It seems like yesterday I was walking back to the OR in my hospital gown to get ready for my second and final baby boy to enter the world. It doesn't feel so long ago that my now almost 4-year-old was my only child.
Now my baby, Simon, has been out of my body as long as he was in my body. And somehow nine months of balancing two kiddos have zoomed by. As they say, time flies when you're having fun. (And also when you're not sleeping so much, too, I guess.)
I have experienced so many emotions during this time. Deep love, awe, gratefulness, exhaustion, anger, anxiety and that feeling you can't quite name because it has been so long since you have had a full night's sleep.
Most of all, I've learned so much about myself and my sweet little family over the last nine months:
1. For me, my second baby has been much easier than my first.
I have not freaked out as much about Every. Tiny. Thing. I didn't sob and call the doctor on his personal cell phone at 2 am when my son had a fever for the first time. I take him everywhere with me because I know this baby phase makes that part pretty easy. (Not to mention, he's just so freaking cute right now and I want to soak it all in!)
2. Multitasking is my jam—kind of.
I can work full-time, take care of a baby and a preschooler, write a blog, spend time with my husband and keep my house from burning to the ground. I think that's a pretty big deal. Yes, the piles of laundry are absolutely insane, the dishes are rarely done and I am about five minutes late for everything I attend, but hey—I'm there, I have clothes on, and most likely my hair appears to be clean. (Thank you, dry shampoo.)
3. My preschooler needed A LOT of time to adjust to his new baby brother.
As in, it took seven months for him to actually acknowledge the baby. Before that, if people asked him about his baby brother, he would just walk away. He would just step over him if he was on the floor.
And then one day, he told me that he missed Baby Simon—and he has been in love ever since. It melts my heart. He likes to tell people that he has a baby brother named Simon who looks just like the Boss Baby.
4. Exhaustion is real.
So, so real. All you other moms feel me. Personally, it sets in the most for me when the bedtime routine starts and I know I'm so close to being able to lay in bed and catch up on my DVR. But someone needs a glass of water and has to line up all 97 of their superheroes in a perfect line on the floor in front of the bed, and, oh yeah, he has to go potty again.
5. My children have too much screen time.
Sometimes, Mama needs a break. And if getting that break means turning on the Minion movie for an hour, so be it. I have to stay sane, and frankly, this helps. I have to refill my cup and get time to myself during the day and if that means some TV time, then I am okay with it.
6. My preschooler needs a lot of one-on-one time.
He is still a little jealous of the baby and I have to remind him that he hasn't been replaced. He is a mischievous little guy with TONS of energy. So when the baby naps, we play. And we play HARD. (I mean, not to brag but, I can name every single superhero ever.) And before he goes to bed, he gives me the biggest kiss and the biggest hug and lets me know how much he loves me. And it's how he reminds me that I am doing something right.
7. My body is still not back to "normal."
After I had my first son, I lost the baby weight pretty quickly. I got in great shape and focused a lot on eating well. It's not so easy the second time around I'm finding. My body has a new pear-like shape to it and honestly, I still can't look in the mirror without thinking I look a little squishy. (And let's not even talk about the massive bags under my eyes.) But I have learned that I can't do it all. I have to be nice to myself and give my body a break. It's been through a lot.
8. I have so much love in my heart.
I can love both of my children so much that my heart might explode. I'm exhausted—yes—but I also have never been happier in my entire life.
Life with a 9-month-old and a preschooler is not easy. At all. But no matter how hard it is, or how mad I get when my oldest throws a tantrum in the middle of Target, or how frustrated I get when the baby won't sleep—I realize that this is it. This is the life I've always dreamed of having. It's messy and it's sloppy, but it's mine and I wouldn't trade it for the world.