I remember when we told some mutual friends we were expecting again, the looks that were exchanged between various couples. I immediately picked up on the glance and asked what was that look, giggle or knowing ‘hmmmmmm’ for?
In short, we were told quickly how great expanding your family is. How having a 2nd, 3rd etc baby somehow cements you as a family and it is great fun. The 1st now finally has a playmate and you will both marvel at your genius baby making skills…..”darling didn’t we do well producing the most beautiful children – how clever and amazing are we?”
Then comes the ugly truth – ‘oh yes, we definitely row more now and about anything – the sniping gets worse’ ‘you begrudge the husband/worker being able to return to work whilst you negotiate the toddler and baby war zone’. I then hear about the wine. Yes the copious amounts of vino flying around homes and so much so, the recycle bin is popped out at the last minute so not to arouse suspicion from nosey neighbours. Ahhh and sexy time…. the bed no longer becomes the peaceful adult zone (lovemaking becomes a scheduled appointment and by that point you are so exhausted – the appeal of just falling asleep or catching up on the washing becomes too strong.
We get into the car (I lug my heavy bump like a hippo) and we look over our shoulder to the back seat. There is our sweet, angelic, funny, smart wonderful child. Nahhh we wont have anything to worry about. He is not like other children and this will be a breeze! We’ve done it once PAH! WE ARE SUPER AMAZING PARENTS. We verbally agree not to row, to let baby cry as Finley is our main priority and to not bend on arguments we are a united front.
So 1st week with baby and son goes well. Finley is an EXCELLENT big brother. He is all smiles and kisses and ill help you mummy. Daddy goes back to work after 2 days off – mummy feels resentful. Breasts are full, im still wearing my super strength maternity pads and I am not being showered with new mum attention. I mean, hello, where were my welcome home balloons I had with Finley?? Mmmmm ok, this wasn’t how I pictured it.
4 weeks in and I am sending mental bouquets of flowers and wine boxes to every single person who worked on any Disney Pixar Film… you, dear people, are my hero. I ply my son with any type of ‘orange’ foods (hoops, beans, anything out of a can that can be prepared quickly and plopped onto toast; chocolate treats to eat whist watching another Pixar gift from heaven. Im running on little sleep – feeding baby every 1 – 2 hours, dealing with nightly colic and sharing the bed not only with husband, baby (with baby 2 I have pretty much given in to co-sleeping just so I can get a few hours kip) and most nights a whiney 3 year old. Husband is a rock….but hey he only gets 4-5 hours a night of this.
And there it is with Fin…..it has finally hit home that this baby is staying. Mummy and Daddy’s attention is not solely for him anymore and he ain’t liking it one bit. It starts off with defiance – a lot of no’s (when previously before E he was pretty easy going), running into the road (because hey guess what you totally get mummys attention then!) and doing the toddler floppy body so mummy cant dress him/get him into the car, out of the park etc etc. This is NOT fun.
I call crisis meeting with bearded one…I need your help. I feel like I can’t do this. Elsie is a breeze…..how I EVER complained with one child. What on earth did I do all day?
SO we devise a plan. Its on with the rewards charts, planned time with Fin, lots of fun and listening. Instead of using my time at home to combat the 4th pile of washing today, it is to be left so I can play with him. We have mountains of puzzles, writing and colouring books and character magazines to work through. To make cakes, go to the park and just chill out about the whole bloody thing. Its a work in progress, I am still trying to do these lovely fun things but when its midday and we are all still in our PJ’s I do feel awful inside 🙁
It dawned on us that it must have been really tough for him when E arrived. I never realised how weird it must have been to have to share his parents. So the only logical thing was to chill out and just enjoy him before he goes to school in September – to just have fun and most importantly listen to him.
We are still finding our feet….he still acts like a teenager (slamming doors and saying no a lot) but he’s calming down. And his sister thinks he is hilarious which is beautiful. I still get distracted playing and cooing at Elsie, tackling the dishes or picking up all the toys from the floor and I have to mentally stop doing the chores. He needs me more than I ever know and I need him. Mostly to remind me to laugh and be silly.
I kind of like the chaos, even though I get stressed over the amount of washing (SERIOUSLY WHERE DOES IT COME FROM??) and lack of sleep.
But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I just wish I had enough money for a part time nanny sometimes so I could go and lie in my bed, alone, sleep and dream of my lush little family (and copious amounts of wine)
Love L x