Saturday, April 27, 2013

Adjusting to Two

A lot of people ask how Brad and I are adjusting to going from one child to two. I don't give it a lot of thought most of the time because I can't remember that well what life was like without Eleanor. Isn't it funny how that happens? I think about our time in London and by default try to remember Eleanor being there. Which she was, in utero, but it feels like she's always been a part of the family.

Going from one to two was much, much easier than going from no kids to one. People differ on that I think - some find one more challenging than the other. But going from total freedom and independence to having a baby that required our constant attention was a total life-shock for us.

Not to mention dealing with Brad getting laid off during the financial crisis and starting a new job 5 weeks after I gave birth that required tons of hours and constant travel. And post partum depression. I could go on. Anyways, I look back at those first few months of Charlie as just a huge learning process and very intense, emotionally.

Knowing what to expect this time, as well as already having most of our lives dictated by our existing child, made it a lot easier for us - even though Eleanor was a much more difficult baby in the beginning. Since she started napping and sleeping at night, this whole two kid thing feels totally doable. We already know we have shuffle giving each other free time, that we aren't going out on the weekends much right now, that hobbies are on the back burner, etc.

Having already made those sacrifices once, we are just enjoying the process a lot more, knowing it to be extremely temporary - and that we will miss many of the phases once they are over. Though I do not really miss the newborn sleep pattern, 12 weeks of extreme sleep deprivation while still needing to entertain a 4 year old.  Brutal! Will someone tell me, why did I ever think having one baby was hard?

Charlie continues to amaze us with how accepting he is with Eleanor. I frequently have to tell him to wait or that we can't do something or he needs to be quiet because of Eleanor. While he will sometimes let me know this is frustrating to him by acting out or getting mad, he never directs that anger towards her. It's like he doesn't blame it on her, which to me seems to be mature beyond his years.

And yes, I realize how extremely lucky this makes us. I have watched his friends be horribly mean to their younger siblings, just as I was pretty mean to my sister Meredith when she was a baby. That was really what I was expecting. And we may having issues waiting for us down the road. I can already tell when she gets mobile and grabby, he is going to find it upsetting to have his toys messed with.

So life with two is pretty good now that we are sleeping - and Charlie goes to preschool Monday through Thursday to burn some energy. The summer has me in a white hot panic on how I am going to keep him busy. Fridays already feel like the longest day. I may be singing a different tune by late July!

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