A few weeks ago, my Mom came over to help me recreate the pictures that we took on the day that my youngest was born. In the first set of pictures, I was in the early stages of labour on the afternoon of Jude’s due date and he was born at 1:19am the next morning at home. In the next set of pictures, now 9 months old, I held Jude up in the place of my belly to capture 9 months ‘in’ and 9 months ‘out’.
Reminiscing about that day got me thinking about how differently I feel as a Mom today than I did only 9 months ago.
Rest assured, I’m still permanently tired and eager for advice but I’m also more confident in my own decisions and my heart is more full than ever before. It’s a pleasant surprise to be feeling this way given the emotional roller coaster that was ‘expecting my second baby.’
A roller coaster ride that included questions like…
How can I possibly love another person as much as I love my first baby? Are Mom’s and Dad’s everywhere secretly withholding the truth about loving their first child more than any other? Do all of the clocks in my house suddenly slow down with the addition of another person to care for?
We opted to find out the gender of our second and the news of expecting another boy brought on even more questions…
Will it feel like I just did ‘all of this’ in raising another baby boy?
I recently came across a post on one of our local Facebook Mom groups from a fellow Mom asking for insights into life as a family of four (or more) and reading the responses reassured me that I wasn’t alone in having ridden this roller coaster.
For us, the fourth trimester was hard.
Super Dad and I were falling asleep at any given moment at all hours of the day and trying hard to be compassionate with one another. We blew through the freezer meals I had prepared before Jude’s arrival and small mountains of laundry were piling up throughout the house.
Slowly but surely as time passed, we began to feel our feet under us again and looking back on our time so far, there are a few key things that have us working like a well-oiled machine today – as ‘well-oiled’ as a family can be with an almost 1 and almost 3 year old that is…
I found a deep love for baby wearing and had sweet Jude in a wrap when he was just days old so we could keep up with big brother. (Cringing now at the sloppy wrap job but hey, we made it through the fog!)
After having followed a regimented schedule with Clyde, I said goodbye to sleep training for Jude and have never felt more relaxed. It always seemed more a priority to keep Clyde busy and entertained and Jude always happily came along for the ride. On the days we were home, he caught up on his sleep with nice long naps but otherwise he slept whenever he got the chance throughout the day and I did my best to follow a loose sleep, eat, play routine.
Find friends with toddlers! Somehow, having three or more kids around is suddenly easier than one or two. Fellow toddlers keep each other entertained so you can have a minute alone with the baby. We hosted a casual drop-in through the winter months and otherwise met up with Moms and toddlers for play dates as much as we could.
If possible, keep your oldest in part-time day care. Clyde continued with his home daycare two days each week and it was a good thing for all of us. On the first of these two days, I made the most of my mat leave and put my feet up while Jude caught up on his sleep. On the second day, we normally spent the day in town running errands – because all of the sudden running errands with only one dependent is easy as pie.
Clyde is spending his last day at daycare tomorrow before staying home for the summer. Super Dad is sharing some of my maternity leave and I am using some vacation to spend July and August at home as a family. We are so looking forward to this time and already have some great plans made. It’s hard to believe that when Clyde goes back in the fall, his little brother will be in tow!
How is it that Winter feels like it drags on forever and summer goes by in a flash? Chalk it up to another of life’s mysteries I guess…
See you again next week! I’m finally sharing some details about our camping trip to PEI and Nova Scotia this summer! Here’s a little preview of what our preparation looks like so far… tent city in the basement!