Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Calm and Collected

I about spit the water I was drinking out with laughter when I read the last comment from Hollie about sounding calm and collected.

I was a mess yesterday. A hormonal, sobbing, pile of jumbled emotions that changed as quickly as the wind. Seriously, I was a basket case.

It wasn't even really about the jaundice, though it didn't help matters. I was definitely way more upset about Will and his jaundice and it was never this high. I think I just learned a lesson with Will's bout with bilirubin that it isn't the end of the world if the baby gets a bit of formula. I sobbed when I had to stop breastfeeding for 24 hours with Will because I thought the very worst thing that could. ever. happen to me is if we didn't get to go back to nursing. I guess little bit of parenting has seasoned me a bit, because I have come to see that if Emma didn't go back to the breast, life would go on. Now, I would be disappointed, don't get me wrong, but I would pump, she would get a my breastmilk in a bottle and we'd all move on.

That being said. . . I think the reality of having two small children is hitting me. As any of you who have been reading this blog know only too well, it's not as if I went into this blindly or with visions of sunshine and roses. I've been freaking since about 7 months pregnant about how I would be everything to everybody (realizing, of course, that I can't and won't be but still knowing I'll try).

My relationship with Will has changed already. The tantrums that have suddenly started are far worse with me than with M. He knows that I can't lift him and is refusing to do things that normally would not even been an issue (like put on his shoes or go upstairs to brush his teeth). He will give me this look and then refuse to do something. . . because he knows that I don't have the ability to physcially make him do something. M is here this week to help with those moments, but he heads back to work on Monday and I started to feel just a bit of panic thinking about being alone with the both of them and still not being 100% back to normal. Now, to be fair to Will, it's not as if he is doing this all of the time, but with my hormones already on a wild ride, I find that what would normally not even phase me practially has me in tears. I miss my sweet little boy and I miss being able to do everything he needs.

Yesterday, we all went to the grocery store and I realized the sheer logistics of shopping with two small children. We just don't fit in one standard grocery cart anymore. There are those nifty car carts that most grocery stores now have and one of those worked great yesterday, but as any mom knows, those are not always available. I consider myself a very independent, on-the-go Mommy. I was able to do all of our grocery shopping and errands done with Will in tow and now I have no clue how I will get those things done. I told M I am going to have to start doing grocery shopping at night, after the kids are in bed, but I know it will be awhile before I have time in the evening to do that.

Then, there is my guilt toward Emma. I feel as if she is the easier one to set down when all heck breaks loose. I am definitely not jumping at her every cry. I don't sit on the couch and nurse her for hours and stare at her beautiful little face as I did with her older brother. I am far more businesslike and likely to set her down so I can get some crackers for Will or five minutes to shower. I don't even know that this is necessarily a bad thing, it just makes me sad that I don't get the same time to just marinate in these newborn days.

Logically, I know all of these emotions are very normal. There are moments when I do feel calm and collected and I do feel in control of things. Actually, today, I have been much better and not feeling as panicked, so I attribute a lot of this to the Great Hormone Crash of '10. I know that in time, I will find a new rhythm, a new normal. I will learn to navigate the grocery store with two kids. I will learn how to be a mommy-on-the-go-with-two. . . or I will have to learn to stay at home more. . . or a combination of both.

Emotionally, I am trying to be patient with myself. I am 9 days out from surgery, juggling life and sleeping schedules, and of course, readjusting hormonally following pregnancy. I just need to take one day. . . one smile. . . one cuddle at a time. These two make it pretty hard to ignore the cuteness that life with two children bring.


Nicky said...

Not to throw more advice at you, but every two-parent mom I know accomplishes the grocery shopping at this stage by putting the older one in the cart and carrying the younger one in some sort of wearable carrier. Bjorns work for newborns, right? Some mei tais can be worn starting fairly young, too (maybe not 1-week-old young, but soon). A little unwieldy, since it'll be hard not to bump Emma into things (like into Will's feet!) but might work when the car carts aren't available.

I know the overwhelmed feelings at this stage are crazy, but you really are doing great!

Beth said...

I totally get it. I have been there, and done that, and certainly felt every one of those feelings. You are not alone.

That being said....You're doing a great job, Mama! Hang in there, it gets better every.single.day.

Love & hugs!!

Anonymous said...

I think you're doing a great job! Will just needs some more time to adjust, and soon you'll be able to wrangle him again. And if all else fails on the grocery shopping front, you can always put Emma's carseat in the cart and pile groceries around her. They are just too cute! :)

HereWeGoAJen said...

Will looks giant in that last picture. I keep forgetting how small newborns are.

Don't worry, things will calm down. We're here to listen in the meantime. :)

Mazzy said...

You are my hero! I will never forget the intensity of post partum hormones... everything just seemed so extreme (at least it was for me). I think the challenges will work themselves out over time and your amazing strength will shine brighter each day. Mother's guilt is inevitable, with any child at any point. I think in those moments the best thing to do is just take a deep breath and remember that your children have a wonderful mother who loves them more than anything and? That's really all they need from you.

You are awesome.


It is what it is said...

I have no advice but I appreciate your honesty. I am older (44) with a 3 yr old son and as we work toward #2 I have many of the same concerns. I think the universe was looking out for me when we started trying when my son was 5 months...that maybe I didn't have the temperament I thought I did to parent two under two. Like maybe having a 4+ year old and newborn will be better for me (here's hoping).
You are doing great, as hard as it will sometimes be, and you just have to take it one day, one hour even at a time.
Keep venting in our direction.
And, they are ADORABLE together!

Jen said...

I'm with Nicky. I have definitely put Hayden in a carrier more while shopping than I did with Jillian at that age. I have even had times where I put Jillian in an Ergo which she hasn't been in for a year and pushed Hayden in the cart. Don't worry...it will start to seem a little more do-able very soon!

Annalien said...

The pictures are VERY cute. And yes, you are right, what you are experiencing is normal. There is no magical way to make it all better at once, but it does get easier day by day and pretty soon you will find your new groove and you won't remember the time when Emma wasn't in your life. You are doing great!

~Hollie said...

I made you spew? heheee

To me, you do sound calm and collected. I was an absolute MESS. You are talking through these things rationally (YES, stop laughing) and working through them. I love to hear how you are WORKING through the hormonal hell (the part no one told me about) and you have two beautiful children. I think in about a month, you will look back on this time and applaud yourself for doing such a great job. And I can tell in your writing and concerns, YOU ARE DOING A FANTASTIC JOB! Keep up the good work.

Ms. J said...

Hearin' ya and heartin' ya. All the way, babe.

Joy@WDDCH said...

Like Nicky said- get a wrap or carrier! I personally do not like Bjorn but some people do. I have a Moby Wrap and LOVE it. It also keeps baby safe from germs. Most people would come up to me and say, "I didn't realize you were carrying your baby in that- I thought you were still pregnant at first glance"! And everyone everyone everyone (elderly, men, children, other moms, childless people, etc.) would smile at me and comment on how beautiful it was to see a mom carrying her baby like that.

You can wear her at home, too. I don't know if you have to wait for more healing with a c-section to wear it yet, though. I really don't know much about post c-sec recovery but definitely highly recommend looking into it!

I shop with three and in the earlier days (newborn stage) I would leave the older girls with Daddy at times, too, and go on errands. Or the entire family would go shopping together. I don't know if your husband is available to do that but that might help to have an extra set of hands.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes Will will just have to sit at the foot of the steps or wherever he is and cry for a few minutes when you can't fix it. He'll survive, I promise :) Also, Emma will probably be an "easier" baby for being put down when the going gets tough. They will both be happy kids and you are doing GREAT!