I’ve barely had a minute to stop in the last two weeks. How I'm doing totally depends on the moment you ask me. I’ve thought often of blogging but I seriously haven’t had any time to sit at the computer. The only time I am sitting still (when I’m not trying to sleep) is when I’m pumping. Yep, that’s my down time and even then I often have to listen to one or the other of the kids fuss about something. Today I haven’t even gotten dressed yet. (Yes, I could be doing that now, but I just HAVE to write first. It helps me process.)
I’ve been on my own as a mother of two for a full week now. It’s one on two. While it’s nice to figure things out on my own, it’s very clear that I’m outnumbered. I feel like a ping pong ball bouncing back and forth between the two kids often leaving one discontented while tending to the other just long enough to calm them so I can get back to the first one. And all this on five or six hours of interrupted sleep. It’s exhausting.
Desmond has really done quite well with the transition, all things considered. He’s been more clingy to me, but as long as I’m around he has been playing by himself fairly well and I only have to tell him “No, I can’t play right now I’m feeding Kaylynn,” every couple minutes, but he usually doesn’t fuss too much about it. We’ve also watched lots of TV which I feel slightly guilty about but I must survive.
I was trying to feed Kaylynn this morning for the fourth time in the past hour or two so I could get her to sleep more than a couple minutes so I could fix Desmond lunch so I could get him down for his nap so I could pump. I felt like I was a broken record telling Desmond to stop doing things. “Stop climbing on the crib, please don’t take all the clothes out of the dresser, don’t go behind the chair while I’m rocking, stop swinging on the door, please don’t climb on me!” I like to state things in a positive way saying what he can do rather than saying “no” all the time, but with Kaylynn in what felt like non-stop crying mode I nearly melted down. I couldn’t understand why she would just eat or sleep. “Those are your two options,” I tried to tell her. Then out of frustration I sucked on her bottle to double check it wasn’t too cold (I don’t take time to warm up the milk from the fridge) and I realized the bottle was clogged. I’d been trying to feed her this bottle all morning. Once it was unclogged Kaylynn gulped it as fast as she could pausing only long enough for necessary breathing. Poor thing. No wonder she was crying.
After that I bounced back and forth between trying to get Kaylynn to go to sleep and feeding Desmond lunch. Kaylynn cried while I read Desmond a story and sang his naptime songs. Desmond then cried because I had moved the rocking chair out of his room and into Kaylynn’s so I could feed her in there. I got him settled into bed finally and went to pat Kaylynn’s back. Soon Desmond was calling for me again and asked for the little light to be turned on. He cried again when I told him we don’t sleep with the lights on. It took me awhile to realize he meant the monitor light. I had put it in Kaylynn’s room too. By this time Kaylynn had finally fallen asleep in her crib so I unplugged the monitor to move it back to Desmond’s room. He settled down now that his little green light was back and – dare I say it – both kids are sleeping right now! Quick! I need to… do something! In about an hour it will be time to feed Kaylynn again.
I remember thinking this with Desmond, too: It’s a good thing babies are so cute and snuggly and that the peaceful moments are so perfectly glorious because this is a lot of hard work! It’s doubly hard with an almost three year old to care for as well. The newborn part of it is a bit easier because I know some tricks already, though they don’t always work the same with Kaylynn. I’m also much more relaxed this time around about all the things me or my newborn “should” be doing. We’ll figure it out.
Caring for Desmond is the part I feel most guilty about. I don’t have time for him like I used to. In fact, I feel like I barely have time for him at all! I try to play for five minutes here and there, and we did manage to make a “birthday chain” this morning to count down the days to his birthday. I was bouncing and trying to feed a fussy baby on my knee the whole time so I wasn’t enjoying it like I wanted to, but his long chain is now hanging in the playroom and we’ll take one link off every day.
Well, that was therapeutic to share about my morning. Now I need to eat something and pump. Also I should probably see who called me several hours ago, and maybe I should get dressed.