Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Adjusting to Two as Reality Hits Hard

This year has gone so fast for me, I never imagined I would be where I am today. Last year around this time I was turning 27 and packing up a car to go on our family vacation. This year, I'm two years away from being 30 and so DESPERATELY in need of a vacation. But the biggest change of all, I would have to say is adjusting to two little boys instead of just one.

I was told the second baby is no big deal. You know how to be a mommy, there shouldn't be any surprises; that this time around should be a walk in the park. I am convinced that the ones who gave me this advice had a very difficult baby the first time around and their second must have been a piece of cake. I however was super lucky with my first baby.

Jayden was simple... He was sleeping through the night 8-10 hours by 3 months and was pretty chill most of the time. He was content just sitting in the swing and swinging for hours. I could get so much done!! Ian, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of his big brother. He is much more needy and always wants to be held. He is up at least three times at night, though he has pulled a few 5 hour stretches which were super nice. I'm told by others that I shouldn't worry and that Ian is a "normal" baby. That I was really lucky with Jayden and that most babies are just like Ian. Dang... I sure was spoiled!!!

Can I be honest? I feel like such an inexperienced mommy, like I have never mothered before. I feel like I have jumped into the ocean without a lift raft and am struggling to keep afloat. Not only were my expectations of nursing shattered, but I feel like I have neglected Jayden as well because he IS so independent. I think that sometimes I forget to spend one-on-one time with him when I do get the chance. I kind of feel like I'm being pulled in every direction and don't have time to even gather my thoughts, which for me... is not a good thing. Am I alone in feeling this way? Did anyone else feel this? Or am I crazy?

I'm sorry, I totally realize that I'm complaining here. Don't get me wrong, I'm so in love with our new little addition and he brings so much joy to our family! There are so many good things that have come from this new season in our lives and I don't forget to thank God for all of it, but this post is about me adjusting to this new life and how hard a transition it has been for me. What I guess I'm trying to saying is that it has been a complete lifestyle shock to me. Lack of sleep, not knowing what I can do to sooth my little man's tummy hurts, and very little me time... All of this has hit me like a ton of bricks and it's getting harder to breath. I find that a part of me is sitting here confused and asking God, "Why has this time been so hard?"

Now that I have taken the time to really write down my feelings and reflect these past two months (Which is why I love writing and blogging so much), I'm brought to a revelation and some conviction. I have come to the conclusion that not only was I spoiled before Ian, but that I was still very selfish and have been keeping God on a little shelf that I can bring down when it's convenient for me. As a mom, selfishness must become a thing of the past, you must lay yourself down. It is no longer just about you. I was convinced that I had already "died to self" once Jayden was born and after that treacherous walk through the fire with my marriage. I'm pretty sure I may have confused "dieing to self" with pride and life experience hurts, because I see some of those old habits creeping up quickly in my spirit and need to nip it in the butt now.

Though I am very good about spending time with the Lord and getting my devotion in for the day, it is always on my time and my schedule. And these past two months haven't been any different. Letting God down when I wanted him, parenting on my OWN understanding and my OWN strength. No wonder it's been so hard!! Where has God been in all this? Yep, sitting up on that shelf where I put him just waiting for me to ask him to come help!

REALITY CHECK!!!

Adjusting to new life changes (like a 2nd baby) is hard, but it would be a lot easier if I would just let go of my pride and let God off that shelf and let Him help me. He will never steer me wrong, but I need to be more sensitive to when He is speaking and I believe that has been a major player in the way I've been feeling lately.

Thank you Father for revealing yourself to me today and continue to help me seek more of you on a daily bases to raise my children the way you would have me raise them. Give me strength and wisdom to the best wife I can be and an even better mother than I have been in the past.

Question for Mom's:
Have any of you felt this way after your second or third child? What did you do to help feel better about your day and better about being a good mom? Also... how do you mom's that have multiple children find the time to blog? I know I had no excuse before Jayden, but now when I do have time I'm either trying to nap because I'm so exhausted or clean my house because it's so filthy. I know blogging is such a release for me and helps me process so much of what I'm feeling. So it's something I really need to make some time for. I would love to hear from you!


21 comments:

Jessica said...

I too was spoiled by my first baby. When #2 came along, he quickly showed me how different he was going to be from his big sister. It was hard to find things to pacify him, he didn't want to sleep, he only wanted me to hold him, etc. It took a few weeks for me to come to the fact that I needed to enjoy the times I had him all to myself. Sure it was frustrating, but we all dealt with the changes as they came. To this day, he's still a Momma's boy, but we got through it and you will too! There is no easy advice to get through these trying times, but I can tell you are a strong person and you and the boys will turn out just fine. Good luck, rest when you can, blog when you feel like it, and enjoy those 2 precious boys!

LeAnna said...

I have always heard that 2nd baby is the biggest adjustment because they are so likely to be polar opposite of the first baby! It'll be interesting for us around here when baby girl arrives, for sure. Don't beat yourself up, newborns of any birth order are an adjustment.

As for tummy problems, have you tried Gripe Water? It worked wonders for my son when he would have tummy issues. That an eliminating dairy from my diet, and understanding overactive letdown (I nursed him, obviously) took care of so much.

Hang in there, I'll be in your shoes in a few months!

Katie said...

I know I'm not a mom of two, but I was just telling Sue this yesterday...that sometimes I neglect something like unloading the dishwasher, or putting away laundry to blog, because it's my sanity. I sometimes feel judged by moms because I blog everyday except the weekends and I feel like they think I'm not spending time with my daughter. That is NOT the case. She is never neglected. We play lots throughout the day, read books, take naps, etc. I realize its much more difficult with two, but I think sometimes you have to give yourself some time to write if its the way you stay sane. Sometimes it means not watching a tv show, or taking 30 minutes or more during naptime of the kiddos to write. Plus, I don't nap, I drink coffee :)

Jessica said...

Hang in there! I was very overwhelmed the 1st couple of months too after having Averly but it really does get easier every day.

Lauren said...

I don't have children...yet...but my mom said that having 2 children was actually like having 3. You had to learn how to deal with the oldest, & the baby...but then also learn how to deal with both of them together.

I'm sure you're doing a great job..hang in there, God will certainly walk with you all the way!

Leigh said...

Hang in there, Lyr and try not to beat yourself up over having these feelings!! You're not complaining, you're just being honest about how hard it's been. I don't have two yet but think about it all the time - how challenging it must be to deal with two very different schedules and two very different ages/needs. It'll take time to get into a groove and try not to feel too guilt about "neglecting" Jayden; if he's independent, then he's happy doing things on his own a little bit! And honestly if you're in the room or something, say nursing Ian but not playing directly with Jayden, he still knows you're right there and probably doesn't feel neglected at all.

You're a great mom and you're doing a great job!! I'm sure it'll only get easier once you adjust to your new little family!

tinahead81 said...

i also had it very easy with my first(even though she had special needs--believe it or not!!) you took the words right out of my mouth...i was in total shock with my second! he was up all hours of the night, i was exhausted most of the time...or in tears! luckily i had family support. as well as one of my daughter's therapists that turned into a great friend! it didn't hurt that she was an occupational therapist and a mom of three!! she had all kinds of helpful advice!! just know that you will be fine! i'm sure you're doing a terrific job!

i'm definitely not blogging as much now. my son is up early and always on the move. when he rests its my time to get stuff around the house done...or take a cat nap!! right now i'm just fitting it in when i can. i think i'll start blogging more again at some point in the future. its tough to find a balance for everything, that's for sure!!

Abby said...

You'll make it, Lyr! It's just the whole adjusting to your new normal. Give it more time and I bet in 6 months you'll not know any other way :)

Kameron said...

I know it sounds cliche but it will get easier. I had the opposite where my first was way more work than my second, but at the same time, a baby is always work. Learning balance with 2 takes some time. I felt so overwhelmed at first, but once the baby started getting into a schedule and was more predictable, my stress level started to decrease a lot. The key is to get help from your hubby. Mine took over the older one's bed time routine (bath and stories) for the most part and then we would switch and he'd take the baby so I could sing my son his songs. That way he got both of us at bedtime and i wasn't just taking the baby. Once the baby started going down for the night at 7, I got to spend the extra 30-45 minutes before my son went to bed with him. It is our alone time without the baby and we do what he wants.

I hope you find your happy medium soon. Once you do, I think you'll feel totally different! Hang in there. {HUGS}

Sare said...

SUCH a good post - thank you!!! I needed that today so much!!

The Booth Family said...

Seriously Lyryn this almost made me cry. I felt the tears well up because I know this exact feeling. Having #2 is hard. Especially with them being as close as they are (I think ours are pretty close). Thank you for posting this and reminding me to continue to invite God into my parenting, that is easy to forget sometimes. Today I got a sitter for Hunter and took Kaid to the Science museum, just the two of us. Then we went for Pizza. It was so great to reconnect with my little man just me and him without distractions. Try it, maybe it will help. Luvs & Hugs!

JamiLynnKastner said...

OHMIGOSH! this little comment window will NOT contain all my thoughts!!!

1. I thought 2 kids (and 3) were just as traumatic as the first was. But 4 was a piece of cake. Once you're out numbered (2 hands - 3 kids; 2 parents - 3 kids) might as well throw a few more in there for good measure.

2. I find time to blog because I do not have a newborn! The newborn thing is SOOOOOOOOOOO time consuming! Even if you've done it before. Your body is still recovering. You NEVER sleep. Don't stress about the blogging and it WILL get easier I promise!

3. I recommend lowering your standards SIGNIFICANTLY! Prioritize: babies, you, and hubby are the ONLY things that matter right now... messy house? eh who cares? haven't blogged in a year? eh who cares? Take care of those babies! and kiss and hug and hold them every second you can because they will be grown before you know it!!!!! don't forget to take care of you: REST! relax whenever you can! also spend a little time with hubby...

Finally, if it bothers you not to be getting much done (outside of feeding and diapering and loving and scolding) then pick just ONE thing to do a day... just ONE! If you get it done HOORAY! If you don't, there's always tomorrow.

You ARE a good mommy and if all you do in a day is change a jillion diapers and feed about a dozen meals... you have been successful! And accomplished more than many!

~Ashlee Rae~ said...

Awww...Momma, I feel for you!!! I am also a new Mommy of 2!!! Trey is 20 mts and Jackson is 6 wks...

It IS hard adjusting to new baby, esp. when you had a "perfect lil' family" routine when it was just 3! The sleepless nites, demand feedings (if you are nursing), and the fact that you have to COMPLETELY revolve your day around your lil' ones schedule. But just remember: This is a PHASE...you WILL get into a routine soon! This is what I have to tell myself when I feel like I am going a lil' nutty!!! 0_0 PLUS: The Lord never gives us anything we cannot handle...so all will turn out well! :) Oh...and I am VERY NEW to the blog world...so when it comes to this as your "therapy" so to speak...just give up something during the day to make extra time to write...For ex. I am not a Momma to take a nap when Baby does, so I do housework or some other chore during that time...writing could be what you do...KWIM??? Well...even though we do not know each other...this is what we have in common! :) Well wishes (to keep your sanity) sent...you will be JUST FINE!!!

~Ashlee Rae~ said...

Awww...Momma, I feel for you!!! I am also a new Mommy of 2!!! Trey is 20 mts and Jackson is 6 wks...

It IS hard adjusting to new baby, esp. when you had a "perfect lil' family" routine when it was just 3! The sleepless nites, demand feedings (if you are nursing), and the fact that you have to COMPLETELY revolve your day around your lil' ones schedule. But just remember: This is a PHASE...you WILL get into a routine soon! This is what I have to tell myself when I feel like I am going a lil' nutty!!! 0_0 PLUS: The Lord never gives us anything we cannot handle...so all will turn out well! :) Oh...and I am VERY NEW to the blog world...so when it comes to this as your "therapy" so to speak...just give up something during the day to make extra time to write...For ex. I am not a Momma to take a nap when Baby does, so I do housework or some other chore during that time...writing could be what you do...KWIM??? As far as feeling like you "neglect" your older one...I felt the SAME way *tear* w/ Trey! This feeling took over me the first 2 wks after Jacksy was born. It would make me cry because I thought that he would get sad about me constantly being around Brother. BUT...I have alot of help at home w/ in-laws and aunts that keep Trey busy...and so now...I am in a much better place when it comes to giving Trey attn. Still working on it though...this is why I get excited at the prospect of Jacksy getting older...so my boys can actually play and enjoy the time they have w/ each other! As much as I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my boys...the newborn stage was/is not much fun! (honestly).


Well...even though we do not know each other...this is what we have in common! :) Well wishes (to keep your sanity) sent...you will be JUST FINE!!!

SassyTimes said...

Hang in there! It gets so much better as time goes on. Having 2 IS SO HARD!!!! It's 10x more difficult than one, even if your 1st was a difficult baby. Soon, it'll all fall into place, you'll find your groove and find time for you. Just keep that in the back of your mind...tomorrow is a new (and better) day!!!!

Stephanie said...

I think the hardest is going from 1 to 2. It's insane because you can't spend all your time on one child anymore. Very difficult to balance. When I had the third it wasn't bad at all but when Allie came with Caleb so young it was very hard again!

You will adjust though - just give it time. It can take a while to get into it.

As far as blogging I get up very early and do it. When school starts back next week guess I'll have to figure something else out but for the summer that's what I've done. Should be interesting :)

Alicia said...

Like the new "look". Considering I have no idea what you are going through right now I have no words of wisdom, just wanna drop in and say hi. :)

Angie S said...

I completely understand what you are writing. I felt the EXACT same way after Hayden was born. He was so different and I was so not ready for that. Honestly he cried for the 1st 6 months of his life, non stop. It was rough.

He wasn't completely happy until he was eating rice cereal and baby food. I think looking back the poor guy was hungry. Formula didn't work with his system.

All babies are different and that is the advice all my friends gave me. They are different, and the one thing that stuck with me is: This too shall pass. It is only for a bit that they will be this way.

I learned to let my house go. I am a neat freak and it was hard, but I was going nuts. Finally I got back into 'getting it all done' but it took a while.

Praying for you girl, you are not alone :)

Burtons Blessings said...

I'm so glad you shared this! I worry about this and I'm not even pregnant with #2 yet! My 1st was/is so easy and I'm so worried that #2 will be so hard. That is the pessimist in me I guess. I will be praying for you and keep us updated!

Erin said...

I must have missed this post. I don't know who told you going from 1 to 2 was easy but I think it is a HUGE change. Avin is a sweet and simple baby but I still get frustrated and need sleep and I still think having 2 is a whole new world.

Someone once gave me some good advice. They told me that the baby wont remember crying, the baby wont remember being left in his/her crib for a few minutes. The 1st born, older sibling will remember things. Even if Avin cries, screams or needs to be fed, I always try and get to Alex whenever she needs me. If she needs to be wiped or needs me to help her with something. I always try and lay avin down and take care of Alex. It isn't always easy and I don't always do it but I try.

I have also started letting Alex help a lot more. Help with alex, with making dinner, doing laundry and dishes. I will sometimes forget but she loves helping and felling involved in anything she can be.

Hope this helps a little.

Cassie said...

I'm not a mom, but I can just imagine how hard it is to adjust to two young children. I'm sure you're doing the best you can and that you'll look back some day and realize you were doing it fantastically!