…into pieces umpteen times a day.
I’m 2 months into my new role as “mum of two” and I thought it would be getting easier by now. I thought I’d find my groove, thought my 2 year old would be in a good place and thought my newborn would be starting to show personality.
I didn’t think I’d be in tears so much, mentally exhausted, totally lost and feeling so hopeless.
My newborn is not the cruisy, sleepy, tolerant second baby so many people have. The one they feel bad neglecting because they’re amusing their toddler so much, the one that just takes it on the chin and watches indulgently from the capsule/rocker/swing/floormat.
Nope. My newborn is the reflux baby. The colicky baby. The velcro baby. Catnapping baby. Spends most of the day awake, cries hysterically if put down and goes through lots of changes of clothes on the not infrequent ‘spewy days’.
My two year old, bless her heart, is the indulgent one. The one who amuses herself constantly because mummy is stuck on the couch/fitball with the baby, or who, should the baby decide to have a rare daytime nap, runs around frantically just trying to get the ‘must do’ items done. Dinner. Dogs and chooks fed. No time for play before the baby wakes and inevitably cries.
She’s the one who, when this mumma get to the end of her strength and breaks and cries, stops what she is doing and comes over, concerned – “Mummy’s a bit sad?” she’ll ask, and offer a hug or a kiss or simply pat my back to soothe me the way she watches me soothe her baby brother for hours a day.
And then the days that happen, like today, when Miss 2 is unwell and all she wants is my lap and my arms, too, and I try to fit them both and I sometimes can but its so hard and unfair and I am just so close to screaming at them to go away and leave me alone and for the love of life STOP CRYING!!!! And I stare at her frightened, sad face and my heart breaks just a little bit more and so I try again to somehow make it work. She deserves better but sometimes I am not able to be the mum I know she needs and deserves, and it breaks me more.
At night, after a bit of settling, the newborn sleeps well. Waking 2 times a night to feed on average. And its great and I’m truly grateful but shit the days are tough. They break me. And when my husband is away and I don’t even have that reprieve, wowsers…the breaking happens quicker and more.
The relentlessness of this tiny humans need to be with me, on me, is overwhelming. The hopelessness that ensues when even being in my arms is not enough to soothe him is heartbreaking.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve thought “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore, I don’t want to do this anymore.”
There does come a point most days when my little girl is having her nap (god help me the days she decides no nap today!), I get the baby to sleep and I just rest…even if it’s just for half an hour…and I feel calmer, stronger, clearer. My heart comes back together, I watch their little, peaceful, beautiful faces and I know this time, this horrendous, breaking, crushing time, it too will pass. I will make it through.
And I tell myself to remember this truth the next time I’m breaking. And if I can’t, then to reread this here blog post and take comfort, take heart and take a breath….