When I announced I was pregnant with baby #2, EVERYONE (and I mean everyone) told me the transition from 1-2 was WAY more challenging than the transition from 0-1.
This naturally freaked me out since my transition from 0-1 was pretty traumatizing for me! I can remember many times when Nora was a baby wondering how on earth we could ever handle more than one child… but things did eventually get easier (I know, everyone tells you things will get easier and you just can’t believe them… but I promise, they WILL eventually get easier!)
However, it was still very unsettling to have mass amounts of people (friends, family, and complete strangers) telling me that the transition from 1-2 child would most likely be even worse than my transition from 0-1 child.
Yikes! I wasn’t sure I could handle that.
Thankfully, everyone’s own personal experiences are different; and I can confidently say that after 6 weeks, the transition from 1-2 has been much easier than from 0-1.
Physically, I was in much more pain and took longer to recover after Simon’s birth. But mentally, I feel SOOOOO much better the 2nd time around — and I didn’t even need medical intervention, counseling… or a straight jacket 🙂
When Nora was born, I basically felt like I was “thrown under the bus” and totally misled by all the advice from friends, family, and parenting books. Obviously, people want to focus on the positives of having a baby — but seriously, no one told me just how crazy hard it was going to be. They told me how awful labor and deliver would be (mine was a breeze, by the way). But after the baby was here, everything was apparently all butterflies and rainbows.
Life with a new baby was supposedly blissful — especially with your first when you can “nap when they nap” and just take it easy. Clearly, Nora did not get the memo that she was supposed to take naps and let me have it easy!
I fumbled through my first year of motherhood with feelings of failure plaguing me at every bend in the road — but I learned SO much. And if I’m really honest, although it was absolutely awful at times, the best way for me to learn is via hands-on, real-life experience — Nora gave me plenty of that!
Nora was my guinea pig and I’m sure I made a bunch of mistakes. However, all the trials and hardships she caused me helped me become a better mother, a more knowledgable mother, a more easy-going-life-will-go-on-and-it-WILL-get-better mother.
So when Simon was born, my whole mother mentality was completely different. I was as ready as I could be, I was confident, I didn’t need to worry about every little thing or wonder if I was doing something that would mess him up for the rest of his life.
I held him, fed him, changed him, and loved him… and prayed that he would sleep!
I also swallowed my pride and asked for help.
Since Nora is SO super-active and very high energy, I just knew I couldn’t deal with her all day AND tend to the high needs of a brand new baby. I’m sure some people could, but I couldn’t. I knew that going in… and because of that, I asked for help. Lots of help!
I didn’t necessarily ask for meals, but when our church came to me and asked if they could set up several meals for us during the 3 weeks after we came home from the hospital, I graciously accepted. And anytime someone called or emailed asking if we’d like a meal, I readily accepted.
I also took any physical help I could get. My sister lives just down the road and has a pretty flexible schedule, so she has taken Nora off my hands MANY times over the past several weeks. And my dad can completely set his own schedule, so he has been over to our house almost every weekday at some point or another. He’ll stop by for a couple hours in the morning to play with Nora… and now that the weather is warming up, they can play outside while Simon is sleeping. This means I get the house to myself for a bit — and yes, it’s amazing!
Both Dave’s and my parents live within 10-15 minutes of our house, and they take any and every opportunity to “stop by” and see Simon and Nora 🙂 They love their grandkids and we love their help.
If we wouldn’t have had so much help while Dave was at school all day, I’m confident I would not feel so “with-it” and “on top of things” right now. Plus, with how physically sore and tired I was at the beginning, I honestly don’t know if I could have handled Nora those first few days. She’s heavy… and stubborn!
Of course, it also helps that Nora LOVES babies… especially “her” baby Simon.
This girl is just a little mother and it’s so cute to watch. Any time I feed, burp, bathe, or change Simon, she’s right there watching and learning. She now feeds her babies (both bottles and by literally sticking them under her shirt). She also wants Dave to feed her pretend bottles and then burp her (she just shouts out the word “burp” and it’s hilarious to watch!)
She is extremely protective of Simon and anytime she doesn’t see him, she worriedly asks, “Momma, where’s my brother? I need to know where he is.”
I realize everyone’s situation is different; but I for one was thrilled that the transition from 1-2 has been much easier for me — I honestly don’t think I’d be working on the blog right now if the transition was more difficult with Simon than with Nora!