Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Impact of Two

I have many moments at this point where I'm trying to wrap my brain around the concept of having two kids.  I usually don't feel like I have the time or energy for the one I've got, so bringing in another one absolutely boggles my mind.  I'll give myself a little leeway since I know that the adrenaline that goes with having a newborn gives you the ability to do things beyond what you thought possible (hello, 3am feedings!), but it's scary nonetheless.  Still, I've always felt it was important to give Jacob a sibling, and I know that down the road they might take a little of the stress off of us because they'll have each other.  But it's going to be one heck of a change around here.

As I alluded to in my letter to the baby the other day, I'm fully anticipating that Jacob will have some issues adjusting to another person around here...particularly one that is so needy.  He's not very patient most of the time, despite our best efforts, so I don't know how we'll he'll do if he needs to wait while we attend to the baby.  I keep hoping that when he sees that this baby is a living, breathing creature he will realize the importance of sharing this space, but perhaps that is wishful thinking.  He hasn't been particularly interested in the baby so far.  He notices my belly once in a while and was totally shocked when he felt the first real kick ("Is that really my brother?  Really?").  He likes his big boy room and mentions his brother once in a while when it comes to toys, sports, or clothes, but he's pretty uninterested in sharing and still insists he's not going to hold him or feed him.  He hasn't had a lot of exposure to babies in general, so I really have very little idea how he's going to respond to baby stuff like crying, pooping, or eating.  Nursing is a whole other ballgame since he's already aware enough of "boobies", but I'm not going to want to keep covered all the time so he may get quite an education.  Oy.  I think the tough part is that he didn't ask for this.  His world is about to be turned upside-down, by no fault of his own.  To be fair, he's had us to himself for over four years, but it still seems unfair that in the three hours or so that he sees us each night, he's now going to have to share us.  I guess I'll just have to keep that in mind when he's battling a bit...we're all going to need a lot of patience.

As for the new baby, I wonder how much he will get the shaft.  Will I get around to a baby book?  Will I take hundreds of pictures of him?  Will he get the same kind of attention?  He'll never have the same kind of time with us that Jacob did.  Of course, he'll never know any different.  I was the youngest and didn't know the difference, but then again I was a girl after a boy so I may have had unique opportunities simply because of that.  I don't know what it will be like for a second boy.  I worry that the two of them will overwhelm Craig, if nothing else!  They'll like me just fine, but boys love their dad more than anything!  Particularly when their dad works in sports and is a master Lego builder!  Regardless, this baby is getting slightly used parents who aren't going to be quite as energetic as the ones his brother got almost five years ago. 

I worry about us, too, because two kids is a lot to manage.  As it is now we pass Jacob back and forth just to get a few minutes for ourselves.  But what happens when there's two of us and two of them?  How do we get a break?  Will we resent one another when we can't?  Craig works a lot, and much of my spare time is spent doing stuff around the house, so it's a delicate balance.  I'll most likely get an early taste of temporary single parenthood, since Craig will probably have a roadtrip for work pretty quickly after this baby comes, whenever that is.  That will no doubt be an eye-opener, even if I have some help to get me through.  When he gets back from a trip, we'll both be extra exhausted.  What then?

Life with two is going to be different...for all of us.  I'm still very excited, but it's going to be a challenge.  We'll figure it out--not without stress and frustration, I'm sure--but something tells me this little guy (and his big brother) will be well worth it!

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