By Jamie Johnson
Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.
But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.
It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.
What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.
This newborn thing is easier the second time around
A million times easier. I know what to expect. I know not to freak out about every tiny noise he makes. I know the basics of taking care of a child. I didn't freak out the first time he spit up and the dog licked it off his face. I didn't stay up all night worrying when his baby acne popped up. I haven't called the pediatrician approximately six times a day to ask them questions about the color of his poop.
Multitasking is my jam
For real. I can feed a baby, wrangle shoes and clothes onto a toddler, pack a diaper bag, load everyone into a car with less than three tantrums without completely losing it and still make it to a certain destination no more than five minutes late. Sure, I might have to start the process two hours before we are supposed to be at said destination, but that's just a minor detail. And half of the time I might even be showered and look like a normal human as well.
My toddler needs time to adjust to a new baby
I knew this would be tough and we tried to prepare him, but there is only so much a 3-year-old can grasp about that concept. He says that he "doesn't wike" his little brother, but I have seen him sneak a few kisses when he thinks we can't see him. His whining has reached a new level. His fake crying has gotten even worse. His acting skills could use some work. We try to spend as much time with him as possible so he knows that he hasn't been replaced, but it's been tough on all of us.
Exhaustion is real
Why do we seem to forget the hardest parts of having a newborn? The baby eats every three hours. My husband and I split feeding shifts, but we are both feeling the effects of new baby exhaustion and an extra cranky, super clingy toddler. I am surviving on caffeine, Netflix and the hope that this baby will be sleeping through the night before I go back to my full-time job.
The Minion movies have saved my life
Henry has watched every version of all three Minion movies multiple times over the last two weeks. Screen time for the win. And mom's sanity. Call me a bad mom but we all need a break every now and then. And I hid the trumpet he likes to play while the baby is sleeping. I also consider that a win.
C-sections are painful
I had to walk back to the operating room past tables full of medical instruments that would be used to cut me open. I swear there were 30 pairs of evil looking scissors sitting on one table. At one point, I had someone sitting on top of me pushing the baby down into the birth canal. Then they removed the baby, put all my organs back in place and sewed me back up. So, yes, I spent some time in pain, while trying to keep two children alive. I feel like I sort of held it together. We are all still alive, no one lost an appendage and I am high-fiving myself right now.
I need to let my body heal
Right now it is a hot mess. I feel like my organs are still kind of jiggling around trying to figure out where they are supposed to be. When I look in the mirror, I don't really see myself. I see a very tired version of me with bags under my eyes and about 40 extra pounds. It's hard. Really hard. I want to be me again. The version that really had everything together and still felt good about herself and her body. But, since this is the second go-round, I now know it takes time. I will get back there.
I have so much love in my heart
I know, very cliche. But I was honestly worried that I might not be able to love another child as much as I love Henry. But I was so wrong. My heart has grown. Kind of like the Grinch.
Life with a newborn and a toddler isn't easy, but it's my new normal. A new challenge. And I love it. It's going to be hard. And I know that I won't end every day with a smile. But it's so worth it.