I know it sounds harsh, and I feel like a terrible mom for even thinking it, but there are times where I miss life before two kids. There are times where I miss being the parent of only one child. I wasn’t mentally prepared to be a mom of two.
We recently became a family of four, adding another perfect little human to our family. I couldn’t wait to leave the hospital and reunite with our oldest. I couldn’t wait to have that picture-perfect moment of our oldest meeting the new baby. We pulled up, I ran to the door, gave our son a huge hug, and instead of feeling happy, a huge wave of sadness came over me. It was at that moment I realized it would never again be just the two of us. It would never be the same. I wanted to hold on to our oldest and never let him go. I wasn’t prepared to let go.
My heart was hurting and it felt like I was grieving the life we once had. The first few weeks after we got home, I continued to be sad. The routines that we had so perfectly crafted over the last three and half years had all changed. In those first few weeks and months, the baby needed all of me and I missed my time with our oldest. I missed picking him up from school. I missed reading books before bed. I missed singing songs at bath time. I missed our after-dinner dance parties. I knew deep down things would eventually get back to “normal,” but it felt like I had to say goodbye to everything we knew before. I wasn’t prepared to say goodbye.
This new life where I had to split my time and attention between two children instead of one. That adjustment from one child to two has been really difficult. I constantly feel like I’m failing as a mom. Failing because there are times where I can’t do even the simplest things with our toddler and failing the newborn because I’m not completely present with him. Tears streaming down my face as I feed the baby and tears rolling down my toddler’s face because mommy can’t give him a bath tonight.
With the jump to two kids, time to myself is nonexistent. Forget “self-care.” There are days where meeting my most basic needs like eating, showering, brushing my teeth aren’t an option. I didn’t know who I was in those early days and still don’t recognize the person I see in the mirror. I’m sure it was the same in the early days with our first but I don’t remember losing myself this much. I wasn’t prepared to lose myself.
We have started to come out of the newborn fog and there are glimpses of how amazing this life with two will be. Watching our oldest sing to the baby. Watching our youngest’s eyes light up with his older brother walks in the room. I’m not sure I could have ever been prepared for this change, but now I couldn’t imagine a life without two.