One of my most requested posts since having Jack has been about the transition from one to two kids. If you remember from this post about Why I’m Scared to Have Another Baby – I was soooo unsure about how I would feel welcoming another baby boy to our family of three. My journey into motherhood was completely defined by Charlie and opening my heart to another little one literally felt impossible. So many of you told me that you felt the exact same way and then they put that baby on your chest and your heart doubles in size. You were so right.
It took me awhile to find my groove in motherhood but with #2 you have a sense of confidence that you can do it while also knowing that the tough days come and go. Pregnancy with Jack was so different than my first because I was distracted by a crazy toddler who’s life still runs the show around here. Most days I had to ignore the fact that I was even pregnant because Charlie demanded my attention 100% of the time. Because of this I didn’t have time to stop and think about what was coming and in the end I think it made welcoming Jack to our family so much more special.
Jack entered this world with the sweetest little soul. It is like God knew that I needed a balance to my fearless, ambitious and strong willed toddler. You forget how magical the beginning days are when you’re dealing with a 2 year old. The smells, the noises, the buttery skin, the quiet moments. It feels so good to be needed again in a way that lets you sit back and say this is where I need to be. Everything else can wait. I remember my parents brought Charlie to meet Jack in our hospital room and after 30 minutes I told my mom he had to leave. I also cried and told Dave that my first baby felt like a giant. There is always an initial shock with any change but eventually it passes.
I remember a reader reminded me that Charlie got to have me all to himself for 26 months and that Jack will never get to be an only child so to cherish the moments I have with just him. I really took that to heart. I think about that often as a reminder that every child deserves a present mother. It really set the tone for how we adjusted to a family of four once we got home. Charlie experienced some jealousy for the first couple weeks. To this day he still has moments where he says “mama put baby down! Hold me!” I can’t imagine those moments will ever go away. Some days emotions are high and some days he loves his brother so much and is so proud of every new thing he accomplishes.
Overall I would say that the transition has gone as expected. My time is way more limited, my kids demand more of me and I make personal sacrifices every day to accommodate my kids. I’ve also realized that this is the season of life we are in. Someone recently asked me how it’s going as a parent of two and I replied with “when you’re in it! you’re in it!” I don’t know how it could be any different. You roll with it! One kid doesn’t feel any different than two except that there is double the noise, double the demands, double the time to get anywhere and so on. I truly think accepting the transition starts with you. When I look back at how I felt the first few weeks into motherhood (I was a hot mess) compared to now – I’m so proud of myself. Proud that I keep my cool 95% of the time, proud that I have two happy and healthy children and proud that they are growing into little people. Your roll as a mom is what you make of it and know that this season doesn’t last forever. One day you’ll look around at your clean, quiet home and miss the mess of these early years. I tell myself this every day. Embrace the chaos, embrace the sleepless nights. These moments may be exhausting and frustrating but you’ll never get them back. Trust me, if I can do it – you can do it!