We were recently at the park after almost a week of being stuck indoors. The weather has been gloomy and cold so we’ve been indoors. Once I saw that the sun was trying to make its way through the clouds, I scooped the kids up and took them to the park.
As I was settling W on a blanket I had placed on the grass, O began tugging on my arm to walk around and search for pinecones. I don’t know what it is about pinecones but he loves to examine and collect them. With O getting older, I’m starting to notice that he is much more independent and beginning to want to explore on his own. I’ve realized that I like encouraging him to try things on his own too. It could be a combination of the fact that W has the majority of my attention nowadays as he is much more mobile. I quickly looked around and realized that we were the only people at the park, so I smiled at him reassuringly, and told him to go ahead to search for pinecones.
I was still smiling to myself as I watched him slowly make his way towards were most of the pinecones seem to be. He looked back and I once again reassured him that it was okay to go on his own. After he found the pinecones, he was smiling to himself as he gathered them, calling back to me from time to time.
Running back with the pinecones he gathered, he was laughing gleefully to himself, and calling out “Mama, mama, look!” I could see the happiness and look of accomplishment all over his face. He was so proud that he gathered them himself and even more so happy that I was smiling back at him.
I definitely don’t know if I’m doing this motherhood or parenthood thing right. I have moments where I want to hurriedly help him but hold myself back to watch him figure things out on his own. I’ve been trying to make sure that he understands that I’m still nearby to help him but that he can try to do certain things on his own.
I know that in the future, holding myself back will be more difficult. The situations and experiences he’ll be facing may not be full of happy moments. I’m scared of the experiences he will face that will give him the feeling of disappointment, the feeling of loss, helplessness, and maybe anger. I know those types of experiences will teach him such valuable lessons but it doesn’t make it easier for me. One of the things I can do, even starting now, is to show him that no matter what I will be there for him. Happy, sad, or disappointing time in his life – I will be there for him. I may be doing motherhood from afar at times but I’m always ready to celebrate with him when he accomplishes something or open my arms wide to comfort him during the harder times.
“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.