This post is one of a series of posts I jotted down in weeks just after Ollie was born. My head was awash with emotions adjusting to becoming a mum of two and whilst I found writing my feelings down helped to process everything, I didn’t publish my thoughts at that point because I wanted to give myself time to make sense of it all. You can find the follow up post to this one here: Two months in, whats changed?
T oday marks the start of the third week of parenting two children… a toddler and a newborn and what a crazy two weeks it has been!
My parents arrived last Monday and Stu took the first week off work, so I feel like I haven’t really got down to the nitty gritty of parenting two on my own just yet. Yet even with the extra help, its been a much bigger change than I ever could have imagined.
Ollie the newborn has been a dream. He’s such a chilled out little baby and took to feeding straight away so I’ve found that as long as I keep his tummy full and his nappy dry he’s a happy little boy.
Ettie on the other hand has ramped up her energy levels tenfold and its been hard to keep up. She’s such a character tearing around the house wanting us to ‘play prams’ but I’m so thankful others are around to help as I’m not sure how I would cope with feeding Ollie (who is a hungry boy) and finding time to play with her if I was on my own…. The problem is I just want to be with her all the time! Seeing her play and not be able to join in because I’m feeding Ollie is really pulling at my heart strings.
I really wasn’t really expecting to feel any mum guilt when Ollie was born. I knew things would change and that we’d have to give Ettie extra cuddles to make sure she didn’t feel abandoned, but because I’ve tried to include her in the pregnancy the whole way through, I naively thought that double the babies would equal double the love and that would be that. The problem is I’m finding it really difficult to accept that I can no longer focus 100% of my attention on Ettie and it makes me feel so guilty. I’m so worried about her feeling left out, that sometimes I pick Ollie up at the end of the day and realise that I haven’t really looked at him, other than to feed and it makes me feel so sad. When Ettie was first born, I spent my time in a blissful newborn bubble just breathing up her scent and soaking her in. I wholeheartedly expected the experience to be the same the second time around, but I find myself so concerned about Etties feelings, that I haven’t given myself time to get to know Ollie and I’m worried he’ll know that and feel neglected in some way.
Its been the most incredible two years since my motherhood journey began and I’ve loved every moment of being Ettie’s Mummy, to the point where I think I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t slightly mourning the fact that our time together as a twosome is now over. Being Etties Mummy has become part of who I am. I know some Mums want to be known as more than a mother, and maybe that will come later for me, but at the moment I’m ‘Ettie’s Mummy’ and I’m incredibly proud of that. Since becoming a Mum of two, I feel like I need to find myself a new identity, that of a mother of two and Mum to a boy!
Everything is different now. We can’t just leave the house to go off on an adventure at the drop of a hat because we need to make sure Ollie is fed and changed first… and that’s pretty stressful with a two year old demanding to leave the house that instant! Then even when we get somewhere, its not the carefree time we used to have, because my attention needs to be on Ollie because he is the smallest and I’m finding that hard to take in. I hope Ettie doesn’t get bored of me.
I’ve got a heart full of love and a brain full of fear with thoughts pinging through my head daily questioning things like ‘can I do this?’, ‘have I taken on too much?’ and ‘I haven’t got enough arms!’.
Ettie has been so good with her little brother, fascinated by his every move. She won’t even consider going anywhere without him, but at the same time I know she is a little unsure about sharing her mum. In the past two weeks there have been a couple of nights where I wasn’t able to put her to bed because I needed to feed Ollie. This made me sad because bedtime has always been my favourite part of the day where we’d have a little chat and read a story cuddled up together. On those nights I’ve found myself sneaking into her room for extra cuddles once she was asleep, so scared that those times together are now over.
Our family has grown an extra person and we are all so lucky, fulfilled and hopelessly in love with our little Ollie, but at the same time I hope this transition period is over soon as Mummys heart is bursting with so much love, every day is a bit of a roller-coaster.