Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Joys of Two

This is my first week alone with the two kids. It has been far harder, far more exhausting and far more overwhelming than I ever could have anticipated. Two children, 18 months apart is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

I spend a lot of my day wondering how it is that people do this all the time. I see mothers of two constantly and they seem almost happy, not insane and not like they might burst into tears at any moment. Maybe it is just because I am postpartum or maybe I am just not cut out for this, but I am a total mess. I feel like I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off most days.

Sam needs help with everything. She eats play-doh, she demands constant attention, she needs help with her shoes, her clothes, her food. She cannot be alone. She tries to hit the baby. Alan needs to eat every five seconds and never wants to be put down. When they are both awake, they often cry simultaneously. All of this on roughly four hours of broken sleep per night and a ton of work due next week. I.Am.In.Hell.

I have come to the conclusion that doing this alone is insane. So I am hiring extra help. A postpartum doula starts next week for the next four weeks and our favorite babysitter starts again on Sept. 1. Thank G-d for that. I realize most people have family who can help but besides my sister and my parents hiring the doula (partially), we are on our own.

I had no idea how difficult two would really be, but now that I am here, I am realizing why some people say four years is ideal between children.

I hold on to the hope that things will improve. Actually, I know they will. This is the hard part, the most intense part of the storm. But eventually, we will get through it and have two relatively self-sufficient toddlers who can entertain eachother.

Harder now, easier in the long run. I choose this as my mantra.


M said...

I'm sorry it's so hard. I can only imagine. Sometimes one is hard enough and I wonder if I'm cut out for ONE. And while this is no consolation-- it's kinda like child birth. You fear it and then think that millions of women do this multiple times every day and they survive. You can too!

Kristi said...

There is definitely something to be said for having kids spaced 4 years apart. I think you're very smart for sending out the SOS now. I need to learn (fast) how to do that myself. I'm hoping things get better for you really soon.

Lis Garrett said...

GOOD FOR YOU for asking for help!! After Jacob was born and my husband went back to work (after being home a mere few days), I was completely alone. I was a mess for about the first 3 months and just barely feeling like I was keeping it together. Almost 7 years later, and those two (Hannah & Jacob) are STILL a challenge.

Having multiple children never gets easy; the challenges are always there, although they are different. However, I honestly think the stage you are at right now is the most difficult, because it feels the most confining. It can only get better. I have a friend whose kids are 18 months apart, and they get along fantastically now. (girl and boy, just like you)

You will ABSOLUTELY get through this!!! You strike me as being a very strong and determined person.

Having a doula and babysitter will be a great respite for you and allow you to focus on yourself and your work a little bit.

Why didn't I think of that idea?!