For a lot of people, the moment their first child is born is the moment their life changes forever. And while the same could also be said for myself, the real rude awakening came when baby #2 arrived.
Before Chloe, my firstborn, people would tell me just how difficult it was going to be, being home with a baby, the sleepless nights, the endless cries. However, it was not like that for me. I remember thinking, “is THIS what everybody was warning me about?!” Having Chloe in our lives seemed, dare I say, easy!! I feel guilty even saying it as I know A LOT of moms who didn’t have it so simple. But it was for me. We basically continued our life as it was pre-Chloe. We went out for dinner, would meet friends for happy hour, hosted quite frequently, all the while with Chloe in tow. No problem.
And then came James. This beautiful bundle of joy arrived when Chloe was 27 months old. THIS was the moment that I realized my life as I had known it had forever been altered.
After I brought James home from the hospital, once all the grandparents had left to return to their own homes (in other countries), the day arrived when I thought, “ok, I’m going to take the children out, grab my usual coffee and head to the playground.”
It took me nearly 2 hours to get out the door🙄.
“Is it ALWAYS going to be like this?!” I thought in utter desperation. “I just don’t know if I can do this.” Me! Little Miss ‘I can do anything’. I felt like a complete failure.
After about 20 minutes at the playground, I felt completely overwhelmed, defeated. I attempted to gather my children and headed off towards home, a feat that would prove to be another challenge that to this day remains a work-in-progress.
I recall recounting my tale of the day to my husband later that night. I broke down in tears. I took up residence in self-pity city for a while, and then I kicked myself in the ass, thinking, “I WILL conquer this.”
It took weeks of trial and error, attempts and failures, many pow-wows with my cherished mama tribe, words of advice, tears of laughter and tears of frustration. But I did it. I had nearly mastered the art of leaving the house.
Yay! Pat on the back! I can leave the house! Then came the word of the year: “No!”, toddler sleep regression, potty training, and moving to another country, all with a newborn to tend to.
It’s a day-by-day learning process. And while I still have my struggles, I have learned that there are always tricks and methods to make things easier. And when things just don’t go your way, and there will be days that they won’t, try, try to just laugh it off. It’s the only way. Or I have found that a glass of wine works well😉.
I have worn many hats in my life, but motherhood, by far, has proven to be the most challenging yet the most rewarding, the most tiresome yet the most invigorating experience I have had and will ever have. I will continue to learn, continue to falter, continue to get up again and conquer.