Quinn is now 2 months old... 9 whole weeks. Each Thursday I note his weekly birthday, and as terrible as it may sound it reminds me of marking off tick marks on a jail cell wall. I am blessed, I know that-- I have 2 wonderful, healthy boys whom I adore. Between the nanny and Zach being such an involved father, I have much more support than many mothers do. While most of our family is far away, they are all loving, and very supportive of us and our choices and parenting styles. Basically, we have it good. Really good. And yet it still feels like such a massive challenge.
We have good days and bad days. I am definitely noticing a trend towards the better, as Q gets slightly better able to nap in his bed, or is entertained by toys for longer periods of time. But this is still very much a 24/7 gig, and a very demanding one at that. I really do treasure the days when I just have Quinn and can focus on him, hold him, snuggle with him, guilt- and stress-free. On the days when I have both kids, it feels like I'm constantly neglecting one in order to meet the needs of the other. Sure, things like babywearing make it easier, but it only helps so much-- I've managed to get Quinn nursing while wearing him a couple of ties, but it's tough and not comfortable (I managed it Monday night while prepping dinner for D, then had a backache all day Tuesday I think from the awkward way I was trying to hold him). Quinn requires me to be standing and on the move pretty much the entire time I'm wearing him, so I'm very limited in what I can do with him in a carrier. The only times I can get down on the floor to play with D is when Q is napping in his bed, which doesn't happen every day and even then usually only lasts 20-30minutes. Even once he's asleep I can't promise D that we'll get to play a game, etc, b/c I never know when Quinn will wake... Weekends are better as Zach can take the baby, but even then with a baby who wants to nurse so frequently there really isn't much time to do much inbetween feedings.
So, D is usually the one who misses out. I figure since he's older he can understand the situation better, and Quinn just needs so much still. When I do have to tend to D and can't wear him, I usually set Q down and pray he'll be happy till I get back. D's nap time caused me considerable stress, though miraculously that's been going ok so far (what I do is get D set up with his lunch, then I'll feed Quinn to try to increase the odds of him being happy and perhaps even sleepy. Then we'll all go upstairs and I put Q in his bed while I read D a story and lay with him for a minute. Thankfully this routine is short-- 5-10mins-- and Q usually stays happy enough till I get back to him...). D has been so great with all of this, but I feel like his patience may be starting to wear thin and is wanting more time with me. This often results in him climbing all over me when I'm trying to nurse, and you can imagine how well that goes. So yeah, it's kinda rough on all of us-- Quinn ends up crying more than he otherwise would; Donovan is missing out on fun time with his mom (which is another reason I'm so glad for our nanny, at least he gets fun play time with someone during the week); and I feel like I'm pulled in different directions with little break to take a breath. And again, that's with all this support. Those of you who pull this off without it, I bow down to you. If I had to do all this all on my own, Zach would probably come home at the end each day to find me huddled up in a corner, in a puddle of tears (my own, and likely also the boys').
I hate to think of any period of my life as a time to "just get through" but that's kind of what it's like now. First I was just trying to make it past the first 6 weeks. Now I'm looking ahead to being past the first 3-4 months. I fantasize about Quinn's first birthday. I'm trying to enjoy this time now, but I also am very much looking forward to a time when we have some semblance of a daily routine-- when I can count on even just an hour of down time in the evenings; when I get to spend time with my husband; when I might get more than 5-6hrs of broken sleep at night.
Gotta go, baby's awake.