Unexpected fears about a second child

Having a second baby should be easy right ? You know what to expect, you know what to do, and you have now found your feet as a mom, so it should all just be a breeze. Uh ?! …. No!!

The one thing that does seem to be easier is the waiting, I am so busy with my toddler that I don’t really think about the new baby and what it will be like all the time, its almost as if I have not really come to terms with it all haha, every now and then it hits me and this wave of excitement hits me.

But that is about the only thing that is easier so far; somehow I can’t imagine my life with two kids, I am already so so busy with her that I can’t even imagine how busy I would be with her and a newborn. I think it is the whole thing that you can’t imagine the change, how different your life will look, all you know is that it will look different. I think we are all creatures of habit, which means that we want to know what to expect, what is coming next.

But thats just it isn’t it? Life is unexpected, you can’t plan for every little thing because that would just make life way too easy haha. learning to let go and let God, has been life changing, realizing that we are all fragile and we cannot control every aspect of life or of motherhood is somehow freeing . Freeing to allow you to life your life without worrying about every “what if” that comes along.

Motherhood is magical, it pushes your limits and breaks down all your fears and expectations, and instead, replaces it with an unexplainable amount of irrational love. And lets face it, none of us would change a damn thing 👌🏻

It makes you a different kind of strong, so I say bring it on !

To the single parent

My daughter has been sick for the last few days, for what feels like the hundredth time in her short life (which makes me feel like I am failing as a mother, but thats a story for another blog haha). In the meantime she has also been cutting not one, but TWO molars.

In between all of this, my husband was here, and he helped so so much since I also started to get sick and cant take anything because I am pregnant. I find it so difficult to be a good mother when I am not in a good place myself, I manage to push it aside and try to just be there for her, but she still feels that I am not myself, and it is at that moment where I thank God that I have a husband who helps and can take over while I rest.

That being said, I know not all parents have a partner that helps, or have have lost a partner or have broken up with a partner. I have no idea how you do it, I know if you are a parent you have no choice to keep going and you just somehow find that strength somewhere to be the best parent you can possibly be. But that still does not make it easy or any less lonely.

Although I don’t know how it feels, I was raised by a single parent and saw the toll it took, you have so much less time for yourself, or well, basically anything! A sick or teething baby takes up ALL your time, whether you are a stay at home parent, or not, the time you have with them is difficult and exhausting. There is no time to unwind after a tough day at work, or to have a glass of wine with supper because you have to tend to a crying baby and get to bed as soon as possible because you have to get up early again the next day, and do it all over again.

I have so much respect for these parents , ones that still give their children the best they can, in-spite of their need for a personal life, well done !! 💪🏻

How my toddler shows me that happiness is a state of mind

The mind of a toddler is fascinating (and confusing at times), we go on a family holiday and drive 700 km’s to get there, only to find out that she was happier at home. Frustrating right? Well this is only one of the many interesting things about my toddler that I dont understand. The total amazement she shows when pushing anything around (chairs, boxes, magazines, you name it), her relentless interest in my phone, the remotes and with going outside (sertiously, it is like she has a sixth sense and just knows when a door opens somehwere) and her latest favoroute; our bedside table drawers (yes condoms and underwear have ended up on our lawn). It is such a busy time, and we are both learning how to adjust to all the new changes, and I would not change it for the world.

She can honestly be happy when I give her a spoon and a bowl to play with, she will entertain herself for an hour on the kitchen floor, and only she knows what goes on in that pretty little head of hers, and that made me think, if only I can be so content with something so simple (I am a classic overthinker and busybody, I need constant distraction to stay sane lol), Dont get me wrong, she is still a toddler and just like the smallest thing can make her happy, the smallest thing can also mean the end of the world the very next minute. But for the sake of this post, we will focus on the “happy part” haha.

Giving my full attention to a situation has always been a struggle, it feels like my mind is always in a million different places at the same time, quieting my mind has always been a challenge, and something that I still struggle with somedays, the only thing that has seemed to keep my attention has been motherhood. My little girl really does take all my attention, not just because she is so busy and I am in constant fear of her getting hurt, I am mesmerized by her, by how she approaches life and lives on the edge so to speak, no fear whatsoever and just explores and enjoys every single new thing. While we as adults mostly avoid new things because it means stepping out of our comfort zones (and why would you do that if you are not in your early 20’s anymore right?), living on the edge is no longer possible because you have responsibilities and people who rely on you. Growing up is for sure a trap haha, when you are little it looks so amazing to be able to do what you want and when you want to; meanwhile we dont see the writing on the wall when we are little; Being an adult is tedious at best.

My little girl for one wakes up with a smile on her face, while I take about half an hour and two cups of coffee before I can have a conversation, she runs up and down the house non stop, while I am out of breath running after her ONCE, she claps hands whenever she gets excited, while I smile and then focus on the next thing wihtout enjoying the moment for what it is. Growing up has somehow made me forget how to appreciate the little things, and how to find happiness in the small stuff, the everyday little victories that we take for granted. Being thankful and joyful is something that not everyone is luky enough to experince, so I say; If you are happy and you know it clap your hands !!

 

Let yourself get excited

Growing up sucks ! Haha , you have to learn to not only live with disappointment but also to accept it, learn to manage expectations and basically do a lot of things that you just don’t want to.

Now that I have painted that beautiful picture; I believe that we need to have balance in life, we need to be grown ups and be realistic most days, but just every now and then, I think it is okay to let go of all reason and be excited about the possibility of something.

In the beginning of the pregnancy, we are all paranoid, we know the statistics and story of women and miscarriages, the sad reality of it, so we don’t tell our family and friends until its “safe”, we don’t let ourselves get excited or let our minds imagine the future with this new little human.

Bring realistic can suck sometimes, and yes don’t blurt it out all over social media, but just for yourself and your partner, let yourself get a little excited, enjoy the moment you share and the possibility of this new little human, yes it might not all work out the way you want it to, but since we are being realistic, what in life has that type fo guarantee ? Nothing. Anything we do might not work out.

We need to find the balance between getting excited about new possibilities and managing expectations, which can be one of the hardest things in life. For me , I have learned to accept disappointment, so I get excited over new things and possibilities, and just know that if it does not work out I will deal with it.

Life is way too short to wait for disappointment around every corner, life is hard and disappointment is inevitable, but just every now and then, things work out ! The good guys win, and you get that happy ending !

Don’t ever let that “childlike” outlook on life fade completely.

How my baby has turned into a little girl overnight

My baby girl is exactly 13 months old today, well she is finally not a baby anymore. I am a toddler mom, I love this age, I think it is adorable how busy they are and how they explore and can find joy in the simplest things. Its inspiring really, to be content with something as trivial as a pot and lid. Wouldn’t life be so much easier? And less complicated? But alas, we all grow up And that pot and lid is replaced with houses and careers. Nothing wrong with that, each phase brings new challenges and new excitement. I just admire hat innocence and knowing there is someone there to love and protect you no matter what.

When I look back at how quickly she has gotten to this age , I want to freeze time, I want her to be small for longer, I want her to be a child as long as possible. When I see how other children are treated like little grown ups I feel sad, Life is harsh, its cruel and unpredictable. I want to keep my child’s innocence for as long as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in raising a naive daughter thats not ready for the world, I just want to preserve that childlike happiness for as long as possible.

It happens so quick that we almost miss it, it is as if overnight she started walking, and babbling and pointing towards what she wanted, how on earth did this happen!? Life gets so busy that we forget to stop and take it all in, and when we blink they are all grown up.

On the other hand, I am so glad we are over that newborn phase, it is all just so so nerve wracking, they are so fragile and little and most of the time you are just not sure what to do with them (granted I am pregnant again, so within a few months we start all over again).

Now, she can go wherever she wants to go, and come when you call her. I just love it , even with all the tantrums that are starting and the fact that she is very sensitive and upsets easily haha, it is still an amazing time and we are all having so much fun.

So enjoy each phase as a family , even though each of them brings new challenges, they each also have so many special moments to offer.

Second pregnancy jitters

Somehow, realistically, you have this image in your mind about what your second pregnancy would be like , all the things you would do differently and you imagine yourself serene and calm this time around.

Well, can I please just burst your little “happiness” bubble; one week ago my breasts were so tender I could barely sleep, yet, I still ended up googling whether that is an early pregnancy symptom because I cant remember if I had it the first time around. I know right !?

That just proved to me; that although I have technically went through this all before, each pregnancy is different and with each pregnancy I believe that a woman changes, not her personality was per say, but what we can each handle, out priorities and our “breaking point”. I believe this point moves further away with each baby and with each year that passes.

Somehow knowing what to expect is making me more nervous than I was the first time. This time around I am not naive I guess, I know the hard days and nights that are on the way, and I also know the intense love that you feel when you finally get to meet your baby! I guess I feel overwhelmed this time around, knowing that this love is just going to grow even bigger, and our little family is going to be even more awesome , and I guess I just need a moment to take it all in, to prepare my mind and my heart for whats about to hit us all 🤣

I have read some horror stories about having “2 under 2”, but like with everything in life I guess we will just have to wait and see, no turning back now ! I al just so excited !

Have any of you noticed how some people tend to “under react” the the news of a second baby? Silly I know, but when I shared the news the first time around everyone screamed and freaked out, this time everyone is just like “oh thats great” how are you otherwise. Haha. I don’t really know how to respond to these because I myself am extremely excited to be having another baby.

I guess people are just more relaxed about it and kind of feel like you know what you are doing now and therefore they wont shower you with unsolicited advice this time around (heres hoping).

Thats just it though, for me, it actually does not feel like my second pregnancy, the nerves are there just the same as before, I also feel unsure about my symptoms, the only difference is that I have this little girl that runs around and keeps me too busy to overthink and stress about the future.

So thanks to my toddler, the next 8 months should go by very quick 👌🏻

Dad Instincts

The other day my husband and I were having a tiff over whether our baby girl is in fact teething or just being fussy for no reason; I believed that she is teething, and my husband believed that she is just having an off day and that I don’t need to always assume the worst. Needless to say; this turned into a huge argument, I explained to him that I have “motherly instinct” and that he needs to learn to trust that, he replied by telling me; he also has instincts as a dad – which brings us here.

I have since come to realize that I have this ugly side to me, one that feels I need to be the superior parent, that I somehow need to be the one my baby needs, and that only I can console her when she is upset or not feeling well. The fact of the matter is; that although this is mostly true, it is not true every time.

There has countless times where my baby is upset and I can’t console her, her dad takes her, and she calms down, there could be a million reasons for this; she feeds of off me , so that day I might be a bit more emotional, upset or stressed out, and she feels this too, it affects her world just as much as it does mine, if not more. Her dad on the other hand; takes things in stride, he is generally more laid back, relaxed and rarely gets stressed out (we balance each other out quite well).

At first, this made me feel quite irrelevant, it hurt my feelings that my baby girl was not comforted by me, and that she needed her father instead.

As a new mom, I constantly put pressure on myself to do things “right”, I was adamant that I will be the best mother and I would research anything before making a decision about my baby girl’s development and wellbeing, whether it be her feeding, her sleeping, her play time, her stimulation – EVERYTHING.

This was starting to drive me insane, I was always tired, no matter how much sleep I got at night, I was constantly stressing about her at night for no real reason, constantly doubting my own abilities as a mom. It was taking all the enjoyment out of being a mom in the first place, it made me miss the little moments that I was supposed to be enjoying with my family.

Overcoming my insecurities

Studies have found that a woman only matures at the age of 25 – mostly emotionally, according to this; you only really know what you want to do in life and can face the challenges life throws at you with maturity and a clear head. Well, I don’t know about you, but I am 27 and still don’t feel sure about myself and my future most of the time, and some days I really don’t feel all that mature either.

Overcoming this silly little insecurity took quite some time, I had to really work hard at it, and change my perception of the situation, my husband being so involved is a GOOD thing, him wanting to help and give opinions when she cried or was being cranky; was him being a good father and a good husband, it did not mean that he thought he knew better than me or that he is questioning my abilities as a mother. He simply wants to play a big role in her upbringing, and although he respects my opinion and realizes that I am the one that looks after her the whole day, sometimes, a fresh new opinion or suggestion from the outside is just what a situation calls for.

Looking after your child during the day, every day, can become intense (especially those days that they refuse to sleep and just basically refuse to do anything you want them to), you tend to get into your head too much and it becomes very difficult to take a break and gather your thoughts, or just to even have a cup of tea and plan your day.

Your frustrated, tired, and then dad walks in and says – “maybe you should try and put her in her pram instead” – Immediately you are enraged at the thought, because you have been trying to get her to sleep the whole day, and yet you did not think of that (you can’t tell him that though because you feel stupid for not doing it in the first place)

The Change

I realized that my husband (just like me) also finds joy in parenting, and the fact that our baby girl is comforted by him, yes, he might not have the same bond with her as I do, and yes, he is not always right about what is wrong with her, but neither am I for that matter. Making him feel like he is wrong all the time, also hurts his feelings, so now; even if I know she does not have a fever; if he suggests it, I take her temperature just to be sure, and this level of respect has changed our marriage for the better, he also now feels like I value his opinion and I don’t just brush it off.

This had a ripple effect, he is now more confident in looking after her if I am not there, because he is more confident in his fathering skills and his “fatherly instincts” so to speak, he does not feel the need to call me every ten minutes when she cries, he now knows what to do with her.

We as mothers are quick to dismiss things like “fatherly instincts” because we don’t believe that it could really be a thing, although I don’t think it is more important than “motherly instincts”; fathers all over the world are moving away from the historic “mother does all” way of life and becoming more and more involved in parenting.

I have even seen my husband googling “sleep regression” and “teething symptoms” a few times.

Now that I look at things a little differently; these things warm my heart, and I am so lucky to have a husband that is such a good father to our precious baby girl, and he deserves all the credit in the world for his “fatherly instincts”.