Recently, I gave birth to my second baby. I didn’t expect that going from one to two kids would be easy. Throughout my pregnancy, I was adequately warned by lots of people I trust.
“With two kids, you’re now fully immersed in parenting,” said the midwife. Friends with two kids said things like, “The first month is hell.” “The toddler will try to eat the baby.” “When the baby gets mobile, it really starts to get interesting.” (Don’t you love when people say interesting, but mean, confusing, terrible, ridiculous, etc.?)
Of course, all these warnings always came with an addendum of reassurance and solidarity. “You can do it.” “You’re a great mom.” “It gets better.” I believed them.
I believed the warnings, and I believed the encouragement. I was prepared.
Well, the baby is here now, and nope, I was not prepared. You experienced moms of two can now feel free to chuckle at my ignorance.
I was not prepared for the honeymoon period with baby two to go by so much faster than it did for my first. Not prepared for the baby to sleep better than the toddler. Not prepared for the profound level of guilt that would follow me through every interaction with either child. Not. Prepared.
This story has no resolution. My daughter is a month old, and we’re smack dab in the middle of disastrous bedtimes, tough mornings, and roller coaster days. But it really will get better. I still believe that. (Right?! Please and thank you).
Parenting just one child for two years has been hard. And if I’m honest, it never really “got better,” just…different. Easier in some ways and harder in others. I think every stage of parenting comes with its own sublime joys, as well as its own unique and seemingly insurmountable challenges. So maybe “it” won’t get better. But I think *I* will. (Here’s hoping. Please and thank you).