Once your baby is here, you won't remember life without them
It's happening! You're going to have another child soon, mama.
Maybe you're nervous or excited or terrified or… already exhausted. Or maybe you feel all of those things—sometimes at once or like a wave of one emotion crashing into the next. Maybe you're feeling unsure of rocking the boat with your firstborn—after all, that's what you know of motherhood so far. You and them. Now, a new person will come into the mix and everything will shift. What will that look like? What will change? What will stay the same?
How will you manage it all? The feelings, the logistics, the shared attention?
It's a lot. It's a big change! But I'd love to assure you that it's a change you're ready for. Even if you don't feel like it. Even if you have no idea what you've gotten yourself into. You can do this, you will do this. And it's going to be life-changing beautiful.
Listen, you didn't know what you were doing with your first, right? Like, this is a learn-on-the-job type of situation here. So is parenting a second child. Same thing—it's all figure it out as you go. And as you figure it out, your confidence will grow a little more each day, with each outing, with each decision made, with each messy-baby-diaper-change-on-the-passenger-seat-while-your-toddler-screams-for-Frozen-songs-from-their-car seat situation.
You get stronger. You get more resourceful. You find shortcuts. You care more about the important things and less about the insignificant things. You open your heart to ask for help. You take it one step at a time. You admit when you're overwhelmed. You lean on your people.
You remind yourself that once again, this is all new. They are learning how to be siblings, how to exist in this world, and you are learning how to be a mother to your children. We all sort of don't know what we're doing, while we intuitively do know. That's the magic of loving someone so deeply and wholeheartedly.
My second born will turn five years old in two weeks. When I think back to those final two weeks of waiting for my baby, five years ago, I remember anxiety. I truly, honest-to-God did not know if I could handle being a mom of two. I could not wait to meet my new child, but it also felt weird. Weird and wonderful.
Now, as five approaches, it still feels weird and wonderful. Maybe that's the mantra of my motherhood journey—because truth be told, it's all been a little weird and wonderful. It feels impossible that my beautiful 9lb 8oz baby with a head full of spiky hair who I was so nervous to welcome into the world will be headed off to kindergarten next fall. It feels impossible that that adorable chunky baby can now write their name and read some words and do the monkey bars. It feels impossible to even remember life without them.
Now they speed on their bike around corners (with training wheels on), they're desperate to lose a tooth, like their big sister, they're this sensitive, insightful, thoughtful and compassionate being. They're creative and kind. Funny and playful. Happy—so very happy.
Our second born lights up the light of our family. They've taught us more in their (almost!) five years of life than I could have ever imagined. I love them fiercely and unconditionally. Forever, for always, and even while they were a tiny little stranger in my womb.
What made me anxious was the unknown. I had no clue just how my life was going to change—again. I didn't know if I'd be able to breastfeed or if I'd ever be able to go anywhere with two kids in tow or if we'd ever sleep.
But the spoiler alert of all spoiler alerts is this—the unknown is always around the corner. No matter how many kids you have or if you even have kids at all. The fact that I thought once we were out of the second baby stage, we'd have some semblance of balance or organization makes me laugh now. No, scratch that. It makes me cackle. Because parenting young children is a roller coaster of emotions. Weird and wonderful emotions—right?
Life has surprised us with many things well into toddlerhood and during the preschool years. And I don't think the surprises stop anytime soon. It's just all about rolling with them, some way, somehow.
I think my point is this:
The unknown is also weird and wonderful. It sometimes makes us anxious. It sometimes makes us wish we had a crystal ball where we could see the future. But it is also where we get to know ourselves. Where we learn, grow, and get better, do better.
The waiting is the hardest part. But it's also sacred. Your baby will soon come into your life and breathe fresh, intoxicating newborn air into it. They will turn your world upside down in more ways than one. They will be familiar, in a strange way. They will unlock a part of your heart you didn't know existed.
They will make you a mother, again.
They will open your eyes and your world to so much—things you can't yet fathom—on this weird and wonderful journey we call life.
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