We are just over three weeks into being a family of four, and I am happy to report that I am not as overwhelmed as I was at this point after Jane was born. I think this is partially because Hudson is not my first baby and I seriously lowered my expectations of myself this time around. I have also been much more willing to accept help. This is not to say that I’m not emotional or overwhelmed, I’m just less so.
I’m terrified to go out with both kids by myself, so I haven’t done that yet, but the day is quickly approaching when I will have to. And the thing that I struggle with most is how to love my firstborn well. Her world has been rocked and she has done a phenomenal job of transitioning, but neither she nor I are perfect. Though my arms are almost never empty, they rarely get to hold her. And I miss her. And yet, at the same time, I am impatient with her. We’re starting to see some behavior issues, and figuring out how to deal with them has been another challenge. I want to avoid spanking and find a gentle way to chastise her for unacceptable behavior… but an almost two-year-old doesn’t understand time out, nor is a gentle talk explaining my expectations very effective.
Today has been a difficult day. Andrew has food poisoning and has been down for the count, so I was pretty much on my own until my parents came over this afternoon to drop off a few things. They ended up taking Jane to the park and helping me prepare dinner, which was incredibly helpful. But then Hudson had a witching hour until 8 pm and then it was bedtime for Jane as soon as I got him settled.
Normally I rock Jane for a few minutes before putting her in bed, but tonight I just missed her so much and I knew that she needed more of me, so I just held her. And even when I put her in bed, I laid down with her (which must be a funny picture… her + me in a toddler bed). As I was holding her I began to cry because I was so overwhelmed by how much I love her and hoping that she doesn’t feel replaced or forgotten. But then my silent sobs woke her up and concerned her, so I had to stop before she started to cry.
All in all, I think that we are adjusting well. Every day we get a little bit closer to figuring out normal; and every day I am so thankful for the indescribable blessings of my husband and children.