As I write this I’m currently snuggled up on our big arm chair that is usually occupied by my husband. I have a loyal dog at my feet and a sweet smelling newborn asleep on my chest. Gia is napping in her room down the hall and Craig is out on a run.
I sit here with a full heart and tired eyes and know that there will be many challenging days ahead as we continue to navigate the ebb and flow of parenthood. For some reason, becoming a mom for the second time has relaxed me. I’ve heard that is usually the case, as this isn’t my first rodeo. But, do any parents really know what they’re doing? No. We are all just trying to do what’s best for our children and sometimes that means making some mistakes along the way.
The most difficult thing about having a two-week old and a two-year old isn’t the sleepless nights and breastfeeding. Albeit, those things are certainly a challenge! For me, what’s most difficult is letting go of my big girl Gia. I have had to surrender my position as her number one caregiver because I have a hungry newborn and a husband with seemingly useless nipples. Seriously though – accepting that I physically cannot do what I did for Gia the way I could before Vivi came is so, so hard. This part is temporary, but that’s hard for me to remember.
Even though we are in the very early stages of figuring out how to balance and adjust to the addition of our newest family member, I cry often about missing my Gia. I can’t be the one to always make her meals, I can’t always get her dressed, I can’t always play with her the second she might want me to, etc. If I’m being completely honest, it’s heart wrenching and scary, but again, temporary.
I know this phase we are all in is just that, a phase. It doesn’t make it easy though. I think that Gia understands and sees that the baby is on me often because I’m obviously feeding her all the time. She sees that I have her and automatically realizes that if she needs or wants something then she should go to daddy. It’s great that she’s figured that out, but there’s a part of me longing for her to do that with me instead.
Craig will be heading back to work in a week, which will be interesting on many levels. I’m very nervous about the thought of holding down the fort all by myself. The thing is, I have so much help nearby if I need it. I just want to be able to figure out how to manage this mom of two thing on my own and with as little delay as possible. It will take time though, and I will ask for help when I need it because there’s no sense in making it harder on myself than necessary.
One thing I am eternally thankful for is Gia’s continued positive reaction to being a big sister. In no way has she lashed out or directed any anger or frustration towards her new sister. She has had her moments of frustration with other normal toddler things, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
It’s just amazing to me how this time around, I’m so much more confident in my abilities as a mom. I’m able to trust my gut more and worry less. I’m sure a lot of my relief is directly related to being able to successfully breastfeed. I’m not sure how long my breastfeeding journey will be, but for right now I’m so proud of myself for being proactive in getting it right.
I had such severe mastitis with Gia that it derailed my breastfeeding plans with her. Along with dealing with the physical challenges of mastitis, there was also the guilt and shame I felt for not being able to breastfeed Gia the way I wanted to. As so many people say, fed is best, and as a mom I needed to have my sanity to be the best version of myself for Gia.
The bottom line is, being a new mom is tough business, but the most rewarding thing. I feel like I’m slowing down and really savoring the newborn stage because I now have first hand experience with just how quickly it passes.
Regardless of how much chaos Craig and I are facing and will face in the future, we constantly remind ourselves how others fight so hard to have what we have. We are blessed beyond measure because we have two healthy, beautiful little girls who light up our world.
I’ve never known my purpose until having my children. Motherhood is the best thing to have ever happened to me and I’m so grateful for everything that comes with it.