Saturday, May 3, 2008

Two's a Charm.

Our friends Her Bad Mother, Mrs. Chicky, and Mrs. Chicken are expanding their families from child to children and we're here to honour that transition from pseudo-sanity to total and utter madness with a virtual baby shower.

I made the jump from one to two shortly after we moved to Seattle. I got lots of advice. Some of it good some of it really really terrible. Only a few things really seemed to apply.

1. When someone offers help, take it. Don't be shy, don't second guess it and think they are just trying to be nice, if help is offered, take it. Even if they were just saying it to be nice, you'll be teaching them a valuable lesson about only saying what you really mean.

2. Let your standards for personal hygiene and household cleanliness slide. Yeah, it is great to be up and dressed when you have guests, but hell, you've just pushed a little person our of a part of your body that will continue to remind you of that for quite some time. I liked to dress in PJs that didn't look like PJs. Yoga pants are your friend. As are oversized knit tops. I also had to become much more OK with a messy kitchen and, unfolded laundry. Sure some people may say I've taken it too far by continuing to allow my laundry to pile up clean but heaped in a messy pile for the past two years. I say bah, I'm a mother of two. We're still just happy to have clean clothes!

3. Make time for your 1st child. Even if it is a short few minutes of one on one mommy time, they need it. You need it too. I also went a little more lax on discipline for the first few weeks. Ok, maybe that was because I was too damn tired to stay really on top of things, but I think it was a good, if not completely planned, method to help Big Dog adjust. A little more leniency isn't going to turn a normal child into the anti-Christ in a few weeks, but it may save you all a lot of drama.

4. No matter how hard it is, you are going to be ok. Big dog had a hard adjustment. I frequently thought I was going to die of sleep deprivation. I never thought I'd want to have sex again. And the diapers....oh man those hourly diapers. Well, I look back now and it has more than paid off. My kids rock. watching them play together is both funny and heart warming. Sure they fight, but they also give each other long hugs after they finish beating one another to a pulp. And I get to be the mother of the two most adorable children on the planet.

5. A serious bit of advice. If you suspect PPD is an issue, RUN to your doctor and get help. I wallowed for 3 months before I took action then I put off taking medication for another month because I felt like I was a bad person and a weak failure as a mother if I had to get help. Now I realize all I did was cheat myself out of the first 3 months with my second son because I was too busy beating myself up for every little mistake or frustration.

6. Coffee, chocolate and red wine. Yes. All of them. Every day. Coffee in the morning. If you aren't sleeping, this is the next best thing. Chocolate. Do I need to explain? Red wine. You've been booze free for 9 months. Even our first pediatrician told me to have 1 or 2 glasses of wine every night with dinner to help me with my milk supply when I was struggling with Big Dog. If I needed it then, boy did I ever need it once I had two little people I had to care for. Man did I love that doctor, such a wise man.

7. Laugh. Laugh a lot. Things are going to take some adjustment. It isn't always going to be smooth and easy. There are times you are going to wonder what the hell happened to make you think having a second child was a good idea, but those times pass. And they pass more quickly if you focus on the good, the goofy and the downright funny side of parenting. And with two, you'll have twice as many jesters in your life.

8. Don't get too busy to live in the moment. Life with two moves fast. Much faster than it did with one, or at least it did for me. It felt like mere weeks after Little Dog was born, he was walking. Now he's talking, running and generally hamming it up. Sometimes I feel as though he's aged a month by the time I get home from work. I'm sure next time I go away for a weekend, I'll come back and he'll be driving! They grow so fast, they're only small once and those other cliches really apply here. So...take time and smell the roses, or the soft baby heads, hell, even the diapers from time to time.

9. Finally, feel free to ignore any or all advice. Heck, you've gone from 0 to 1 kid and survived it. Adding the second isn't all that hard by comparison. Once you have the hang of that, it is like adding more weight to your normal workout routine, it is hard, even painful at first but your muscles adjust and soon you're stronger and it feels like anything less was child's play.

Congratulations, and best of luck!


Amy said...

I just got a brand-new programmable coffee maker. :)

Wonderful advice, all of it. Thank you!

d_evans said...

OH my gosh, thank you so much for this post. You have no idea how much I needed to read this!! (blogginmam on twitter)

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