When it just seems completely impossible
The transition from no child to one child was probably the most intense, eye opening experience that has ever changed my life. So when we fell pregnant for the second time; waves of panic, intermittent attacks of anxiety and constant self-doubt turned into my daily reality. I was struggling to mother one child, how was I supposed to handle two?
One day, about mid way through the pregnancy, I was alone with my thoughts in the shower and I remember saying out loud “but HOW?” How was it physically going to work? When one child is feeding and the other cries for me to get them a toy- HOW will it work? When the baby has just ‘poo-sploded’ through their 3rd outfit and the toddler marches in proudly declaring ‘I drew you a picture mummy’ (is that poop on your finger?), HOW do I clean both messes?
I had convinced myself it just wasn’t. It was not going to work, no matter how supportive my husband was, how available my mother could be, no matter how strong my tribe was…. It was not going to work. I reached out through my stories on social media, guess what? You were all asking the same question; HOW was it going to work? For those that had conquered having more than one, tips on how to entertain whilst feeding and prioritising the toddler over the baby came flooding in.
Okay, so people have actually survived two kids before…. Like genuinely come out the other side with two children that are functional. From what I could see these mumma’s were happy, healthy and I’m pretty sure still had their sanity (or some of it anyway). My anxiety started to lift, I could do this. That’s HOW!
Then we got our caesarean date.
Then the panic resurfaced.
Then the reality that I might not be able to do this reared its ugly head.
But then you were here. The entire world changed for our little family as we grew from three to four. All the worries disappeared. The amount of time I had spent on wondering if it was even possible to raise two children correctly was all in the past.
Seeing Hunter love his baby sister and watching Hali follow her brother with each gaze turned the anxiety into joy. You want to know the best part- the question of HOW I was going to do it never appeared again. We as mothers just do it. We as mothers rally above all the self-doubt, all the criticism, all the worry and panic and just do it. It’s hard, grueling, tough- but being a mummy to two beautiful children is a gift I can never under appreciate.
Of course we all have those days were uncertainty creeps in- but that’s what makes you a good, kind and caring parent. To any of those soon to be mumma’s of two (or three, or four or five) you CAN do it, you WILL do it and you will absolutely smash it! You’ve got this girlfriend.
So what has having two kids really taught me.
I’ve learnt to multitask. Yep, we as women already know how to do this but when your breast feeding one and making cinnamon toast (cut into triangles NOT squares) for your toddler, all whilst singing row row row your boat, you take on a type of multitasking crown that only us mumma’s understand.
I’ve learnt to slow down. Its okay that life isn’t the way it used to be. Its okay that the laundry will take me a week longer than it should. Each day comes and goes and I know now that I just have to take it as it comes and slow down. Even this blog post- I have been wanting to write since Hali was born, fast forward three months later and its finally here. So slow down, don’t worry about the dishes or the vacuuming; just do your day the way that helps you get through it.
I’ve learnt that I can say a whole lot without opening my mouth. Yep! My husband gets a look, my son gets a look, when words just fail to come out- you’ll get the look. But that exhaustion is already passing, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and one day ill be far less tired and irritated and be able to use words instead of ‘the look’. This is just one season in our lives, if words fail you today- don’t worry, they’ll come back!
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learnt, is that I can have such enormous love for 3 people in my life and yet each is a completely different love. I love my husband as my partner in life, my soul mate (I know I know grab a bucket) we were best friends long before the snogging ever began. I love my son because he taught me humility; Hunter was such a tough baby that he completely grounded me. Trust me, that kid could be a real ass 99% of the time. I love Hali because she’s given me the baby I always wanted. The easy child. The one that sleeps (hallelujah.) Each love is so intense and yet so different.
Trust me mumma- you’ll get through this season of your life!!!
Next blog: why my kid was an arse and why i deserve to have an “easy” baby.