When my daughter was born, my first words were: “give her to me!” I held her and knew I would never let go again.
My daughter was a strong character from the get go. From her first day she demanded everyone’s full attention. She sucked life in with everything she could and consequently she would exhaust herself so much with all the impressions during the day that in the evenings she would regularly have a one to two hour screaming fits until she could settle down to sleep. After 6 months she started crawling and with her new found autonomy things became easier for us. Now a toddler she is still very strong willed and very much the little Persian Drama Queen. At this point my husband and I felt like war veterans. Surely nothing could faze us after that.
So when I got pregnant slightly faster than intended, I wasn’t worried at all. I attended pregnancy classes and sort of knowingly smirked at first time moms with a “you know nothing, Jon Snow” attitude. But really I knew nothing.
The birth of my son was different. It wasn’t love at first sight like it was with my daughter. Frankly ,I was not prepared that I wouldn’t feel exactly the same as I had the first time. I had heard of people worrying that they wouldn’t love the second child as much as their first, but I never even considered that that could be an option. He was just perfect and healthy with a full head of dark hair. But what was hitting me was grief over the loss of my close relationship to my daughter. Like I hadn’t known the past nine months that nothing would be the same again.
My daughter on the other hand was in love with him from the start. When she came to the hospital, she didn’t even look at me but pushed me aside to get to her little brother. In fact, she didn’t even look at me for the next month or so. As much as the little one was an utter dream, I could barely recognise my daughter anymore. Just to top it all off, because when it rains, it pours, straight out of hospital my daughter got an ear infection and me sinusitis. I barely remember the first two months as it all seemed like a big blur of trying to survive. Thankfully, my husband was at home as well. Somehow it still feels like you are outnumbered as an adult. Hubby was greatly relieved to be allowed back to work and me very jealous.
There is no sugar coating it. Having two under twos is rough. A lot of things that were so important when you only had one becomes trivial. I no longer know how many weeks my son is like I did the first time round. I gave up on perfection. If both of them are dressed adequately for the weather, fed and I am out of the house with a correctly packed diaper bag I am super mom. Who cares if I have showered or one of the kids is still in Pyjamas? A full night of sleep feels like a Spa break and I am getting more of them now. Slowly but surely my husband and I are human again. Of course there are still those really stressful moments, when you haven’t had any sleep the night, husband is on a conf call, the baby is hungry and the toddler wants to wear her summer sandals in winter and nothing else. But we’re veterans, right? Perhaps even better parents because we are forced to just let it go and get help when we need it. And by the way now I am utterly smitten with my son.