My baby daughter is three months old today. Before she was born I wasn’t sure I could love my second child as much as my first, but she has stolen my heart completely. She is full of happiness and brings our family so much joy.
I am already halfway through my six month maternity leave, and by this time I was already back at work after my son was born. This time I feel nowhere near ready to go back to work yet, so I’m grateful for the extra time off.
We had family visiting off and on from the time my daughter was born until the new year. We loved all the visitors and help, but I felt like I wasn’t getting the time I needed to bond with my daughter and also to get into a groove with the two kids at home. Finally, in the last month I have felt we are getting time we need together.
My first maternity leave seemed so blissful. I would spend my days breastfeeding my son, lovingly staring at him, playing with him, taking him to baby boot camp workouts with me, and just relaxing and bonding. This maternity leave is a completely different experience now that I have a toddler too. My toddler manages to occupy most of my attention at home and I feel like my infant daughter is getting just enough attention to get by.
My husband was home the first two weeks after my daughter was born and he spent most of his time playing with and distracting my son so I could care for the baby. The first day my husband went back to work was a wake up call for me that I have two kids to keep an eye on now. I was breastfeeding the baby in the living room and I realized I hadn’t seen my son since I started feeding her and he was being pretty quiet.
Finally, I heard his feet pitter pattering around the house so I called him to come into the living room with me. He ran into the room and proudly announced, “Mama, I am naked!”. He was completely naked, he had even removed his diaper! This was the first time he’d ever done anything like that and of course I couldn’t move or do anything about it because I was breastfeeding my daughter. I just silently hoped he wouldn’t pee or poop in the house before I could get him dressed. Luckily that incident ended without any accidents and I can laugh about it now.
I quickly learned after that first day to turn on a TV show for my son to watch while I breastfeed my daughter so I know where he is and what he’s doing. He loves it because he doesn’t get to watch TV very often so he really looks forward to his one or two shows a day on the days he isn’t in school. It is helpful that my son is in school three mornings a week, which allows me to have much needed alone time with my baby daughter. It is so nice to be able to breastfeed her quietly alone together without her brother yelling for my attention. I also like to take her shopping, and we do yoga and tummy time together.
I have noticed how much my son loves his little sister. Although he can be wild and loud (what toddler isn’t, though?), he really cares for her. He will come with me to change her diaper and pick out a new diaper for her. He also loves selecting her clothes for the day and telling me how cute she looks. He will coo at her, sing her songs, read her books, and he even reminds me to put her down for tummy time while he’s playing. If I try to put him down for a nap or wake him up without her in my arms, he always immediately asks me where she is.
Before the baby was born I was worried the my son wouldn’t like the baby or he would be jealous of the baby. I am so relieved that hasn’t been the case. He has been a bit louder and had more tantrums than before she was born and I know this is his way of getting our attention. It works and we (especially my husband) usually spend most of our time home focused on him.
My son has always been a Daddy’s boy and now that I have to spend most of my time with the baby he has become even more attached to his Dad. I love their sweet bond, but sometimes I feel jealous of how close they are. I hope that as my daughter grows she and I will have a similar bond to the one they share. I know my husband is feeling similar jealousy to me with our baby daughter because he can’t spend as much time holding her as he’d like because my son wants all of his attention.
About a month ago, my daughter started to make little squeaking noises to get our attention if we start to ignored her. She won’t let us forget about her or ignore her just because there is an attention grabbing big brother around. I love that about her. She doesn’t cry or whine about much, so I don’t mind at all when she reminds me to give her lots of attention because she definitely deserves it!
There have been a few times I get distracted by her big brother and then I will turn back to baby sister and see her laying next to me with a huge smile on her face. She is so happy it melts my heart, but I also feel a twinge of guilt wondering how long she had been smiling at me before I finally turned and saw it. How many of her sweet moments am I missing due to other distractions? For the last few weeks I have been trying to commit to focusing more on her. Putting my phone down while we are together, making sure she is involved too when I play with her brother, and when we’re alone I try to just spend time talking to her and playing.
Did you find the transition from one to two kids difficult at home? Did you feel you needed more time to get into a grove with two?