Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Adding baby 2: the first few weeks

I haven't written in months, and for good reason. Life has taken on a whole new level of hectic since the boy joined us in May; he's now 7 months old and starting solids and sitting unaided! So quick, I must have blinked....

A conversation with a friend today made me realise that I'm already half forgetting the early days - maybe mentally blocking them out? - and I don't want to forget. Those were hard times, but I don't want to bury them because we got through and we've all grown so much because of them.

Like last time, Mr had two weeks off after I gave birth. Unlike last time, his role was mainly to occupy and be there for the toddler, who had just started walking. Luckily I was physically much better after this birth (going for a family walk the very next day) so I didn't need rest as much... and the first days as a family of four were anything but restful! Mr did what he could but of course toddler girl still wanted mummy and the newborn was windy and cried quite a lot.

At the end of his 2 week paternity leave, Mr sat down opposite me, looked wearily at me and asked, "are you angry at me for some reason?" - ouch.

I had been short with him, easily annoyed, expecting him to read my mind and getting angry when he couldn't - all the while I knew he was doing his very best yet I couldn't help it. I was stressed and worn out and I took it out on him. My rock and anchor was where I dumped all the rubbish feelings and he really didn't deserve that!

I'd love to say it all got better after this. In fairness, I didn't take out my stress on Mr quite as much but that's at least partly because he went back to work and simply wasn't around! I had to sink or swim with my 2 under 2. And for the first month or so, I barely kept us above the water. Constantly torn between toddler and baby, neither getting my full attention much of the time - but, eventually, a routine came about and I learned a thing or two about what was feasible in a day and what wasn't. I'll probably do a separate post about what our days look like now.

Having two kids who are actually really easygoing and lovely, having parents in law close by who are willing and able to help, and a solid support network of local mum friends: those are the things that made all the difference in the early days.

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Thanks so much for sharing!