*Mommy Diaries, star date November 2010What's Way Back Wednesday?
The New and Improved version of the Wilson fam now includes TWO children. That makes me so happy for a multitude of reasons. And...it makes me crazy! How come none of you people told me how hard it is to transition from 1 kid to 2?!
The Captain is a super duper over the top helpful daddy. Yet, even with all his support, we are both still scrambling constantly to give our girls whatever it is they need. Bath time is chaos. Bedtime (well, not for Pearl, but for Sassafras it is) is chaos. Getting dressed to go somewhere is chaos. It takes hours. HOURS. Even with clothes laid out and the bag already packed, it takes HOURS to get these girls dressed and ready to go. I don't understand it. How can the addition of one teeny tiny little girl add so much to our routine? There is always, ALWAYS another mess to clean up. One is making a mess while you are cleaning up some disaster made by the other one. It is unending.
And I won't even tell you about the laundry.
For this I was completely unprepared.
I hear that just as every new mom is unprepared at the life change her first child brings about, every new mom of a 2nd is just as shell-shocked at the chaos of a younger sibling. Our situation is even more intense because our 2nd came to us as a very active, very curious, very mobile 14 month old. We didn't get to ease into having a second, with a tiny little infant who mostly lays still. We jumped full force into toddlerhood, which I've always said was the hardest period in Sass's development. Total, nonstop, mischievous action.
I feel like a total rookie again, trying to figure out the best way to get my kids dressed and out the door for an event (which, no matter how many hours of prepping, is ALWAYS disastrous and we are always even later than we were before, and I'm so sorry if this has affected you but the truth is, it isn't likely to improve anytime soon. Just eat without us, start without us, leave without us...we'll catch up!), the best way to get them both fed in a group setting, the best way to work their schedules around one another so that everyone has what she needs. Everything is a new adventure!
Africa was hard because we were in another world. Coming home has been even harder in some ways because we are trying to find our new normal in our old world. And our new normal is taking way more work than we anticipated! I read on another adoptive mom's blog once that the real work starts when we get them home, and it is oh so very true. Parenting is just hard work, no matter which way you slice it.
I am told by moms with several kids themselves that the hardest transition was going from one child to two, and after that, it's just icing on the cake. I suppose that makes sense. You go from the parents throwing everything they've got into a baby, giving the other breaks here and there, to learning the total absence of breaks in "man on man" combat. Merciful heavens, it makes me wonder what we'll do when they outnumber us?!
Just when we'd finally felt that we had this parenting gig sort of figured out, we start all over again. It's true that every child is different, even biological siblings, but Pearl's needs as an adopted child are extremely unique. Pretty much everything we did with Sassafras we are doing differently with Pearl because of her emotional maturity. The basic principles of our parenting style are unchanged, but the steps in which we carry out those basic goals are looking much different with chica numero dos.
And now, since in the 10 minutes it has taken me to record these thoughts, there are now cheerios all over my kitchen floor.
I have some more chaos to attend to...
*Oh yes, it was a difficult transition. It most surely was. 1-2 was hard, and 2-3 was hard. But every time someone tells me how full my hands are, I tell them so is my heart.