It's about the change that occurs when you add baby #2 to your family.
Steven and I have a lot of friends in this same boat. In fact, most of Steven's friends had their first baby the same year that Mason was born. Now...2 1/2 years later, many of them are welcoming their second little bundle of joy into the world in 2015. We've had a lot of people asking, "What's it like?" "How does it change things?" "Is it super stressful?"
Those are hard questions to answer. Yes, it is more difficult...but you don't just want to tell people that part when they are already anxious and nervous.
I was freaking out.
Mason has been the center of our universe (slightly unhealthy? Whatever...) for 2 1/2 years. Our day revolve(ed) around his schedule.
Not only was I nervous about how our days would play out, I was even more concerned about his reaction. Would he still feel the same amount of love from us? Would he feel like he was being replaced? It honestly kept me up at night.
I went out of my way to try to schedule his stay at Grandma's house while we were in the hospital to include lots of presents, visits to the hospital, etc. Honestly, I did too much...it wasn't all needed.
Your Older Child WILL Go Through An Adjustment Period
I remember the first day Mason came and visited Emerson and me in the hospital. It was kind of a disaster.
He was totally freaked out by everything. Mom was laid up in bed, there's a new baby that he doesn't know what to think about. He wouldn't cuddle in bed with me (thanks Pinterest for making me think that was to be expected), he didn't want to hold the baby. I had set the bar too high and was inevitably bummed.
When he came to visit us the second day I got out of bed to show him that I was fine.
He still was kind of freaked. Why is mommy living in this weird building with strangers?
We bribed him with gummy bears to hold his sister so we could get a picture. He did awesome. Still unsure, but he played along.
What I'm trying to say is...don't expect the Pinterest picture. You never know how your older child will react initially, and it's best to take it in stride. Eventually, they will come around.
It Will Not Be Like The First Time
For me, my recovery was a lot faster with Emerson's birth than Mason's, so I was able to do a little bit more, sooner, than I could with her.
The major difference you will notice is that you will be more tired. It's inevitable. Remember how when you only had one kid you could nap when they napped? Remember how you could schedule your entire day around that newborn baby? Not anymore. We are lucky in that Mason goes to daycare Monday-Thursday, but evenings and weekends are a totally different bear than they were with just Mason. Toddlers don't understand that Mommy needs to rest, that Mommy can't always be at their beckon call. It's frustrating to them to have to share Mommy's attention, and understandably so. We had to learn to balance. Sometimes that means Mason gets mad because he has to wait for something because I'm changing Emerson's diaper or feeding her. Sometimes that means Emerson has to cry for a few minutes longer than normal because I'm helping Mason with something and he deserves a little bit of attention in that moment. You have to learn to balance, and it's not always easy. When Steven is home, we got it covered. Man-to-Man defense. You take that kid, I've got this one...which leads me to.....
You Don't Get Many Breaks
At the end of the day, adding another kid is totally awesome.
I don't know how people do more than two...we won't be....but I salute them for sure!
Bottom line...it's a blast having another kid around.
We've had some pretty funny moments between the two of them already.
They already play off each other...sometimes this means when one hears the other crying, they will start to cry (okay, that one isn't all that fun), but watching Mason engage with Emerson and seeing her watch him talk to her is so awesome.
We've had some pretty funny moments.
Mason talks to Emerson like she can understand him...and uses a similar voice to the one he hears Steven and I using with her.
He tells her, "Look at you!" and the excitement in his voice and on his face EVERY SINGLE MORNING when he realizes she is still here is something all parents should try to replicate for their children.
The other day we had a couple of business people over at our house for a meeting. I suddenly noticed out of the corner of my eye Mason dragging something out of the bathroom. I suddenly realized it was my breast pump he had grabbed from our bedroom. I scrambled over to stop him from coming out before anyone noticed and his face was filled with confusion. I told him he needed to put it back. `His response`, "But Mama, I need to pump!"
Yup. Two is pretty awesome.