Posts Tagged ‘overwhelming’


Monday, January 24th, 2011

I feel like I’ve been involved in a lot of conversations recently about choosing – or not choosing – to have a second child. On the one hand, first babies are a big deal and nothing changes your life more than having one. Going from childless to being parent may be the biggest adjustment a person can make. I mean, it’s not like you get to try dating a bunch of babies to find the right one or do a trial run by living together first before you decide to make it permanent. Even if you stole rented borrowed a baby from someone else it’s totally different when you know they’re yours to keep. You gotta make sure you don’t screw those suckers up because you’re the one who’s going to be dealing with the aftermath for the next 60+ years.

So in the grand scheme of things, adding another baby shouldn’t be such a big deal. You’ve already got the stuff. You’ve got a little hands-on experience. You’ve figured out what works for you and what doesn’t. And yet somehow adding 1 new baby to 1 toddler-sized baby = 5x as much laundry. 5x as much crying. 5x as many sleepless nights. 5x as many bad days. It takes 5x as much time to leave the house or take a shower or make dinner. Things you really enjoyed with one baby – like grocery shopping – are suddenly impossible. With a toddler in the seat, where does the baby go?! Do you take them out of the bucket and wear them? Even if they’re sleeping at it’s 4 degrees outside and it means standing next to the car shoving them into the Moby while the toddler screeches? Do you put the bucket in the cart and only buy as many groceries as you can fit around them and then face the wrath of the bagger at checkout? (So far, my solution is to only shop when I can take one kid – or no kids – but that’s not going to last forever.)

Of course, you also get 5x as much love, which totally makes up for that other stuff. Most days.

You get to see how big and smart and grown up your older baby is and you can’t believe it. All those milestones that you breezed by months ago are suddenly seem new again – the walking, the talking, the feeding himself. The presence of a brand new baby lump makes everything a toddler does so much MORE. More fun, more amazing, more exciting, more louder (I know it’s not a word, but it is MORE LOUDER).  He’s not a baby anymore and yet he is YOUR baby and you want him to stay small and grow up all at the same time because the growing is so much fun to watch and experience but how can you stand the thought that one day he won’t need you at all??

Then there’s the baby, the teeny tiny fresh baked baby to nurse and change and rock and nurse and change and rock again. There are no socks on the planet tiny and stretchy enough to stay on her feet. She doesn’t smile at you or laugh at you yet but she sleeps best tucked into your armpit and the warmth of her body is practically the same as hearing her say “I love you mama”. You get to look forward to all the milestones again and you can’t wait for them to get here but you also want her to stay a tiny lump forever because all the growing is just too much for your heart to handle and maybe too much for your body to handle too. What happens when they can BOTH run away?

Because now she’s crying from the bedroom and you have shampoo in your hair and the toddler just pulled off his diaper and the washing machine is buzzing and you forgot to buy milk and oh no does that mean you HAVE to take them both to the grocery store? Hurry hurry better get going no time to slow down grab some breakfast throw some peanut butter at the toddler and oh crap the baby needs to be fed.

So you sit down and relax and snuggle the little baby and start to enjoy the moment. Then the bigger baby wiggles up next to you and lays his head on your shoulder and sighs and your heart EXPLODES into a million zillion pieces you stop wondering how you’re going to handle two babies and wonder instead how you ever lived without them.