Monday, November 1, 2010

Ask Away

Emma has been in our lives for three and a half months. It's strange how that time seems to have gone by so very quickly, and yet she is so fully entrenched in our family, that I can barely remember life without her.

A few posts back, It Is What It Is asked me if life with two is harder, easier, or about what I expected. Like all answers with me, it's not quite that simple. Overall, I guess I'd have to say it's been easier than I expected. But there are days that it is harder than I expected and days that it is about what I expected.

Going into having two children, I was scared about so many things. Here are a few things that I was concerned about and how I feel they "work."

1) The logistics of two in going places.

I am not gonna lie, there is a learning curve with moving the stuff of two small children around. I feel as if I have to make so many trips to and from the car when I go someplace. Even then, things get forgotten. But somehow, we get out of the house, and it has gotten easier. I remember the first time we went to the grocery store as a family and I cried in the car on the way home because I couldn't imagine going to the store (or anywhere else for that matter!) without M. Now, I go places all of the time and don't think twice about it. You just find ways to make it work. My biggest advice is to keep some sort of container in the car with extra essentials such as diapers, wipes, non-perishable snacks, and a change of clothes for each kid. That way, if something gets left behind, it's not a necessity. Just remember to replenish your box once a week or so.

2) That I wouldn't love Emma the same way that I love Will.

Well, here's a shocker, folks. I don't love Emma the same way that I love Will. I love Emma with all of my heart, but she and I are still in the very new stage of our relationship. Meanwhile, her brother and I have been together for two years. I don't just love him because he is "mine," I love him for all of the idiosyncrasies that make him Will. I am starting to love the special and wonderful things about Emma as I get to know her. She has her very own personality that blossoms more and more each day. I feel the love that I have for her blossoming with it. I always loved her, from the second that they placed her in my arms my heart seemed to triple in size, but the love grows and grows.

3) Sleep.

I am so fortunate that Emma is an incredible sleeper at night. Seriously, I lucked out in the night sleep department. Once she is down for the night, we don't hear from her for 11 - 12 hours. The problem is that she is a night owl. I cannot get her to go to bed before 9 PM. There will be the occasional night where we get "lucky" and she goes down at 8:3o PM, but it's rare. Granted, she will then sleep in until 8 or 9 AM, so I know many people would gladly trade me a later night for a later morning. In any case, I am not going to knock my situation. She is sleepin a long period of time at night all by herself, so I am not going to try and force an earlier bedtime. If it ain't broke, no fixing it.

She is not such a great napper. She takes one nap a day in her crib for about 45 minutes. But that's it. And she has to "fuss it out" for about five minutes to take that one nap. Of course, it's also in the morning, which is when Will is not napping. The nice part about that is that I get to spend some time with just him in the morning and then just Emma in the afternoon while Will is napping. Also, there is no organization to her daytime sleep yet. I think it's probably because she is sleeping in so late. Will was always up by 7 AM and had developed a 9 AM nap by this point, so I am wondering if I need to start waking her up at 7 to establish that nap. Ah, sleep.

Okay, so what other questions do you have for me? Ask away!


It is what it is said...

Since we are trying to add to our family through adoption, there's no telling when the child we are meant to have will find us. And, you know, especially as an older mom, I have had many concerns about adding to our family, the logistics of having two young ones, and, frankly, whether I have what it takes to do it again at my age. That said, we are moving forward because I have faith and hope that it is meant to be.

Now that it is a matter of when and not if, my concerns have moved more toward how will this new one, from a different gene pool, mesh with our family? Will I be able to parent her the same way I did my son without knowing much about the idiosyncrasies of her biological parents? We have the luxury of so much time now (too much I sometimes think)...enough for my husband and I to have "me" time, for us to have couple time, and for us to having both family time and one-one time with our son. How will that all change (and, of course it is a change I can't wait for, but still, I wonder)?

But, since those are tougher questions, I will go back to questions surrounding routine...what are your mornings like (in terms of waking and feeding both)? And, what are your late afternoons like (when both are awake and seemingly needing different things from you)? And, given that, how do you get dinner on the table (and, therefore, what is the dinner routine)?

Lastly, what do you do when you find yourself short on patience?

HereWeGoAJen said...

Elizabeth didn't like to go to bed early either. Eventually we changed her mind, but I don't remember how long it took.

Elise said...

Hi Katie! Thanks for this post. I'm 7 wks pregnant and my Will turns 2 this month! I have been very sick so far with this pregnancy and it's been difficult battling 24/7 nausea and fatigue while trying to be a good mommy to a very, very active toddler. I work full-time and I honestly think that's made it easier on me. At work I can shut my office door and put my head down on my desk or even lean back in my chair and doze if I need to.

Weekends have been tough. Pre-pregnancy they were jammed packed with fun activities, lots of quality time at home reading and playing, having fun outside, etc. But lately it's all I can do to not get sick - I can barely get out of my sweats. I guess my question is: if this is hard now, how am I going to pull off taking care of Will plus a newborn when I am in the throes of sleep deprivation? I really don't know how I will do it. I don't have any family in the area, though my MIL lives nearby and she will be a great help. I am so worried that I will be doing Will a disservice somehow on days we don't manage to make it out of the house, or when I am just too flat out tired to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the 5th time. :)

I take pride in being a loving, attentive, fun mom. I make a lot of effort to provide Will with an environment and opportunities in which he learns, can be creative, and has a ton of silly fun. But I'm definitely not going to be at my best running on 3 or 4 hours of broken sleep. I started caving on our 'no TV until 2' rule a few weeks ago when I simply could not function and neededed 20 minutes to lay on the couch. I still feel a little guilty about that, but hey, he's only 3 weeks short of 2! :)

Tell me it will all work out!