Sunday, January 02, 2011
thoughts on a rough day
Now, as a mother to a toddler and a newborn, I definitely agree that there are many aspects of babyhood that are less of a challenge than toddlers. Babies are much more portable. Packing a diaper bag is much simpler-- couple diapers, wipes, a change of clothes... no need for snacks, toys (yet), or (since I'm breastfeeding) bottles of any kind. There's no need to argue, reason with, convince, or discipline a baby. And, I am finding the baby-related aspects of parenthood to be easier with this baby than with my first, since I'm more relaxed, have more experience, etc.
But there are also definitely aspects of baby care that can be more of a challenge than with an older kid. I've gotten so spoiled by how well D plays alone, leaving me time during the day to do other small chores or just sit and watch him. So when I have a day like today-- a day where Quinn took a single 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon, but other than that I spent literally the entire rest of the day nursing, holding, and trying to soothe him-- it is draining and a bit of a shock to the system. Babies are so physically demanding... and when there's just the baby to care for it can be ok, I can sit in bed and nurse him and then let him sleep on me and just be (though even that can be physically draining in itself). But add to that needing to also care for an older sibling, and it kinda makes my head spin.
At least, I do have one more benefit of this being the second time around-- I have more perspective. When D was a baby I'd get so caught up in the challenges of the moment/day/week/month and get bogged down by it, unable to see past it. Today, while it was hard and tiring to spend much of the day dancing around the room trying to soothe a fussy newborn, I could at least remind myself of everything that will come-- things will not always be like this, one day I will be able to set him down for a nap without him waking up 10 minutes later, and heck that day may even be tomorrow. With D, I often said my mantra through those early months was "this too shall pass." With Q, I feel like I actually believe it, if that makes sense.
My mom leaves tomorrow. I feel like there's this big reality check about to descend on me, once I really am left to handle two kids on my own. Thankfully things have worked out so that I'll still have some help (D will keep going to Arjun's house a couple times a week). I know we are extremely lucky to have that set-up, and also to have had my mom out for so long. I'm kind of waiting with baited breath now, curious to see what life will really be like for us in the coming days/weeks/months, trying to enjoy this fleeting newborn period while also counting down each day and week till Q is a few months old and we hopefully find our rhythm and footing.