Monday, January 12, 2015

one year with two littles

i'm a huge reflection person. that's probably not shocking as i come back to this space week after week, year after year, to talk about my life. this past year was such a year of learning and growth for me. a year ago, i never imagined what i was in for, being a mama to two small children. how exhausting it would be on a day to day basis, but also how much love would fill my heart for these little people. i've learned so much about myself (and my kids) in the past year, so i thought i'd share some of my biggest lessons. i'm far from an expert on parenting, and more often than not i feel like i'm completely messing everything up, but my kids love me nonetheless and depend on me immensely, so i just keep doing the best i can and pray for a little more patience. 

my second baby is not a clone of my first baby

you're thinking "duh" right? i'm sort of joking, but time and time again over the past year i was reminded how true this is. when you are a first-time parent, it's so easy to attribute your child's successes to the way you are parenting them (i was totally guilty of this!) "azalea is a good sleeper, because we do xyz".  "azalea likes almost all foods because we introduced her to a good variety early on". then ashford came along and refused to sleep anywhere other than my arms for more than 20 minutes, hated baby food, won't eat vegetables, and the list goes on. it was enough to make me feel like a first time mom all over again. to be fair, in some ways their differences made things easier. i worried whether i would be able to breastfeed ashford since that did not go well with azalea, but i had no reason to worry. he was a champ right from the beginning. once we got over the initial latching pain and weight loss the first week, it's been smooth sailing. my kids have such different personalities, and i cannot wait to see them develop in the coming years. 


you will love your second baby as much as your first

i think this is a common worry for many moms who are pregnant with their second baby. you look at your first child and think 'how in the world could i possibly love another child as much as i love you?' but you will...and you do! it's hard to explain, but the moment your new baby is placed in your arms, you think 'how did i ever live without you?' and watching your kids love each other is just the icing on the cake. 


some things i worry about more and some things i worry about less 

first time moms worry about just about everything (i know i did!). it's nice to have the familiarity with the baby stage the second time around to suppress some of those needless fears, but if you are anything like me, new fears will arise with baby #2 such as 'i can't be lucky enough to have two healthy children' and 'will my older child resent me for spending so much time with the baby?' you win some, you lose some, but overall having some experience under your belt is a good thing :) 

i have a lot less patience than i ever realized 

this one applies more to azalea than ashford. you guys....age 3 has been the hardest year ever for me. i know anyone who's parented teenagers is probably snickering at me right now, but seriously. so many days over the past year i asked myself "is my child more difficult than the average 3 year or or do i have a lot less patience than the average mom?" things always always go more smoothly when i stay calm and patient with her, but sometimes i just.can't.take.anymore. and i become this mom i don't even recognize, who gets really mad and yells. i hate being that mom, but she just comes out sometimes. then i think to myself "really melissa? you are the adult here, why are you fighting with a 3 year old?" i'm happy to report azalea is becoming much easier these days. it's really true what they say about it getting easier the closer to 4 they get. but there are still times when i'm alone with both kids and they both want me rightthissecond! 

your older child will come around to your younger child...eventually

i'll admit i sort of struggled with the fact that azalea wasn't instantly in love with ashford or the "best big sister ever!!!!!!!" like i saw so many other moms posting about. i wondered why she didn't want to hold him or kiss him or hug him. that was our reality for probably the first 6 months of his life. once he could sit up and play and became a little more interactive, things started to change. and now, she loves him so much and it's so fun to watch. so, don't worry if your sibling relationship isn't picture book perfect in the beginning. it will get better (i mean, look at the progression of these pictures!). and while they love each other a lot now...they also fight a lot too! and it's only the beginning...

so tell me, did any of these things apply to you? 


Jen [wonderfully unkempt] said...

Great post! Life with 2 littles is not how I imagined it would be. Mostly to your first point. Some easy things have been so hard. And some hard things seem easy. Parenting is always a surprise!

Becky said...

This simultaneously makes me super excited and super nervous. Ahhhhh!! Great post. You did a great job reflecting and putting it into words.

Missy said...

2 was quite the adjustment wasn't it? I'm 2 years 3 months in and I still have days where I wonder how I'm going to handle 2. I do, but some days are better than others. I agree with a lot of your points. Mallory is so different than Cameron. Yet in some ways they are really similar. Makes it so hard to figure out how to parent her. I try what worked with Cameron and sometimes I get lucky, other times she just gets ANGRY.

Glad to hear you have possibly survived age 3 (you've got a little time left though). I'm not looking forward to age 3, round 2. It terrifies me actually. Especially since I'll also have a 5 year old and won't really know how to handle that. Having age 2 and age 4 hasn't exactly been fun. Mostly because of age 2, but age 4 has his moments even today. Much easier than 3 though!

We got really lucky as Cameron adored Mallory from the day she was born. He was the proudest big brother. Sometimes today I even joke that we'll just leave Mallory at Grandma's when I pick them up and he always says "No! You can't. We'll miss our little Mallory." So at least he says he likes her now. The bickering tells a bit of a different story, but for the most part they seem to like having the other around. Except when they both want to play with the same toy. Or they both think it's their turn to pick the show. Even if they both want to pick the same show - that just isn't good enough. It has to be their turn. Just so you know some of the things to look forward to. ;)


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