Thursday, July 3, 2014

The second time around

Bub has been away for 11 days visiting BT's parents and playing with his older cousin (8). I reached my limit on him being gone on day 9 but I get him back tonight so we made it through. His cousin left but BT's younger sister came with her 1 year old daughter so he still got to spend time with them. My SiL said something on Twitter yesterday to the effect of after spending the day with him and her own daughter she knows she could not handle 2 kids right now. And I chuckled because it reminded me of back before I had Button and how I felt when I got pregnant with her.

It was always agreed that we would have two kids, always. We had Bub and he is a pretty awesome kid but a handful with all his energy and talking and the constantness of just him. But still I knew I wanted another one for multiple reasons but a big one was so that he would never be alone and he would have a sibling to relate to. So after he was potty trained and we enjoyed that for a while, it was decided it was time. The thing about having a second kid is you know exactly what you are looking forward, the highs and the lows and I always said that when I forgot just how bone-crushingly exhausted I was then we could have another baby. I don't know if you ever entirely forget that but the memory wears thin enough. But still after I found out I was pregnant again I had a few moments of pure panic. What if this ruined everything? I mean we had a good thing going just the three of us. We were a happy little family and you just never know who you are going to get or what is going to happen. Luckily it all turned out wonderfully but I did a lot of praying.

Thinking about all of this reminded me of a mommy blogger who I follow who, when she brought home her 2nd child, remarked that it was all going smoothly and that having 2 wasn't going to be so hard. And then I laughed because I was that person too. The first days of most newborns are sleepy. They sleep a lot. (Bub didn't but that's a different story.) Button was a sleeper for about 2 weeks and in those two weeks I thought, this isn't too bad. He's five so he's old enough to do things for himself and to get things I might need. And then she woke up and started paying attention to the world and the dynamic shifted. The hardest thing was the lack of time for my son. For 5 years he was the only one we had and so we got to focus on him for so long that I had overwhelming guilt when I could no longer just do what he wanted to do. Yes, there are lessons in there for patience and waiting your turn and not being selfish or needy or clingy. But still he went from Mom whenever he wanted to Wait till I'm done with the baby. Luckily he is an easy enough child that he wasn't overly phased. I had to work to let go of the way we were and get to use to the idea of the way we are. That I can't provide the same mommying that I could before. The worst thing was that he was cooped up in the house for quite a bit of time during my maternity leave but my mom and my sister did their best to entertain him and pay attention to him. So we were lucky in that way. It also helped that he took to the idea of being a big brother and loves her so much. They entertain each other and so he is a big helper for me.

Every change can be hard and I still couldn't say for certain which was a bigger change for us, becoming first time parents or having a second child. Becoming first time parents was definitely the harder change on us as a couple but adding another kid to the mix was, while not the most difficult, made a huge impact on our family dynamic. It lead to BT working nights so he could care for her so that lead to me caring for two kids alone almost every night with one starting school (and that was incredibly hard (also a different story)) and us hardly ever seeing each other for 2 years. But we made it through and now our dynamic is settling down into something more comfortable for everyone and both kids get to see both parents everyday.

I will say I'm happy that we waited till he was older*. I'm not sure how I would have handled two babies or a newborn and a toddler. That, to me, seems like it would be the hardest thing of all.

*I have more to say on spacing but this thing has gotten super long so I'll save it.

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