remember to take her 3 month picture before she turns 4 months in two weeks, that will be progress.
17. Adeline gets a bath when the combination of spit-up and whatever that junk is underneath a baby’s neck is too strong a stench for me to give her a kiss.
18. I’ve eaten POUNDS of chocolate these past few months.
Having two is hard- exponentially hard.
When Adeline was around a month old, I felt really guilty.
It was such a hard adjustment for me. I was used to this perfect, little life with my Kate- where everything was planned, and controlled. My house was clean, and she never ate foods with Blue 2 or Yellow 6. Now, I had to spend all of my time with a newborn that I hardly knew, who cried A LOT. I couldn’t give Kate the attention she was used to, and she had a very tough time adjusting.
I also felt guilty that I wasn’t as good of a mom to Adeline as I was to Kate.
Adeline wears the same clothes every day, she never met Santa, I still haven’t purchased her First Christmas ornament, I forgot to put her in the “My First Halloween” onesie, she didn’t have a big Christmas present to open on Christmas morning, I don’t sing songs and dance around the house with her all day long, because I’m too busy asking Kate to stop drawing on the walls, and on herself, and on the floor, and on anything and everything that is not the Doc McStuffins coloring book I just gave her.
I felt really bad.
But, over the past two months, I’ve realized that change is OK, and a lot of times, it’s really good. I’m going to be experiencing it alot during this whole journey called motherhood.
I felt so much pressure to be “that” mom with Kate- you know the one who always has a clean house, dinner in the oven, showered, and gorgeous. The one who has her child in a matching outfit with a matching headband every day. The one who only lets her child eat organic food, and play with wooden toys. I had fun, don’t get me wrong, but I was very controlling of our little life- I held onto the responsibility of being mom too tightly.
Since Adeline was born, our family has been going through a very stressful time financially, Kate had a terrible time adjusting initially, I have been sick because of my thyroid disorder, and I just can’t be “that” mom. As much as I want to, I can’t. I am not used to that word.
I have had to give up, I have had to surrender everything to God, I have had to ask for help, which has just about put me over the edge.
Having Kate made me mommy, and I enjoyed every minute of those first couple years with her- I was innocent, new, naive, and while it was scary, it was also exciting and fulfilling. Having Adeline has given me an opportunity to experience humility, to lean on God and on my family and friends, to be dependent and ask for help, to be vulnerable.
It’s a beautiful thing- this transformation we are continually going through as moms.
Three month olds don’t care what clothes they wear- they certainly don’t care if they meet Santa their first Christmas. They don’t care if you’re taking their 3 month old picture two days before they turn 4 months. They don’t care if you haven’t showered or your house is messy.
When I walk towards Adeline and start talking to her, she smiles from ear to ear. When I sing to her, she coos. When I shake her legs back and forth playing “Chug a Chug a Choo Choo”, she laughs- one of those laughs that comes straight from the center of her belly.
I’m her mommy, and that’s enough for her. And, that’s enough for Kate.
Things are different now, and that’s OK, it’s a good thing.
So, let’s give ourselves a break.
God gave you children that need YOU, and YOU are enough.
Let’s enjoy this journey of motherhood- it is ever-changing, and we are always growing, and that is good.