It hasn’t been the easiest couple of days around here. I haven’t been juggling all of my responsibilities very well. It’s been more like frantically trying to keep up with cooking, cleaning, laundry, crying baby, and hungry toddler all at once. Owen is going through some kind of growth spurt, so he wants to be attached to me at all times, even if he’s asleep.
The mornings are the most difficult. I need to eat, Owen needs to nurse, Adam needs breakfast, and if we need to get someplace forget it. The poor guy spent all morning screaming because he didn’t want to be wrapped, but we had a 10am park playdate to get to that I had to get us ready for. Every time I set him down to do anything (like put on a shirt, or get his brother food), the wailing would get louder. I came so close to just throwing in the towel and telling my friends I couldn’t make it.
I didn’t though. Adam has been the epitome of a good kid through all of this. Yesterday Owen was on his twentieth minute of crying, refusing to eat and sleep, and everything I did just seemed to add fuel to the fire. I put him down on the couch and said, “I don’t know what I can do for you anymore!” Adam stopped playing with his toys, walked over to me and with the sincerest look in his eyes said, “I’m sorry Mommy.” My heart broke and gushed at the same time. Because my word he’s an amazing boy. So today he needed to get outside and play. He deserved to get outside and play.
I’m the first person in this particular play group to take the leap into baby number two. They’re really awesome with helping me wrangle Adam and hold the baby if I have to go to the bathroom, even if the baby starts wailing the minute I hand him off. Today I was asked a couple of times how I’m doing with two kids. I could only shrug and say “It’s pretty tough.” A friend told me that she wasn’t sure anymore of having kids so close together in age. She’s totally seeing my frazzled face and a woman constantly close to tears and I get it. She’s a good friend. I’m glad she was honest and I’m glad I didn’t have to put on a happy face for them.
And it has been pretty tough. But it’s also been pretty great. Owen is sleeping fabulously most nights, and if I managed to drag my ass to bed as soon as he goes down I would actually get something resembling a full night’s sleep. The boys are also starting to acknowledge that the other exists. Adam comes over to make Owen smile by kissing his feet and making raspberries at him. He asks to hold “baby bro-ver”, and squeals with delight the entire time he’s got Owen on his lap. They’re going to be good friends, and I can’t wait to see them grow and interact together.
On the way home from the park we had to go through some city streets, which immediately woke up Owen because only 70mph down a highway will keep him asleep. He started crying, but then I turned on a radio station playing a country song called “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” by Travis Tritt.
Owen settled down and went to sleep, Adam continued eating his animal crackers as if he didn’t have a care in the world, and I took a deep breath and unclenched my white knuckles from the steering wheel. A silly song that reminds me of my baby sister being born brought me back to earth. I had to remind myself that if I can get through tough periods, I can see that it’s getting easier every day, we will settle into a groove as a family, and Owen is getting older and more independent by the day. It won’t always be this hard.
So the next time someone sees me struggling and asks how I am, I’ll shrug and say, “It’s pretty tough. And amazing. And the rewards are going to be well worth the struggles.”