During your first pregnancy, everyone wants to give you advice. People are bursting at the seams to share their tried and true parenting hacks with you. They will tell you that you absolutely-without-a-doubt must breastfeed, or give formula, or co-sleep, or sleep train immediately, or whatever the parenting trend is at the time.
When you’re carrying your second child, the wellspring of advice dries up. People either sympathize with you, or whisper cautionary tales.
One additional person triples the wash load
They’ll tell you about everything sibling rivalries, and how the work doesn’t just double, it increases exponentially, “One is like one, but two is like twenty.” Continue reading
There is something that happens when you become a parent. Some weird thing that changes your relationship with the space time continuum. It’s like, time no longer moves as it once did. Don’t believe me? Ask any parent you know and they will tell you that once you have kids, time loses all meaning.
I mention this fact, because today is the 4th of July. Which is odd, since I swear St. Paddy’s Day was only yesterday.
The fourth has always felt like summer’s half way point to me. Just like Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, the Fourth of July is the unofficial middle. Continue reading
They say the most stressful things the average person experiences in life are death, moving, and beginning a new job. Actually, they say that all of those things are pretty much interchangeable on the stress-o-meter (a word that I just made up but like to assume measures stress in wine bottles consumed). I don’t know who they are, but they’re right. Those things are very stressful. But what about when you are going through all three of them at the same time? And, you also have a new baby? Where does that register on the old stress-o-meter?
Imagine knowing you are packing up to leave the last place your loved one lived. Or beginning a new career at 35. How about touring house after house while holding onto a sticky toddler with one arm and cradling a newborn with the other… stress-ful.
Being a new mom is hard. You’re tired, full of raging hormones, and you may or may not be so sleep deprived that you’re nearing a mental breakdown.
And that’s after spending the past 40 weeks being tired, full of hormones, and sleep deprived.
Being a new mom is hard… wait, I think I said that already… Continue reading
Last night my daughter did the thing that we don’t speak of. You know the thing. The thing that all parents spend the first few weeks daydreaming about (because, you know, no nighttime dreaming takes place).
It’s the thing that you inevitably spend months Googling, wondering when it will finally happen, and eventually end up falling into a weary acceptance of.
You know, that thing. Continue reading
Becoming a mother has been one of the most rewarding (awful), magical (terrifying), and amazing things that has ever happened to me. I cannot even begin to fully explain the range of emotions that it fills me with every single day.
It also gives me a whole new appreciation for my own mother. I see things so much differently now. It’s as though I’ve moved across the street. The view is still familiar– I know this house, and these neighbors, but I see them in an entirely different way. Continue reading
I’m sitting in the driver’s seat. My two year old is in the back in her car seat, losing her ever loving mind because her shoe came off.
Actually, her shoe didn’t come off, she took it off. Then she threw it onto the floor. Now she’s filled with the burning rage of a thousand suns because she only has one shoe on. She can’t reach the one on the floor to put it back on and she can’t remove the second one and throw it as well.
I’m parked here because I’m meeting a stranger to pick up Girl Scout cookies, well the why isn’t as important as the fact that I’m stuck here for at least ten more minutes. My daughter, who is now screaming for me to drive away, doesn’t care why we’re here. She just wants us to go.
My entire life I have heard of The Curse of the Second Child. It’s like The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb, but with less carnage and more apathy. At least, that’s my take…
I can remember overhearing parents talk about it when I was a child, myself. Then, as I grew older and my friends became parents, I would hear them joke about it.
The second child just isn’t as big of a deal as the first… they’d say.
Don’t mind so-and-so, she just has second kid problems…
The theory was that you had already spent all of your excitement/energy on the first kid, so when the second one rolls around it’s just not that big of a deal. Continue reading
There is a reason why people clean when they grieve. I think part of it is a need to be doing something mundane and normal. Part of it also has to do with wanting to be in control of something, anything, when everything else seems so profoundly out of your control.
The honorary hospice nurse
These thoughts are knocking around in my head as I spend two hours walking through my kitchen rearranging flowers and food and wiping down every surface I can reach despite the size of my ever growing belly.
I wipe, I rearrange, I cry.
That’s been my routine since I woke up today, in this, the first day in my new normal.