“What is your secret to surviving kids 13 months apart?” Give yourself some grace. Lower your expectations, and then lower them again.
“Oh wow, you must be exhausted.” Yes. Please send help.
“You’re gonna miss this.” Like you wouldn’t believe.
I have heard it all the last year and everyone I have encountered is right…I’m exhausted, I’m grateful, and I’m surrounded with a ridiculous amount of joy! I survive most days by the help of my amazing husband, coffee, and wine. It has been such a challenge and a blessing to raise two kids so close in age. I have learned a lot about motherhood, I’ve had to dig down deep to find more patience, and I’ve experienced more love than I knew was humanly possible.
The newborn stage is easier the second time around.
A million times easier. I knew what to expect for the most part. I knew not to freak out about every tiny noise Jack made. I didn’t lose it the first time he spit up and I didn’t stay up all night worrying. I haven’t called the pediatrician approximately six times a day to ask them questions about the color of his poop. Disclaimer: I did not know that it really is like a loose fire hose when a newborn boy pees.
I am the queen of multitasking.
I can feed a baby, wrangle shoes and clothes onto a toddler, pack a diaper bag, load everyone into a car with minimal tantrums without completely losing my shit and still make it to a certain destination no more than five minutes late. I might have even showered if you’re lucky.
Exhaustion is on a whole new level…initially.
Initially, I was a legit zombie. I forgot the hardest parts of having a baby! Jack ate every two hours and Paisley didn’t care that I didn’t sleep the night before, she wanted to be fed and taken care of at 6 am. You always hear “nap when they do.” I definitely did when it was just Paisley but with two kids, it was borderline impossible. Juggling different nap schedules, a clingy toddler, and new baby exhaustion can make you feel like you’re taking crazy pills. This too shall pass.
Nowadays I am still tired…but in a chasing my toddlers around the house, I drank too many mimosas while the kids played at the pool kind of way. I am fun exhausted (is that a thing?). The kids are now napping at the same time so I typically have at least an hour to workout, eat or do laundry! And I miss the zombie exhaustion stage.
I love my mom bod.
Seriously, and so does my husband. This is the happiest I have ever felt about my body. It is a little squishier, my boobs are a little saggier, my skin is a little stretchier and I couldn’t be more proud of it. It carried two amazing babies and gave me the opportunity to be a mom. Love your body, it’s the only one you get…and drink the wine, girl.
My love cup is overflowing.
My heart is so damn full. I know I write this in all my posts but it doesn’t change as time goes on! My kids get sassier and more independent daily; my heart gets bigger!
Like my girlfriend once told me:
Remember this: They are only tiny once. Everyday, they’ll grow and become more independent. They’ll learn to control their minds and bodies; they’ll move further from you and closer to themselves each step of the way. Parenthood is stunningly beautiful and also a paralyzing, heartbreaking thing. You teach them not to need you. But for those blissful moments where they CHOOSE to need you, be there. BE IN IT. And know that when you are longing for the days when they need you, you’ve actually done your job well because they don’t.
Pull them in tighter, kiss those chubby cheeks, tell your partner you love them (they need to hear it more often than you think) and be proud, proud of yourself.
All photos are by Photos by Alyssum!