When I first found out I was pregnant with our second child, my first feeling was one of excitement and pure joy, shortly followed by a genetic emotion in my family—guilt.
But this feeling isn't unique just to the Schlumberger clan, I'm pretty sure it's a common feeling amongst many to-be-mothers of two. As much as you're excited to bring another human into this world, you're also sad that you're one-and-only will no longer be your one-and-only. You're sad at the thought of your first child having to share you. They're going to have to open up their house and their hearts to a wrinkly little alien baby. Their whole world is going to turn upside down while everyone is saying things like, "Wow, you're a big brother now!"
And really, they probably don't give a shit. They just want all their toys back. Their space back. Their Mommy back. They're probably wondering how this new little screaming ball of flesh has jumped to the top of the priority list even though they lack seniority. If your first born is savvy enough, they'll probably vote in a Union and file a grievance.
Maybe not everyone thinks this way, but I was certainly worried about what our lives would look like once we brought our second baby home. I also wondered if I'd have enough love in my heart for a second child, even though I knew deep down that was a silly thought.
Well, here we are, 3 weeks into being home with our second baby. And guess what?
The world hasn't completely fallen apart! My son has instantly accepted his new sister, and hasn't tried to eat her. Amazing. Also, I have nothing but pure love for my newborn (pheuf!) and I still have the same amount of love for my toddler (what?!?). I guess it's true, love multiplies it doesn't divide.
However, it hasn't been smooth sailing all the way. No no no. That would be boring, right?
One thing that I'm finding really difficult is trying to meet the needs of both of my babies when they need me AT THE EXACT SAME TIME.
I've always tried to respond to my son's needs with patience and love. I want to do the same for my new baby girl. And now, when it's nap time and my son wants to cuddle and dance (which we always do) and my daughter needs to eat (cuz she's a baby calf), what am I supposed to do?
I find myself in very complicated pretzel-like positions trying to feed and cradle my newborn on one side, while snuggling and rocking my toddler on the other side. I'll finally have them both almost asleep, and then my daughter will crap her pants and start to fuss. It wakes my son up. Then I have to put him down, change her, and start all over. This is when I begin to sweat. I know that it's only a matter of time before he has a meltdown, and there is nothing I can really do about it.
I try to explain to him, "Mommy is trying very hard to look after both of you at the same time. I know this is hard. It's hard to share Mommy. You're doing such a good job. Thank you for being patient..." He sort of understands and tries to hold back his tears, but really he's probably just thinking, "Shut up and hold me! I don't want to wait, I'm TWO!"
Sometimes, I can avoid the tears. Usually, they're both crying. Sometimes, we all cry. Once in a while, if I stub my toe in the midst of all this (which is what happened today), I'll lose my patience and scream, "F*CK!" (Not a super proud moment, but it happens.)
How did Octomom do it? Seriously. I think I'd have to just pick a few favourites amongst the bunch and sell the rest on ebay. There is no way I could imagine caring for 8 newborns at once. A toddler and a newborn is more than enough!
So, seasoned parents out there, can you offer me any expert advice on how to meet both the needs of my children when they both need me at the exact same time? Any tear-saving tips are greatly appreciated! Oh, you can also send me wine...