Anyone who tells you that the transition from one child to two is easy is lying… unless their children are spaced very far apart. Becoming a mom of two has been challenging in so many ways and in some cases, challenging in ways that I didn’t expect.
It’s so hard not to compare my two sons. I know that they are both individuals and I want nothing more than for them to be their own persons but it’s so hard for me not to compare my new baby to his older brother. In some ways they are similar, my new baby sleeps well; just like his brother did at this age and loves to be held. But, overall the boys are very different. I foolishly thought that since I already had a son, that I would know what I was doing this time around. In some ways, this is true, but in most I have found that being a mom to my second son is like being a new mom all over again. My breastfeeding experience has been completely different, my new baby has resisted being babyworn, and my younger son seems to be in a hurry to catch up to his brother – even at only 3 months old. It’s all going so fast and I feel powerless to stop it.
In addition, I feel constant guilt about splitting my attention between my two sons. Both need me and I often feel like I am unintentionally neglecting one while helping the other. I know I’m doing the best that I can and that at the end of the day my sons likely won’t even remember this stage of their lives, but I feel bad about it anyway. It is often overwhelming. Obviously my newborn tends to get more undivided attention from me purely because he’s new and has more needs. I spend much of my day nursing him and changing his dirty diapers. My older son needs me to though. He wants me to listen to his seemingly endless chatter and to be more or less constantly entertained. He finds self play very difficult and unfortunately, I really need him to learn to do so.
It has also been a challenge to balance my role as mom with my role as a wife. My entire day is taken up caring for my two sons and yet somehow I have to figure out how to keep our house clean, the laundry done, and the groceries shopped for. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like these tasks should be hard to accomplish but in practice it’s really difficult. How do you clean a bathroom with a baby crying and a toddler clinging to your leg demanding that you play with him? My solution, so far, has been to complete a lot of our household chores and tasks after the boys go to bed but unfortunately that cuts into the time that I would otherwise be able to spend with my husband or, God forbid, on self care – doing something that would fill my own cup.
Someone recently told me that life has seasons just like the earth. This image really hit home with me. Some seasons are harder than others. Winter is cold and barren, spring a symbol of renewal. In this season of my life, I have brought new life into the world but the struggle is real. I know that with time, the season will change again and life will get easier as I learn and adapt.
In the meantime, I am trying to take one day at a time. I do my best to accomplish my list of tasks for each day and if something doesn’t get done, I try not to obsess about it. We can all only do our best and I try to remember to go easy on myself. Laundry can be folded tomorrow and I’ll never regret the time that I’ve spent snuggling my baby or reading my toddler a bedtime story.
Are you a new mom? A seasoned mom? What are your daily challenges? What roles or tasks do you find a struggle to balance? Share in the comments. We’re all in this together. Let’s let each other know that we are not alone and that it’s OK to not have it all together all of the time.