So everyone knows that a few weeks before Christmas we welcomed a little girl to our family. Soon after I talked about how it really does take a village to raise children. Y’all. On
some most days, I need way more than a village. I need a village, an endless supply of wine, seven diet cokes, a therapist and the promise that one day I might get enough time to myself to actually consume just one glass of wine. Oh, and an iced coffee would help, too.
It’s hard. Way hard. Harder than I ever thought it would be. It’s kind of like all of those things that happen during labor, delivery and the glorious postpartum period that no one talks about until you’re in “The Club.” But once you’re in “The Club,” then suddenly everyone’s discussing what actually happens during the miraculous process of pregnancy and childbirth. And you halfway want to be angry that your best friend didn’t let you in on these little details, but then you realize that you’re probably better off just learning about it on your own. Having two under two is pretty much the same.
When I was pregnant, all of our friends and family were elated for us. “Congratulations!” “You’re going to be busy but blessed!” “It’s so great that they are going to be close in age!” “The days are long but the years are short!” “We had 3 in diapers at one point, and I miss those days!” (It should be noted that that last comment came from someone who likely doesn’t actually remember what having one kid in diapers is like much less three. Time heals all wounds, I suppose!)
And let me tell you. We ARE busy but blessed. I love that our son will be able to protect his little sister in high school and beyond. Some days feel like they are 98 hours long, yet I find myself scratching my head at how our baby is turning 2 in a few days. Our daughter just grew out of her newborn diapers and I might have shed some tears. I know that I will miss these days.
I will miss Saturdays spent at the zoo listening to our son’s amazement as he sees the “ooh-ahhs” (monkeys), “white tiger ROARRRR” and “al-ga-ters.” Even if it took an act of Congress to get there and the car ride home consisted of two screaming children, I will miss it. I’ll miss the sound of him opening the sippy cup drawer and pleading for apple juice even if it comes at the most inopportune time like when I’m feeding his sister and have zero hands. I’ll miss his sticky fingers covered in his beloved king cake even when he smears them along the walls (that’s what Magic Erasers are for – that crap works!). I’ll miss his excitement from the back seat at seeing a “choo choo” even though that %#&$@&$% “choo choo” is going to make us late to school – again – and lead to the newborn screaming because heaven forbid the car stops. I think I might even miss the newborn screaming … once I’ve consumed my endless wine supply and she’s gone off to college, that is.
So when people ask me how we’re doing, I don’t sugar coat it. I always respond with two words: it’s hard. Because it is. How else can one describe the immense responsibility of caring for two small children who can do nothing for themselves? It’s a miracle if we make it through the day in one piece (and yesterday we actually didn’t; we ended up at Children’s for my son’s busted chin that required treatment), much less teach them grace, humility and manners along the way.
Transitioning from 1 to 2 was – and will continue to be – hard. The best advice I have for those of you out there that are wondering whether to expand your family is a quote that someone once shared with me (she has four girls and a fifth on the way!) … “if you think my hands are full, you should see my heart.”
And my wine glass.