Inspired by this article, I’ve decided to write a letter to my future self of two kids (due date less than 12 weeks away!)
Dear Mama of Two:
Can you read this letter okay? Is it blurry and far away? If so, that’s totally normal, it’s just the sleep deprivation. I can imagine that you are probably reading this late at night. It might be ten or even eleven, and you’ve finally found that moment to yourself that you craved all day long. Charley is most likely in bed, and the baby is sleeping (I hope), for at least a few hours. Maybe you have printed this letter out and are reading it in the bath, in which case, I commend you on that excellent choice. I hope there are bubbles.
I’m sure you have already been torn in a million different directions. That you have already had times where the baby has a giant blowout that needs to be changed, and your toddler is determined to fill his own water cup in the kitchen, and you will be standing next to the changer, in your pajamas from yesterday wondering how you got there. And that’s okay too. Although try to wash your hair every once in awhile. If you don’t leave the house Monday thru Friday, at least try to sit on the porch in the sunshine, even if it’s too hot, even if it’s a mess. When they grow up no one will remember all those dishes that didn’t get done and how the floor was covered with a thin layer of dog hair and dust. They won’t remember that at first you hated this house and wanted to change so many things about it, they will only remember that it is home.
Know that you are strong, but know that Charley is strong too. You will need to tell him to wait, for your attention, for a different video, for apples to be cut. And slowly, he will understand. Know that he is an incredible little independent person. He WANTS to do everything himself; he doesn’t need your help mama! So, let him, even if that means you are cleaning up twice the amount of messes, he will grow more independent and so will you.
Be sure to step away from the baby. Actually the best time to step away from the baby isn’t when he is screaming and upset (you will want to run away then) but when he is calm and distracted. Go to yoga, go to Starbucks, try to remember that you are more than just a mama. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for an hour and you think about both of them the entire time, it will help.
It may take awhile to get into your new routine, but it will come. And once you have mastered the juggle you will wonder why you even wanted to work in the first place. For awhile you will forget about moving and finding your dream job, but just remember to write. Write about those first hours, days, weeks; they will never be the same. Know that soon you will have another little person, who blows you kisses and says “Tank you!” all the time unprompted. He won’t be an incapable infant for long, soon you will have two boys to love.
It’s OK if you don’t fall in love right away. It’s OK if you don’t breastfeed. It’s OK if you don’t use cloth diapers. Most of all stop worrying and comparing yourself to other moms. Know that you have done this before, successfully and well I might add looking at the smile on your toddler’s face. Trust yourself, you know what you are doing. I'll see you on the other side, when you feel like yourself, because it will happen once again.
Shannon, Mama of One