It’s been ONE WHOLE MONTH (!!!) since little Eli entered our world! The past month has been wonderfully blissful but also extremely overwhelming. Although I wouldn’t classify myself as a ‘rookie’ mom, I’m definitely finding that I’m still a novice when it comes to newborns. It’s been almost three years since we have had a newborn in our home so things that I thought I would remember ‘for the next one’ back then, I’ve found I had forgotten and needed to re-learn. One being sleep deprivation and how to manage my cool. I’ve always been pretty good at functioning on little to no sleep because of my job as a nurse. Shift workers often become accustom to having weird sleep cycles so that coupled with my pregnancy insomnia with Nate made all those sleepless nights (slightly) easier to deal with. It also helped that I did follow people’s advice and napped when he napped. This time however; not only do I have Eli but I also have another little person that still depends on me for everything meaning I can’t just take a quick (or long) nap when the baby goes down during the day. I need to be awake for Nate so at most, I might be able to close my eyes for 15 minutes while he’s watching one or two episodes of Paw Patrol. Being exhausted on a daily basis is definitely the biggest struggle for me right now and in those very first few days being at home I found my patience was running thin.
Typically when I get overly tired, I become irritable and grouchy and I’m not really pleasant to be around. In those first days being home and adjusting to having two kids I remember losing it a time or two on Kurt or Nate. It’s overwhelming enough having one baby but having a toddler who is still very much a ‘momma’s boy’ was hard. Every time I was trying to feed or change Eli, Nate would be right there whining or crying about something he had been told to wait for. Afterwards I would feel painfully guilty at my outburst and because of those damn hormones, usually resulted in me crying and feeling like a total failure as a wife/mother. Once those first few days went by and I started getting a routine in place, I found it much easier to remain calm and keep my head level. Nate’s whining or crying over the little things (like wanting mine or Kurt’s phone even though we’ve told him no) don’t get to me as quickly any more and I don’t feel like my fuse is about to blow every time I see Kurt leaving clothes on the floor instead of throwing them into the laundry basket.
I also forgot just how hard it is some times to change a newborn baby’s diaper. Poor Eli is already sporting some serious diaper rash and I feel like I’m 100% to blame. It’s been such a struggle to try and get diapers to properly fit him because he loves to kick and squirm so I can never get the sides of the diapers into the groin/leg area which in turn means they’re rubbing and causing his legs to become irritated and red. So now it’s even more of a fight with him because he’s sore and uncomfortable during every diaper change. I just feel like I can’t hold his legs are tightly as I could with Nate because he’s just so much smaller and skinnier than Nate was at that age. Even with all his weight gain, he still has these little, scrawny chicken legs and I’m constantly thinking if I push too hard I’m going to hurt him. I’m so used to having Nate (who only wear diapers at bedtime now) just lay down and lift his legs with no fighting or wriggling around that I’ve forgotten just how challenging changing bums can be!
One thing I for sure did not forget though, is how amazing newborn snuggles are. But with this has also lead to some serious feelings of guilt. Guilt that some times Nate has to play by himself while I watch off to the side because I desperately want to cuddle his little brother. Guilt that some times Eli spends more time in his swing than in my arms because I desperately want to give Nate the one on one attention he’s craving. Guilt that some times we don’t even leave the house to get fresh air because I would rather lay on the couch watching a movie with both my boys in my arms. But at the end of the very long and very tiring day, they’re both only going to be this little for a short time so I’d rather spend my days loving on them both before I spend my days desperately wishing they’d fit perfectly tucked into my side or under my chin again.
The past month has definitely been one of adjustments and learning through trial and error but I think I’m finally starting to get used to this ‘mom of two’ thing. The boys and I have gotten into a pretty good routine and I’m slowly becoming more and more aware of what each of Eli’s different cries means which has greatly helped ease my newborn stress levels. I keep reminding myself it’s only been one month so we’re bound to have a few more missteps along the way but so far I think we’re doing pretty great around here!