Oh hey, look at me – out at a Starbucks on a Saturday night with a caramel hot chocolate and a laptop, writing a blog post, with NO children to care for.
Since I’ve been full-time SAHMing two kids under two for four and a half weeks, both Andy and I have realized that on the weekends I MUST get out for a couple of hours for some me time. Everyone is much happier that way.
Everything is going well, for the most part. The past week has been our best yet. Auggie is a pretty easy baby, and really the majority of my challenges the past month have been from Alex. The initial adjustment period was very difficult for him, and it broke my heart.
There was a LOT of hitting and screaming and power struggling. Now there is still a significant amount of that, but it has calmed down a bit. Alex has loved the baby since he met him – well actually, before that, because he always fawned all over my belly – but it was hard for him to realize that the baby didn’t come with his own mommy and he needed to share. Pair that with me being tired and recovering from child birth and having less patience than normal, and we had some difficult days. I remember one day in particular, when Alex took a handful of dog food and dumped it in the dog water bowl for the THIRD time in a row and I lost it and yelled at him. He looked at me and I swear I could read his mind and it said: I want my nice mama back. Mama never yelled at me like that before. And I have to admit that while watching him smack the dogs over and over because he knew I was nursing and didn’t have any free hands, I thought to myself: I want my sweet Alex back.
Slowly but surely, though, we are all in a groove. Auggie sleeps really well. Lately if I can get him to bed around 8:30 or 9, then he sleeps until 1:30 or 2:30, nurses, and goes back to sleep until around 4. He is often very restless after 4 and doesn’t necessarily cry, but whimpers and thrashes around on my chest while i try to get a bit more rest before our day begins. I didn’t get sleep like that with Alex until he was around 6months old and we had Ferberized, so I really cannot complain in the sleep department.
Nursing is also going really well. Auggie is good at it, he had a shallow latch at first, but time and practice have improved that significantly. My supply seems to be better too. Auggie is a much bigger baby than Alex was – 2 lb 13 oz larger at birth. Alex was still a couple of oz short of his birth weight at two weeks, while Auggie was 7 oz past his birth weight at the same age. I’m positive Auggie has already passed the 10 lb mark and I think that being bigger makes him a more efficient nurser and a better sleeper.
My main concern about Auggie is that the poor kid just lives in chaos – there is always a dog barking or a child yelling or a TV playing, and he just takes it all in. Alex’s infancy was like a peaceful bubble. Not so for this kid, who gets smacked on the head while eating. Also if I’m being honest, I think this has inhibited my bonding with him because I have been so distracted and busy. If Alex were in daycare, even part time, and I had time to sit on the couch and just stare at Auggie’s face all day like I did with Alex, maybe I’d feel better. As it is, I just try to drink him up during naptime and after bedtime.
Overall I feel much better than I did after having Alex. My physical recovery was night and day – seriously, even with asecond degree tear, all I kept saying the first week was “this is SO much better than a c-section, and in the hospital I was all “I can take a shower? I can eat whatever I want?!” – and I’m getting way more sleep. One thing I really struggled with the first time around was a total lack of routine and that drove me crazy. Luckily, we have a routine now because Alex pretty much demands it and Auggie just has to fit into it. that has really helped me. I am up at 6am every week day to shower and dry my hair before my husband gets ready for work. Then I pump and get breakfast ready for Alex and get everyone’s diaper changed and dressed for the day. The mornings are long so we usually try to do something – run errands, go play at the library, visit friends, etc – and then have lunch and go down for a nap. I am FAR more interested in leaving the house than last time. If we don’t do something every day, we are all desperate by the time Andy gets home at 4:30. I just figure, if the toddler has a meltdown or the newborn cries or I have to nurse, so be it, at least we got out of the house!
My marriage is…okay…doing pretty well, only one big fight in the middle of the night, which I felt was our norm after Alex was born. I am not cleared for sex yet but I feel I am still really failing him in the intimacy department, but I honestly just can’t care for anyone else at this point. I need to work on that. But we did get out for a date night last weekend and that was good for us.
I am feeling fat and out of shape and I can’t wait to start running soon. I am going to do couch to 10k and I want to get my strong, fast, flexible body back even if that means I never get back in my prepregnancy jeans.
Other than the new baby stuff, Alex is doing well. He is getting big and his language has exploded, he speaks all the time and will repeat anything you say and has begun stringing together crude sentences. It is so cute to watch him communicate. “Mama, blanket book rock night-night please.” “Mama, love you.” “Mama, dada bye bye car.” He has been extremely into his books lately, I think because it’s all starting to click and he can point to things and name them now, and he enjoys that.
Overall, I am happier than I have been in a long time. Certainly happier than I was during that pregnancy – honestly, that was a difficult pregnancy for me, and the end was especially tough. I am falling short in many ways: the house should be cleaner, we could all eat more fruits and vegetables and watch less TV and I could do more educational things with Alex rather than letting him “help me” put away laundry in the mornings. But I feel that both of my boys are happy at least the majority of the time, and honestly I’m impressed that I’ve been able to keep the plates spinning that I have. I am more confident and far less stressed than I was during Alex’s infancy. I think because this time I know exactly how fleeting it is, and I know not to get too attached and too stressed about the way anything is, because it all changes every few weeks.
I am proud of myself for what I have proven to be capable of.
PS I am so sorry I’ve gotten so bad at commenting blogs. I’m not even going to lie and say it will get better soon. I only read on my phone and it is difficult to comment on those damn things. But I AM still reading and following along with your lives!