|Jameson on the night before he turned 6 weeks old.|
Now, I reflect.
To say that going from one to two kids is "tough", would be a major understatement. These past six weeks have been six of the most challenging, exhausting, and emotional weeks of my life. I am still figuring out my "groove" as a mom of two, which has come at a time of SO much change in our family. We've been living in a constant construction zone, as we're remodeling our house. We moved back to Minnesota from Singapore. Papa Saigh started a new job, which has him traveling and working long hours. All of this, on TOP of welcoming a newborn into our family.
The past six weeks have been anything but easy.
While I'm loving every baby snuggle, and I'm trying to savor every precious moment with our new baby boy, I struggle with how to "manage" the 4-year-old. Linna turning four, came with a whole new set of challenges. She's seriously like an emotional teenager, with the energy of a puppy. I now know what it feels like to be called "the most horrible mom in the world", have a door slammed in my face, and be screamed at in public... By a FOUR YEAR OLD! The "f*cking fours" (as I've heard that this age is referred to) have turned our angelic, happy, and sweet girl, into a challenging little human. She knows EVERY one of my buttons, and pushes them often. On more than one occasion, Linna has sent this sleep-deprived and hormonal mama, running to the bathroom in tears. Add my leaking, sore boobs, and a crying, poop-exploding newborn into the mix, and you can see why I'm typically seen looking like a walking zombie.
|Linna, pushing her baby brother in the Doona carseat/stroller into school. I don't know|
how I'd survive without this thing, having two kids.
|So tired, but so cute in their Hanna Andersson Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve in Iowa.|
The stress of the holidays, our home construction, pumping my massive boobs every three hours, trying to heal my nether-regions, driving the 4-year-old to preschool and her overwhelming number of activities, keeping on top of the laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, etc., all started to get to be a bit too much for this mama to handle. I started taking my frustrations out on Papa Saigh, who I should be looking to as my teammate. My patience with the 4-year-old was slim to none, and I found it difficult to even enjoy my baby boy. I felt so much guilt for not being able to give all my attention to the 4-year-old, as that is what she's used to. I needed some help before I went down the postpartum depression path a second time, and had to surrender to the realization that I can't do it all.
While I still struggle with asking for and accepting help, I've been leaning on family a lot to help with Linna. I've realized that when she and I are together for too long, we don't enjoy our time together. I don't know what it is about age four, but it's just not my favorite age. I'm so thankful to my mom for driving Linna to and from preschool some days during the week, and taking her back to their house for some grandparent time. Linna LOVES going to her Nana and Bompa's house, and this time spent apart has been really good for both of us. I can spend that time enjoying Baby Jimmy, while Linna enjoys time with other people. I'm still struggling with the "guilt" I feel when I need time away from Linna, but I know it's normal. We also hired a cleaner to come to the house every two weeks, which has been a BIG help. I'm a complete "neat freak", so I'm slowly (VERY slowly) learning to not sweat the small stuff when it comes to everyday messes and organization. Again, another big struggle for me, but I need to let our kids be kids, enjoy my time with them, and worry about the messes later.
I've had a meltdown or two with Papa Saigh, and have had a few ugly cries while laying in bed with the four-year-old, or Baby Jimmy. These cry-fests come out of nowhere, but I feel so much better when I just let it all out.
|Mama Saigh wearing Baby Jimmy while organizing our disaster of an unfinished basement.|
|Papa Saigh and Jameson relaxing.|
Though the last six weeks have been pretty chaotic, Baby Jimmy proves to be the most easy-going little guy. His big sister was the exact same way when she a baby, which I am SO thankful for. I need to remind myself every day how lucky I am to have a 4-year-old who absolutally loves her baby brother, and a baby boy who just goes with the flow. I'm learning to relax when Linna wants to hang ALL OVER her baby brother whenever the attention is on him. She really is the best big sister. However, I am beyond ready for kindergarten to start in August:)
At six weeks old, Baby Jimmy is sleeping four to six-hour stretches at night, and eating about three to four ounces whenever he's hungry. I'm pumping and bottle-feeding him, as I did with Linna (my kids just don't like to eat straight from the source, I guess). At two-weeks old, Jimmy was 8 lbs. 10 oz., and he'll have his next weigh-in at his two-month pediatrician visit. He's an absolute tank, and loves to eat, sleep, and poop, so I'm guessing he's around 12 lbs. We've started transitioning him to the Bassinest when he's sleeping at night, but he's been sleeping with me in our bed, while Papa Saigh sleeps with Linna in her bed. There have been a couple nights where Linna has missed her mama at night, so I sleep with my two babies in our bed. While I love having my babies in bed with me, I hate that Jimmy wakes Linna up when he gets up around 4 a.m. to eat. She wants to help me with the baby, and gets super upset when I tell her that she needs to go back to sleep. There's been a lot of Mama and Papa Saigh playing musical beds over the last month. Baby Jimmy is also still sleeping a lot during the day, and grunts a when he sleeps at night (he's a gassy boy). Linna goes to bed at 6:30/7 p.m., and I go to sleep with Jimmy around 10:30/11 p.m. Whenever he gets up to eat (usually around 4 a.m.), I pump while I feed and change him, and he usually falls right back to sleep until we all wake up around 7:30 a.m. (Jimmy sleeps in until about 9 a.m. or so). Over Christmas, I took advantage of my in-laws offering to wake up with Jimmy, so I could sleep with Linna and Papa Saigh.
I can honestly say that I was SO much more stressed out as a new mom when Linna was a baby, but I've relaxed about some of those stresses when Jimmy was born. I don't freak out if I don't pump EVERY three hours, I don't stress about every rash Jimmy gets, and I've become less of a helicopter mom with Linna (I've had to because I don't have time to be). Going from one to two kids forces a person to let go of a lot of things, which has been a big struggle for me. While I eventually want to go back to work, I'm still trying to figure out how to get to that point. I honestly don't know how working parents do it. I'm so thankful to have a husband that works his ass off to provide for our family, allowing me to be home with the kids.
|Jimmy's first visit with Santa. Linna is a pro!|
|Both of my babies in the same pose at just a few days old.|
I'm sure that with time, things will become "easier". But right now, I count down the minutes until "wine-o'clock" and bedtime. Let's face it, sleep is hard to come by these days, and when I find time for it, there's a million things I could be checking off my "to-do" list during that time. I learned quickly after having Linna that sleep is incredibly important, so I'm taking every bit of help that's offered to me these days. Papa Saigh and I are trying our best to take time out for each other, and appreciate what each of us is doing for our family every day. Again, not an easy thing to do when emotions are running high, our house is in a constant state of construction, and there's two little ones that need our attention. I just have to keep remembering that before we know it, we'll have two grown kids, and we'll be wishing for just one more newborn cuddle, or funny 4-year-old story. They grow up way too fast, and I need to remind myself to live in the moment, and just let go and ENJOY the craziness.
PS, please send food... and wine.