It’s been an experience.
At times I look at myself in the mirror and wonder where the girl with the quirky shoe obsession went, but then I remember how unhappy she was a lot of the time, and I am so overwhelmingly grateful for my two bear cubs, and for the joy, and the purpose, they have brought into my life.
Yes, there are sh*t days still. Today has been one of them (quite literally) with H-Bear and the tummy bug. And although I tend to spend most of my day necking back cups of tea in an attempt to feel awake, or prising Busby’s small toys out of H-Bear’s hands before he chokes on them, or repeating the words “gentle” and “share” so many times I find myself wondering if anyone is watching us (The Truman Show style) and competing in a drinking game whilst I despair and pull my hair out… it IS wonderful, it IS fun, and on the whole, I AM happy.
There are so many things that have surprised me over the past year:
- The children are completely different. I mean completely and utterly. I’d say like chalk and cheese, if only H-Bear didn’t have a milk allergy… But everything from sleeping, to movement, to how they behave with us and other members of the family. I naively assumed that because our first was a fairly good sleeper from an early age, that our second would be the same. I’m laughing on the inside.
- You find yourself remembering little snippets of newborn/baby life with your first that you’d completely forgotten about. The bad and the wonderful. H-Bear was busy trying toy cars on different surfaces today, and it reminded me of the ramps we used to make Busby at this age. He’s just about to start walking too, and my mind is being cast back to when Busby started walking for the first time! It seems so bizarre that she couldn’t walk once upon a time…
- Parenting two children is much harder than parenting one. And then when you actually look after just one of the children it’s a breeze and you wonder how you ever struggled…!
- Similarly newborn vs toddler! Parenting a newborn is so very much easier than parenting a toddler – why did I stress so much the first time round?!
- The HELL that is teething suddenly floods back in HD technicolor. And you wonder WHY pro-creating a second time was a good idea again?!
- Weaning is still fairly terrifying and daunting when you start. The choking fear is still there every time you give your baby something bigger than a crumb… But you definitely feel more at ease with your decisions. We did a lot more Baby Led this time round, which has been
- You now have to share your food with two people. And Mama doesn’t share food.
- Your toilet audience is one that would rival some shows at the Edinburgh Fringe… And you suddenly remember the delightful parenting milestone of going to the toilet with a child on your lap. (Why is there not a card for that one I wonder?!)
- You come to the conclusion that your house will never be tidy again. And there are days when it’s just not worth tidying up after them; especially when your pre-schooler asks you “Can we make mess again now please?!” once you’ve got the house looking vaguely acceptable.
- You suddenly remember how fun changing an eleven month old baby’s nappy is. And by fun I mean, one of the most difficult challenges life has ever bestowed upon you. Gin?!
- You feel like you’re continuously chasing your tail. Especially when you add work into the equation. If it’s not meals to make, it’s water to fetch. If it’s not groups or classes to attend, it’s Nursery bags to pack. Then there’s the sickness curveball and “DON’T TOUCH YOUR BROTHER BEFORE WASHING YOUR HANDS! I CAN’T DEAL WITH MORE GERMS!” When does work fit into this?!
- The sibling bond is the most wonderful thing to witness. Well. Most of the time.