I’ve been finding myself more emotional lately. I’m not sure if it’s because O’s birthday is approaching or if it’s due to the season. This is my favorite time of the year. I have always associated the holidays with family. I had a family-centered upbringing and during the holidays the family closeness was even more apparent.
I’ve been striving to pull myself out of the darkness of postpartum. In doing so, I find myself being thankful for a lot more. I am so thankful to have doctors guiding me. I feel that I have a strong support system medically that is looking out for my best interest and not just trying to push me along. I am thankful for a husband that is doing the best that he can to support and understand the ups and downs of my process. Most of all, I’m thankful for my two babies.
It can be easy to feel as if they are the reason I feel the way that I do. However, these two are saving me. They are the reason that I want to pull myself out completely of postpartum darkness. Although I feel pulled in so many different directions right now with a toddler and a baby, I find that I am smiling a little more than before. There are still moments where I find myself crying or just stuck due to feeling like I am doing a terrible job at motherhood. I’ve been reminding myself that this is just as much of a learning process for myself as it is for them. They are the reason I’m determined to be a great mother and give them the best that I can. I’m definitely winging this whole motherhood thing. I’m trying to take it one moment at a time and reminding myself that I can’t be perfect at it. Most importantly, I’m reminding myself to enjoy even the small moments – like these two playing footsies in our pajamas and rocking in our rocking chair.
This whole school thing, it was definitely a lot easier with just one child. It did have not so great moments when it was only O. I would have nights where he would not fall asleep unless I was holding him. He would be asleep in my lap and I would be balancing my laptop on my knees trying to write a paper. Now O sleeps through the night. W on the other hand, well my breastfeeding journey with him also includes nights where I have to read chapters, write discussion posts, or work on papers. I do get to have some time to myself when he relents and falls back asleep. Right now, time for myself, well it’s barely there. Even while I’m typing this out, W is in the same wrap and I’m standing and rocking him while batting away O’s hands as he tries to touch the keys. That’s mom life for you I suppose. It’s just hard not to think I am a little crazy to keep up with everything. I’m still getting use to having two kids. I need to figure out how to balance the kids, work, school, wife duties, and a social life.
I don’t regret my decision about going back to school. As much as I am doing this for myself, I am doing this for my family. Of course I want to be working in a field I like and extra money is great now that we have another tiny human to care for. Overall, I want to show my children that you don’t have to settle. If you are unhappy, there is a solution. The solution may not always be simple but it is there. I want them to learn to not be afraid of taking risks in life. If they appreciate and feel proud of all this, that would just make it even worth so much more.
Call me old-fashioned but I love the idea of crafts and D.I.Y. projects. I think it could be from growing up in a generation prior to Wi-Fi and Internet access on phones. It seems like crafts are making a comeback in a big way. I follow a lot of shops on Instagram that sew, handwrite, or just plain homemade. If I had the energy and time, I would probably do the same for extra income.
I’ve been sewing for my boys. With O I really wanted to make him a blanket, something that he could not only use as a baby but maybe even keep as he grows older. I hand-sewed two blankets with the same pattern and materials for him. He still uses both for naps and night time. Naturally I wanted to do the same for W. Unlike with O’s blankets, I have lagged terribly. I started this blanket the beginning of August when I started my maternity leave. It is now November, W is about two and half months old and it’s sitting on top of my sewing machine. You would think now that I have a sewing machine this time around I would have completed this project much faster.
After realizing this, I then started to worry about how I am approaching child number 2. Am I already cutting back on the amount of attention compared to my first? Should I have bought more things that were his own and not hand-me-downs? Should I even be worrying about something like this?
I guess the most important thing is that I am giving him a keepsake. It may not be finished yet but it is well on it’s way. I feel like I should stop worrying so much. I can’t be great at this motherhood thing all the time. Not saying that now I have a reason to slack off but that I need to relax. I have to keep reminding myself to be in the present and enjoy RIGHT NOW. Enjoy the hugs from O, smile as W starts to be more aware of his surroundings, and witness the two of them start their brotherly bond.
This is how most of my nights look like: trying my best to set down a drowsy baby so I can attempt to clean or better yet schoolwork. My decision to go back to school to pursue another degree was about three months prior to finding out I was pregnant again.
Being pregnant and going to school was not part of the plan. I was just starting to figure out how to juggle work life, motherhood, wife duties, and school when I found out I was pregnant with W. It’s hard to take make time for schoolwork. I want to be there for my kids. At the same time, I know finishing this degree means more opportunities. I guess I just hope I’m doing this right, being a mother I mean.
Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough. Other times I feel insistent over something due to having “that gut feeling.” So far “that gut feeling” hasn’t failed me. Other mothers make it look so easy especially on Instagram. Now I know that in itself should not be an indicator of whether or not is a someone a good-anything and those photos are often staged. It’s hard not to feel somewhat discouraged when you have Cheerios stuck on your pants, spit up on your shirt and a crying toddler to tend to.
All I know is that I’m doing the best I can. Motherhood is hard work. I’m also trying to do what I can to provide for my kids. I just hope I’m doing this right.
“O,” my eldest, has been testing my motherhood balancing skills. I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks that he has been acting more “babyish” than usual. The few months prior to W being born, we had progressed with potty training, him being able to help dress himself, and ultimately him being a little more independent.
As of late, my husband and I have noticed:
- He pretend falls and either pretends to cry or says “uh oh.”
- Drops down to crawl places.
- Wants our attention much more when we’re changing W’s diaper.
- Often refuses his cup and wants a bottle.
Other times, he wants to be fully independent. He “reads” to himself, quietly plays with his toys, and is progressing with language skills.
It gets difficult to refrain from getting frazzled when O has his moments and W is feeding or I’m changing his diaper. I find myself just needing a brief moment to gather myself.
Balancing both my kids’ needs is definitely a struggle. I worry whether I’m giving either enough attention. Sometimes I think O got “robbed” of enjoying being the only child and grandchild. Then I see how sweet he is towards his brother. I see his desperation to try and comfort W if he’s crying, he’ll try to pat him or kiss him.
I’m hoping this balancing act gets somewhat easier when W gets older. I keep telling myself that it’s difficult now but it’ll all be worth it in the end. I know I have to “look forward” to them causing mayhem together soon. Taking this one baby-toddler duo day at a time.
This is how I feel life has been like now that there are two kids in the picture. Life is still moving, things have become a blur but we’re trying to laugh as much as we can.
This postpartum has been a little different from my first. Not only do I have another kid that is running around but I feel that my priorities have changed yet again. Now that I know the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, I’ve been watching myself closely. In the same sense I have been trying to make a point of enjoying each moment.
One change this time around, for me, was making a point of reaching out for help. Mostly through forums, Instagram accounts by searching through hashtags, and working closely with my OB/GYN and Primary Care doctor. Knowing that I am not alone and that there are other Mothers that are also trying to get that balance. With my first pregnancy, postpartum I felt so alone. I felt like I could not get anyone to understand. When I finally met with my primary care doctor and she gently explained it, I felt so much relief.
Getting out of the house and going anywhere, even if it’s to get coffee, is a big accomplishment. Gone are the days where I had the need to put on make up and find an outfit. If I can get my hair tied up and muster up the courage to haul the kids into the car is enough for me even if I’m wearing leopard pajama bottoms, a nursing tank, and a cardigan with spit-up stains.
This to me is real motherhood (at least with a newborn and toddler). Hours to get out of the house because while you’re getting ready one of your kids spilled milk on the sofa. One of your kids is refusing to wear pants. Your youngest wants to nurse so there is no way you’re making the party at the time you told your friends. Motherhood is never at a standstill, there are so many moving parts. Things are left undone, halfway done, and sometime forgotten.
At the end of the day, as much as I hate thinking about the things I didn’t get done, being able to cuddle with my littles makes me the happiest. Steadily trying to conquer postpartum.