For those of you that don’t know, I am a mom of a 2-year-old little girl (26 months to be exact) and a 2 month-old little boy. I gave birth to my son Rocco early morning on February 28th, 2017. Even though it was one of the best days of my life, I can’t deny the fear and anxiety that I felt throughout my entire pregnancy continued through the first month postpartum. I feared not being able to handle a toddler and a newborn at the same time. I was scared of being constantly tired and aging quicker than I ever thought. However, when I saw my son’s face, I knew deep inside my heart that everything would be just fine. I felt some sort of reassurance – I felt peace.
Coming home was challenging, especially because the C-Section pain was a bit more overwhelming than I remembered. For some reason, I felt compelled to try harder and to ignore the throbbing pain. I desired a speedy recovery. I wanted to feel normal again. I wanted to be able to cook, clean my own home, resume playtime with my daughter, and date nights with my husband. I wanted to look good and feel sexy again. I didn’t want to seem like a hot mess in front of my husband (even though that thought never crossed his mind). I wanted, or should I say needed to be myself again. The urge of recovering was creating a huge amount of stress and pressure in my life. I felt useless, overweight, ugly, and tired – exhausted actually. The more I realized how slow time was passing by and how slow I was actually recovering, I began seeing life with “dark glasses” (as my mom likes to refer to it).
With my emotions and feelings being out of whack, I began noticing that I was actually falling into “Postpartum Depression”. Everything made me cry and everything seemed difficult and overwhelming. I am very blessed to have a husband that was extremely patient and understanding throughout the whole process and a mother-in-law that basically took over my chores for a whole month. Although everything and everybody seemed to be “normal” around me, I felt like my world was crumbling apart. I simply couldn’t envision how life could get any easier with two kids. I kept my feelings and emotions to myself and cried almost every night in the shower. In a way, my mind tricked me to believe that I was failing as a mother and as a wife.
There was so much tension in my house because my mother-in-law wanted to step out of the house and get some fresh air, (which I don’t blame her), but I couldn’t get my shit together to actually do it. Panic took over me. I vividly remember the anxiety I felt when I challenged myself to leave the house with the kids for the first time. I meticulously planned a “simple” trip to the grocery store. I packed snacks, bottles, diapers, toys, and anything you could think of just in case I needed it. I made sure both kids were fed before leaving in order to buy myself more time. I got the kids in the car and rushed to the grocery store, which is literally 3-4 blocks away from our house. I parked right next to the grocery cart corral and sat in the car trying to figure out how to get both kids in the store. I certainly didn’t want to take Rocco out of his car seat because he had just fallen asleep so I sat Julianna down and placed the car seat inside the grocery cart. I walked in the store and rushed through every isle with fear on my face hoping that they wouldn’t lose their minds right there and then. I quietly squeezed in as many items as I could around the car seat and rushed to the cash register. I couldn’t help but stare at the number of products that needed to be scanned while also looking at my kids as if they were both ticking time bombs. Of course, it never fails to pick the slowest lane with the most complicated customer ahead of you when you’re in an absolute hurry. Fortunately, we got out of there without an issue and made it safely back home in one piece. I’ve never been happier to be home and to have had accomplished such a difficult task; however, I kept thinking to myself: never again.
Days and weeks went by feeling this way, which eventually made me seclude myself from any social contact in the outside world. This made matters worse because I was stuck in a monotonous daily routine. I felt lonely. I felt like nobody understood what I was going through. I didn’t feel like I received empathy from anybody since they were all expecting me to step up and play my role. Plus, millions of mothers do this stuff every day; not only with 2 kids but also with 4 or more. Life surely doesn’t stop because you can’t get your head and thoughts right. You kinda just have to shake it off and pull through. My daughter was in desperate need of attention and I was frustrated with myself because I couldn’t figure out how to juggle everything at the same time. I wanted to peacefully breastfeed my newborn, but random toddler tantrums were happening throughout the day, which made me wish I had a built-in “eject button” so I could use it in the case of an emergency. Tantrums are an emergency.
This is when I decided to put my big girl pants on and started taking responsibility for my life. I knew I needed time to mentally and emotionally recover so I asked my husband to help me carve some time out of the day so I could dedicate it to myself. I began exercising which I knew would help me drain some energy and stress. Within days, I began feeling significantly better. I felt more at ease and with a clearer mind. I felt like I was slowly being myself again. I started dedicating more time to my daughter, which consequently helped improve her mood as well. I had to keep reminding myself that my newborn son needed very minimal attention from me since he would sleep 80% of the day. I also began creating a schedule for my newborn, which he has adapted to amazingly well so far. I began feeling more confident with my role and I knew exactly what needed to be done. I also promoted my daughter as my #1 helper. I acknowledged her needs way more than before and began encouraging her to share with her little brother as much as she could. I could tell she felt empowered. She felt older. She felt like “mommy’s little helper”.
So if you’re wondering how life is with 2 kids, I can say that it’s definitely challenging at the beginning but so worth it once you get the hang of it. It takes some time to find a groove and a perfect schedule. We all need time to adjust to the “new normal”. Just remember that we are powerful women and we are able to figure it out in no time. My son is 2 months old now and I am peacefully writing this blog post as both of my kids nap at the same time. Yes. At the same time. I sipped on my coffee, had a peaceful lunch, and was able to look good for my husband before he comes home from work.
My son has a bedtime schedule now and has been sleeping between 6-9 hours straight at night. This schedule has also given me the opportunity to spend some quiet, quality time with my husband, which we definitely need. I now feel stronger. I feel more confident. I feel successful. I feel blessed.
Even though it isn’t easy at first, everything falls into place later. Be patient with yourself. Be kind. Every little thing matters. The work you are doing matters. The sacrifices made matter. Don’t let your mind or anybody tell you otherwise. Everything will make sense soon and I’m sure you wouldn’t change it for the world. Have this post as a reassurance: it gets sweeter. I promise.