Monday, September 10, 2012

Adjusting to 2 kids: week one

My old college roommate (hi, Colleen!) recently emailed me to check in and see how I am adjusting to life with two kids. She has two kids of her own and described the early days of welcoming a second baby as easier than the first time around but somehow more exhausting too. And that's exactly how I would describe how life has been in our house for the past week and a half.

Camden has adjusted very well. He is excellent with Macey-- he always wants to hold her, kiss her, help throw away her diapers, etc. I've only seen the occasional glimpse of jealousy (and even then, I'm not sure 'jealousy' is the appropriate word here). For example, he has asked me on occasion to "pick me up, too" when I am holding Macey. And I always try to accomodate these requests as best as I can to make him feel included. When Macey naps, I make sure to spend at least a little of that time playing on the floor with Camden. When I breastfeed, I invite Camden to sit with us on the couch. I still take him outside to play as often as I can (normally while wearing Macey). I want life to seem as normal as possible for him, and so far, his world doesn't seem to be rocked the way I thought it would be.

I'll admit, though, that it's been really difficult for me to surrender some control of Camden's care. That's partly because I'm an extreme Type A personality (read: control freak) but it's also partly because his care has been almost exclusively mine for the past 3 years. Of course, Matt has always been a very involved parent, but as a stay-at-home mom, much more of the responsibility for Camden's care naturally fell on me. Since bringing Macey home, Matt has really stepped up to the plate with Camden's care. Most nights, he puts him to bed (I still like to help out with that when I can, just to get some one on one time with Camden). He gets up with him in the morning and gets his OJ and breakfast ready. And they just spend more time together in general. I love watching the way their relationship has changed, but it's still hard for me to accept that I can't do it all. I'm learning to let go a bit, though. For example, right now Camden is down at my sister's house playing with my nephew. He asked all weekend if he could go play with Will, and he was excited to head down there this morning. And while part of me feels like I should have him at home so I can shower him with as much attention and affection as possible, I also know that he's having more fun down there playing with his best friend-- and I want that for him. I'm telling you-- learning to let go is a work in progress for me.

Mostly, I feel like I've adjusted to the logistics of having two kids fairly well. That's probably not entirely accurate, though, since I've had a lot of help over the past week and a half. I have yet to cook dinner, grocery shop with two kids, or even shower without another pair of hands around thanks to my helpful mom, sister, and mother-in-law. But I did get back into the swing of things with my cleaning routine (hello, Type A!) quickly. I also ventured outside with both Camden and Macey within a few days of coming home from the hospital (I think it took me months to do this with Camden when he was a newborn). I also feel like I've done fairly well at learning to care for both of them-- getting them dressed, bathing them, taking Camden to the potty, breastfeeding, getting Macey down for naps, and on and on and on. If I thought I had limited free time with one child, I have essentially no free time now. And while it's exhausting, it's a good kind of exhausting (most of the time, anyway). You know what also helps a lot? Knowing that everything is a passing phase. As a first time mom, my world was rocked whenever Camden had a restless night or spit up projectile style for the first time. It's a lot easier to get through the "survival mode" newborn phase when you know it's just that-- a phase.

I'm happy to say that breastfeeding is going a lot more smoothly this time around too. Even though I breastfed him for a full year, the initial couple of months of nursing Camden were pretty brutal-- lots of latching issues, sore nipples, painfully engorged breasts. Most of this I attribute to being an anxious first time mom. I had no anxiety about breastfeeding this time around and Macey latched on easily from the very first time I nursed her right after she was born. My milk came in about 2 days earlier this time around too which was a big help. Camden is fascinated by breastfeeding, but thankfully, not in a curious I want to try it, too kind of way. He just thinks it's interesting and actually told my neighbor in passing yesterday that "Macey likes to drink boobie". And, once again, I attribute much of my weight loss in the week since she was born (17 lbs down, 12 more to go) to breastfeeding. Well, to breastfeeding and the fact that I never sit down anymore.

So, yes-- it's been busy and tiring and sometimes difficult during this past week. But it's also been wonderful and rewarding and just good.


A tad traumatized after her first bath.
 
Okay, I get it now: little girl clothes are really cute.
 
"Touchdown Redskins!"
 
 
 
 

7 comments:

Jennifer said...

Breastfeeding is 1,000 times easier the second time around! You're an old pro by now too, which helps. Good luck with your 2 kiddos, it's really not so bad when one of them is a baby. It doesn't get challenging till they start fighting with other over the remote. Till then, smooth sailing.

Amy said...

Way to go! It sounds like you are doing amazing. Macey is beautiful. And, Camden rocks the big brother job!

Lauren said...

Thanks for this post... made me feel a bit less anxious about what's to come for me in about 4 weeks. Glad it's going well!

Amy and Luke said...

I agree with Lauren, love reading posts like this! Can't wait to see how things work for us! I really don't think she looks as much like cam as I expected!

Holly said...

I love this post. Having your husband help in the morning sounds like such a great idea. She is beautiful! Girl clothes are adorable.. I am not a pink person so I didn't know I would love all the girly outfits w/ my daughter until she was born. :)

Spit Happens said...

I'm so glad things are going well. It seems as though everyone is adjusting really well. I ca appreciate the type A mentality. I'm the same way so I know if we ever have a second child I will probably have similar issues related to control. It's nice to read about how you're dealing with it. You are doing awesome and Macey is just absolutely precious. Keep the updates coming (you know, with all that free time you have!) :)

Spit Happens said...

I'm so glad things are going well. It seems as though everyone is adjusting really well. I ca appreciate the type A mentality. I'm the same way so I know if we ever have a second child I will probably have similar issues related to control. It's nice to read about how you're dealing with it. You are doing awesome and Macey is just absolutely precious. Keep the updates coming (you know, with all that free time you have!) :)