Allison recently crossed the 3 month mark and along with the craziness of the holidays I returned to work and she began daycare. I’m still trying to get over the fact that my maternity leave has ended and Allison is no longer a “newborn”.
It’s true what they say…the jump from one kid to two is surprisingly smooth compared to the world changing smack in the face that having a first baby is. I spent a lot of this pregnancy worrying about how I would handle the newborn days with a very active and strong willed toddler. I worried I would fall into an anxiety ridden pit much like I did with Jack where I felt like I was drowning most days and on the edge of losing it. I kept waiting for it to hit…and it never did…at least not yet.
I’m feeling more joy this time around and really trying to revel in the little moments which wasn’t something I was able to do with Jack. Blame gender. Blame colic. Blame first-time Mom anxiety. Whatever it is…this time around things have been so different. I’m as shocked as anyone. Allison is so different than her brother was. She is much more calm and relaxed and almost always greets me with a smile. She went through her witching phase just like any other baby but calming her down was SO much easier. Some days I would laugh at how easy it was to get her to stop crying…while other days she would rival her brother’s past and I would feel the anxiety and anger start creeping on. (I will say the Solly Wrap was and remains a LIFESAVER…girl loves being worn…almost as much as I love wearing her) But on the whole this girl is shaping up to be much more like her Dad than her Mom…praise Jesus.
I feel like I’m finally understanding what all these other bloggers were talking about when they said to “soak up the newborn cuddles” and all that wishy washy crap I threw aside when I had a cranky, screaming, non-sleeping baby. Turns out having a baby that actually SLEEPS is a game changer. Until recently Allison slept like a champ. She’s older now and we’ve transitioned her into her crib so the night wake ups are not surprising. Although waking up multiple times at night NEVER gets easier…it helps to have gone through it all before. I know it won’t always be like this and things change so fast it’s not worth googling for hours over. Sticking it out and surviving is my go-to method these days.
I remember a friend telling me before I even got pregnant with Allison that going from one child to two was harder on her marriage. Now instead of tag teaming one child you have to play man-on-man defense (as Lance would say). Gone are the days of trading off duties so one parent gets a break. They’re replaced with days of dividing and conquering playtime, tummy time, potty training, time-outs, feedings, blowouts, and everything else that comes with the mixture of a 3 month old and a 3yr old.
So yes I would have to agree with my friend…having two children definitely adds more stress to a marriage and you can’t waste time on tiny squabbles about who changed the last diaper or didn’t put their dish in the dishwasher. I think we’re both learning how important it is to connect every day whether it’s an inside joke about one of the kids, or just a quick chat about our day while trying to get dinner on the table.
We’re still trying to navigate this two kid thing and figure out what works and what doesn’t…unsure if we’ll ever really figure it out completely. We’ve learned that sometimes a beer and the ipad can bring a sense of calm long enough to enjoy each other before the next storm begins. I think you learn to go with the flow a lot more with two kids…attempt to take things in stride. You also learn to celebrate small victories and do a happy dance around the living room when both kids are magically napping on their own in their rooms on a Saturday (this happened ONCE!!).
So yeah…two kids isn’t so bad. I mean if you think about it we’ve already made the mental leap of “OMG we have a child!” so now it’s just a matter of another addition to that already crazy world…two little humans to keep alive. I also know we’re in a pretty sweet spot right now in terms of age…Allison isn’t yet mobile and Jack is just old enough to do a lot of things independently. Granted he doesn’t actually do these things when we ask or need him to without lots of arguing and crying…threenager like whoa. I’m doing my best to not dread what I know is coming with Allison (like teeth…TEETH…i’m sweating just thinking about it) and trying to just truly ENJOY the baby coos and silly way she kicks and bops her head about.
After all this will likely (god willing!) be our last baby. At this point our family really does feel complete and I’m so lucky to call both of these little crazies mine. Let’s just hope it stays that way.
*All photos by the wonderful Allison Corrin photography