Winter is not a bad time to have a new baby. Snuggling in bed to recover seems like the best thing to do anyway, and hot comfort food hits the spot after having a baby.
Some of my fondest memories will be watching Liam run to my room when my mom brought him over each day after he spent the night with her. I loved seeing Walt snuggled in his basket in front of the fire while Liam and I raced cars around the sunroom. I love those evenings with Walt sleeping beside me, covered in the fluffy pink blanket, while Liam and I played grocery store or doctor using Play-doh and toy animals. These all have a special, magical glow for me.
And now as we are coming out of this golden glow, we get to anticipate spring. Liam and I have been watching old videos of when he was a baby on my phone, and it makes me confident that it’s just going to get better and better.
My newborn hardly seems like a newborn anymore. He is filling out and staying awake for longer periods of time. He’s harder to get to sleep and we’re able to list things he likes and does not.
It has not all been glowing and restful. There were many days when I wondered how I could parent two kids without help (there probably will still be many of these). Liam has had some awful tantrums and discipline situations that make me question my ability to mother him well. And newborn nighttime fussiness is rough when you’re living through it.
I’ve struggled a lot with not being able to be there for two of the most important people in my life. Both boys need me at the same time each night, and I can’t be there for both of them. When Liam wants me to put him to bed (a big step as he sleeps in his own room now!), Walt wants me and only me to cuddle him. I have to listen to Walt scream while I sing “Jesus Loves Me” to Liam, and it honestly wears on me.
But things are becoming more normal. I’ve learned that Walt calms quickly when I bounce him on the exercise ball (and if I put him in the Baby K’tan then I can carry him after he falls asleep). I’ve learned that my toddler really missed me being able to carry him (for days after my two week appointment with the midwife when she gave me the green light to carry him again he said, “So glad you can carry Roo again, Mama.” I’ve learned that “the second baby will be easier” may be a myth.
I’m learning the importance of asking for and accepting help. From a mom who will constantly save us to a friend who comes by just to chat and live life, I realize I couldn’t do this alone. I’m also learning what it means to give your toddler more independence—to spend nights away from him for the first time in his life and have his help and chatter as you deal with the newborn days. (I also newly appreciate baby wearing as I try to get a few things done and take care of a toddler with a fussy newborn).
As much as I loved our life with just one, two is even better. And I’m even starting to think I might be able to write again.