Saturday, December 12, 2015

it's been two months


It's been two months. Two months of Trixie. Two months of Johnny being a big brother. Two months of parenting two kids.

And, well, it's been hard.

Most days I usually have a few hours where things are going well and I think, I can do this, it's not so bad. But then both kids are crying at the same time, or Johnny is waking up the baby, or climbing on the counters to help himself to cookies, or coloring on the walls and furniture with (thankfully washable) markers. And then I reach the end of the day I am exhausted, and Trixie is fussy, she won't nurse to sleep, and I just want to go to bed, but I can't until the baby does. Alex is usually the one who can get her to sleep, but I feel guilty whenever I need his help because I know he needs to be studying.

That's been the hardest, feeling like I don't have a partner. I do,  I know I do, but the guilt that comes whenever I have to interrupt him.  It's kind of like the guilt he feels for not being able to help that much.  So we both feel guilty all the time.

Right now both of my babies are asleep and I feel like I can do this.

But this morning it was a different story. I had not been up one hour before Johnny had restarted the clean laundry in the washer. Then I spilled apple juice all over the kitchen counter while trying to pour with one hand while holding Trixie in the other.  Then Johnny had major diarrhea and while I was changing him, he dropped the package of wipes in the opened dirty diaper. All this and no time yet to make a cup of coffee or have some breakfast. I wonder how I will make it through the next 8 hours until Alex gets home.

It's hard.

When I ask my mom if it was hard being home with young kids all those years she doesn't seem to remember any tough stuff. Either we were all wonderful babies and toddlers who slept like angels and never got into mischief, or she's choosing to only remember the good stuff.  "It may be hard now, but some day you'll look back on this time with fondness", she says to me. Sometimes I get annoyed that she doesn't have clear memories of me being a little terror, because I want the empathy. But when I think about it, it would be nice to only remember the good stuff.

To look back on all these days I spent with my babies and only remember how Johnny loves to give Trixie kisses, and the way he puffs up  his cheeks when he puckers his lips. Or how first thing in the morning Johnny runs into our room to climb on the bed and cuddle his baby sister.



I'd like to remember the way it felt to see Johnny swaddle his stuffed zebra the way we swaddle Trixie, and then hold it gentle to his chest and pat it's back. That feeling that my heart would literally burst out of my chest it swelled with so much love.

And Trixie, I'd like to remember the fierce, hungry face she makes right before nursing. And the way she stretches out her arms and hands like she's conducting a symphony. And the sweet sound of her littles coos and gurgles.


And instead of remembering the guilt I felt all the nights I needed Alex's help to get Trixie to sleep I'd like to remember how sweet it is to see my husband reclined on the couch with his tiny daughter curled up on his chest.

I know - because everyone keeps telling me - that it's so fleeting, this time when they are small. It's going to go by so fast.

This is what I have to remember.


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10 comments:

  1. You are really bringing me back with this post. And I can relate to feeling guilty about your spouse working/studying, having had 2 babies 20 months apart when my husband started a job as a professor before he had finished his dissertation. I want to just give you a virtual hug and say it gets easier when the baby gets older! But there are things you can do, like find someone you can really complain to (obviously not your mom who whitewashes the past (like mine does!)) and also have your husband carve out non studying time where he is on duty to help you rest up. It may feel like he has to study all the time, but he doesn't. He can just not learn something or not get as good a grade or have to memorize something in a shorter amount of time, because, guess what? He is a father and prob a great one. But if you set yourselves up that he has to always be studying, it will make you resent this time in your life. I know I have sad times from my post partum days because I didn't work this stuff out with my husband then. Now, my husband has a set amount of time that he has determined he needs to work each week and it is my job to make sure he gets it . . . and then we can all relax and lean on him for help, etc. And we have a 3rd baby and let me tell you, when the oldest is 4 it is so much easier to have a newborn than it was with 2 little ones . . . I promise . . .and that is prob why our parents forget, they are remembering when we were older.

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    1. Thank you for the virtual hug!! And for all the great advice!

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  2. I know the guilt. I saw this image of Joseph holding baby Jesus while Our Lady sleeps at my husband's aunt and uncle's house while I was struggling to get T to nap while we were visiting them for a day, and I fell in love with it. It is comforting just to look at: http://www.catholiccompany.com/holy%2Dfamiy%2Dw%2Dcherry%2Dframe%2D65x10-i26821/?sku=2222973

    And this will pass on into something else, but it is so hard to have little ones and a husband who always has to/wants to be studying!

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    1. Susanna, I just looked at that picture and I love it too! Thankfully Alex is always willing to help during the night. And I know he would always rather be with us than studying, it' a sacrifice for both of us right now. But you're right, it will pass on into something different.

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  3. Life with two little ones is so challenging. Mine are 22 months apart, and it was so very hard at first--changing both sets of diapers, getting one to sleep just as the other woke up! I promise it will get easier. Owen is almost 16 months old now, and running around with Walter. They nap together and they go to bed at the same time. They share a room (Walt has a toddler bed and Owen sleeps in a pack-n-play with a mattress.) While I never thought we'd do this, we went the cry-it-out method with each of them around a year old, and it has been such a huge blessing. They are happy children and they love going to bed together now. Walter sings songs to Owen and I hear them giggling in there until they fall asleep. Thank God they sleep well, because I'm nearly 10 weeks pregnant with Baby 3 and the morning *all-day* sickness is killing me. And I loved your comment about remembering the good, because even on the hardest days, there is so much sweetness in these little boys I want to treasure forever. Even when they're wrestling each other and jumping off the furniture. ;) I'll be keeping you in my prayers, Anna!

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    1. oh my gosh! Congratulations! I will be keeping you in my prayers as well!

      We did the cry it out method with Johnny when he was about 20 months, it was hard for about 2 days then it was amazing. So I think we will try a little sooner with Trixie. Having kids that sleep is such a blessing!

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  4. Oh... I so feel you on this one! My eyes are welling up with tears remembering what it was like just eight months ago when I was exactly in your spot. Isn't it funny how much confidence one has at this mothering gig when all the littles are sleeping?! ;) But soon the confidence will continue to be there when they're awake too. At least, that's what I'm finding... one day at a time.

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  5. Oh... I so feel you on this one! My eyes are welling up with tears remembering what it was like just eight months ago when I was exactly in your spot. Isn't it funny how much confidence one has at this mothering gig when all the littles are sleeping?! ;) But soon the confidence will continue to be there when they're awake too. At least, that's what I'm finding... one day at a time.

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    1. oh thank you! this is so good to hear.

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  6. I love the fierce hungry face! :D
    It will feel like you are drowning for a long time, and then one day you'll look around and realize that you haven't needed to save anyone for ten whole minutes, because they've been playing quietly together, and wonder how it happened. Suddenly there are little breaths of fresh air mixed in with the storms, and you'll feel more and more like you are doing this, and doing it well.

    Ours are 3, 23 mos, and 4 mos. In many ways it's easier now, but still hard, too, just in different ways. Don't be afraid to look into ppd if you feel you need to - stress can be a contributing factor to depression, and goodness knows this is a stressful time. :)

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