Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The Reality of Being a Mother of Two
When I told my doctor that I was pregnant, he said, "I've always thought that parenthood really starts with two kids," or something to that effect. Now I won't say I agree. One child is enough to turn your world upside down and make you think about things you never imagined you'd think about, such as how to get play dough out of the carpet. I will say, that two children brings the chaos to a much higher level. Naturally.
I didn't know how we'd adapt to another child. The fear of having a newborn that woke every 2 hours, slept very little...EVER....and needed constant attention made me thankful for my pregnancy and in no real rush to end it. I mean, I was ready, but I was okay with being late if that's the way it went. I welcomed little Dylan into the world 3 days early.
With Ethan, there was fear and excitement. With Dylan. There was fear. A lot of fear. Ethan put us through the "newborn" paces. So when we brought Dylan home and he automatically had at least a 4 hour stretch of sleep EVERY night, it was like a breath of fresh air in a haze of soreness, sleep deprivation, and hormone surges. I was so tired yet so thankful because I level of exhaustion was nothing compared to what I felt with my first child. It wasn't that I was better prepared. It was simply that Dylan was easier. Still is. He wakes up are 3 or 3:30 most nights and throws in a few 5:30 to 6:00 times every now and then.
But having two kids...two boys. Well, it ain't a walk in the park. It's freaking hard. H-A-R-D. And since I'm breastfeeding, it's even harder. I'm fortunate, though, that Ethan goes to preschool. So fortunate. I give so much props to all those stay-at-home moms out there that do this day in and day out with no breaks and no preschool. I'm not equipped for such things, and that's okay. It doesn't make me a bad mom.
Dylan is easy. Ethan is not. Ethan is our high strung, no sleep needing, almost 4 year old that may or may not be gifted. His preschool teacher seems to think we should get him tested when he starts school because he's THAT smart. Her words. I believe her and have always thought Ethan was above the bar, but it's nice to have that confirmation because no one says, "Eh. My kid's average." We all think our children (at this age at least) or brilliant little sponges.
Here's the problem with the whole 'gifted' thing. He questions everything. He reasons like an adult. He wants explanations that I don't always have. He's constantly energized. He never slows down. He knows what he wants and is willing to give you 10 reasons as to why he should get it. He never takes no for an answer, just starts looking for a way around your no. He's smart and funny and full of life. He's a handful. He's like having two or three Dylan's. But I have one Ethan and one Dylan. And balancing them both? Well, it's tricky.
The thing is, as any three year old, he wants attention. All.The.Time. And I want to make sure that he understands that my love for him has not waned in any way since Dylan came along. I want him to know that I can love both them equally. In order to do that, I have to make time just for him. And that's okay. I always planned on doing that. And I have to try to remember that everything can't be about Dylan. I can only say, "I'm busy taking care of Dylan right now," so many times before he begins to feel like that's my priority. And honestly it is my priority because he needs more from me.
Only that's not true. Ethan needs as much from me as Dylan does. He just needs it in different ways. See? This navigating the waters of two kids is NOT easy.
What really blows my mind is how we're going to handle it all when I go back to work in two weeks! Yes. Two weeks. Lord, help me!