Maternity Leave

Whew. It’s winding down. Sweet Pea is in pre-school 2 days a week right now to reacquaint herself with that whole routine. Brother Bear (working nickname) is still with me for 3 more short weeks. It’s been absolutely amazing.

When we decided that we’d keep both kids home during my time off work, to say I was worried is an understatement. I remember being anxious and unsure after my first baby… until I wasn’t.

If that made me nervous, I thought, how am I going to handle having two?

Luckily, the second time around I have the confidence of experience and the wise words of Goose echoing in my head: When I was overwhelmed by the daily duties that came with my first baby she said, “Don’t worry. It’ll be like you grow another set of hands and suddenly you’ll be able to juggle more.” And this was no different… but there were also some difficulties.

The love was immediate and overwhelming. I was so surprised by that. Your heart really does just grow. #grinch

Onto the difficulties:

In the beginning I had a hard time allowing Pea, our 3 year old, to participate with the baby in the level at which she wanted. His bath time, for example, was particularly stressful. He’s tiny and slippery. I’m in a tight space, hunched over the bath tub, wedged between the toilet, the tub, and a wall. He’s in the infant tub inside the tub – essentially bath time inception. I’m sleep deprived and therefore cranky. Pea is a ball of energy and grabby “helpful” hands. After a few semi-patient, albeit shrill, requests for her to back up, my impatience got the better of me. I snapped at her.

She cried. I cried. I felt awful. Three is already tough. At three, boundaries are being tested. Limits pushed. Independence is wanted but not entirely possible… but pepper in the huge transition of a new baby and all of a sudden sharing Mommy’s attention, and you’re staring down the barrel of a lifetime movie’s worth of emotions. It’s basically the worst time to snap and lose your patience, and yet it’s impossible not to.

This was just one of several moments (and I’m certain there will be more) where I learned and grew. We all did. I’m picking my battles. Pea helps with bath time now. Always. Literally every time. I’ve learned how to situate myself to make the most room. And isn’t that what having a second child is? Finding out you have so much more room than you thought.

Well, it was for me. All -err- MOST OF the doubts melt away and strength, confidence, and love emerge to take the wheel. Now I know I can do it… because I did it. And I’m going to miss this precious, chaotic time so much.

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