Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘two kids

It’s tough.

There are days that I feel like I’m being pulled in opposite directions.

K is at that age where the attention is constant.  Not only does she crave personal contact, she’s also very active and needs to be hovered over to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself.  Even in the playpen, an enclosed space, she needs to be carefully watched since she has learned how to stand and grip her way around the perimeter.  But she’s also trying to let go, stand on her own, and trying to take shortcuts from one corner of the playpen to the other.  This results in constant falling if I’m not there to catch her.

M just wants my attention.  It’s totally understandable.  It’s sad.

If I had to break it down, I feel like I spend 85% of my time dealing with K and only a mere 15% dealing with M.

It makes me feel bad because I know M misses me.

She tries to steal moments every once and awhile.  More often than not, it’s when I’m in the middle of watching her little sister.

It breaks my heart when she tries to sit on my lap while her sister is playing on the floor and crawling away somewhere.  I constantly have to ask her (nicely and apologetically) to get off my lap so I can make sure K is safe.

Bedtime was always my time to catch up with M.  However, K is going through an extremely clingy stage and will not allow Hubby to put her to bed at all.  If M and I go upstairs for bed, K will cry and cry until I have no choice but to go take care of her.

I know it’s a phase K is going through and everything will work itself out, but I just feel so terrible about how uneven my attention is.

Luckily, Hubby had the week off last week (hence, no blogs) and I was able to take M on a little ‘mommy and me’ date.  We went out to Michael’s to go craft shopping and then we had a milkshake.  I could tell she loved spending that time with me and it seemed to refresh her when we got home.

I’m hoping to find more time alone with her every so often so she doesn’t feel so neglected.

How did you deal with the difference of attention between your children?  I’d love to hear how you deal with this in the comments below!

Anything involving both kiddos is hard work. I don’t know how other moms do it while looking absolutely calm and collected. 

I always feel like I’m bumbling around and so uncoordinated and not graceful at all!

Why we decided to go to the zoo is beyond me….

Ok, I’m exaggerating…. It wasn’t THAT bad, but it was definitely hard. 

For starters, we have a double stroller. Then, we obviously have to carry around half of our belongings to accommodate the baby…

Maybe if I was breastfeeding, it would have been a little easier. Having to carry around bottles, water and formula was just bulky and such a hassle. 

Then, the logistics. 

M wanted to see and do a lot of things.  K just wanted to eat. 

I felt that I probably spent most of my time sitting on some shades table feeding K and allowing her some time out of her carrier…

It was definitely not easy and I can clearly remember why we never to M anywhere like that when she was that young. However, Hubby was on vacation and we felt that M deserved some fun time and we decided to suck it up and just go. 

I’m glad we went. The whole experience just left Hubby and I absolutely exhausted!

Read about my ABC blog series here.

Before K was born, I had this expectation that M would just immediately fall in love with her sister.

I would picture M running into the hospital recovery room and just be automatically drawn to her baby sister.  She’d kiss her, hold her, and just be the best big sister in the world from that moment on..

Reality didn’t prove to be that way at all.

When M first came into the room on that first morning after K was born, it was awkward.  She was awkward.  She wasn’t sure what was going on and I could see the discomfort in her face.

She missed me.  I know she did.  She gave me a huge hug, but that was about it.  She couldn’t really look at me.  I’m not sure what she was thinking, but I think she just felt out of place.  I was wearing a hospital gown, I was sitting on a different bed, I didn’t quite look like myself, and I was carry things other little person.

I felt like I was forcing K on her.  M didn’t know this little baby and yet I was making her kiss and hold her.  She obliged, but it wasn’t heartfelt.  She’s three, what was I really expecting from her?

I cried a bit after M went home for the night.  Part of me was disappointed that I didn’t get the reaction I wanted.  Most of me was worried for M.  I knew it was going to be a huge adjustment for her, but until that day, I didn’t know how huge it really was going to be..

As the days went by, it got better.  She started looking at me and interacting with me more.  She starting looking at her sister.  She started accepting the little baby I kept taking care of.

And then we took her home.

M cried a lot more.  M demanded a lot more.  M’s potty training seemed to just fly out the window.  It was frustrating, especially when I was sleep deprived.  M also started crying in the middle of the night, like she was having a bad dream.   Once, when she heard K cry in the middle of the night, M, in her half-asleep state, grabbed onto my arm and hugged it tight.

I decided not to force K on M.  I never asked M to hold K after that first day.  I would tell M to sing or talk to her, but that was it.  I didn’t want to force the relationship until M was ready.  What I did do was have M help out with taking care of K.  She would grab diapers, hand me wipes, bring me blankets… she loved doing that, and it eventually helped develop the relationship I was looking for between her and her sister.

Hubby and I also made sure we made time for M.  Dividing time between the two is definitely not easy, especially since I’m always so tired from the intermittent sleep, but it’s definitely worth the sacrifice knowing that M has been thriving through this adjustment period.

She absolutely LOVES her sister and constantly kisses her.  The moment I knew everything was going to be ok was when M finally asked to hold K.  It brought tears to my eyes knowing that everything is going ok.

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(To all the parent police out there, don’t worry, the didn’t nap like this.  I posed them to be next to each other for the photo.  The hand thing, they did that themselves..  )

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My life with two kids is definitely not what I imagined.

I thought things would just kind of fall into place.  I knew there would be an adjustment, but I thought it would be easy.

I should have known that changes like this, especially with a three year old, aren’t that easy.

I should have remembered how hard it was to adjust to even having ONE kid in the house.  I should have remembered how much Hubby and I struggled just adjusting to having M around.  It took us MONTHS, if not a YEAR, to find our groove after bringing M home…

What made me think that bringing K home was going to be easy?

Ok.  It isn’t as bad as I’m making it sound.. it just isn’t easy.

I have to admit that there have been tears shed, and not just by M.  I have to admit that I have cried several times.  Some of the times I have cried have been in the arms of my very own, very supportive three year old.  Now I don’t know if it is healthy to cry in front of your kids, but I did, and it’s like she knew and understood that I was feeling overwhelmed.  She held me tight, her arms around my neck, knowing that was the only way she knew how to make things better.

Right now, my mom is still here and Hubby is taking off from work.  I’ve got tons of help and it’s allowed us to form some sort of routine and some form of normalcy.  I know once the help is gone, and I’m by myself for most of the day, that there will be a whole new set of adjustments… I just know I have to be strong and take things one at a time.

Tons of parents do this all the time.. if they can do it, I sure know I can!

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