Learning to Adapt

Two kidsI knew having another baby would be tough: no sleep, constant breast feeding. I also knew it would suck tenfold having a toddler at the same time. Try to pour apple juice with one hand while a baby is nursing at your boob with the other hand, while a toddler screams he wants pretzels and not animal crackers, without losing your mind.

At the first pediatrician appointment when my newborn was just 5 days old, I pretty much cried the entire time. This prompted a referral to a psychologist who, because of the nurse’s concerns, saw me an insurance-defying two days, where I cried that entire appointment as well. By Friday, when I went back to the pediatrician, and continued to blubber the entire conversation, I knew something was wrong.

I needed help.

At this point, my husband was back at work and no family member had called that week to see how I was doing with my c-section recovery, two hernias, two dogs that were crapping all over the place, and a newborn that was awake from 6pm-4am, and a toddler that was awake from 6am-8pm. (You do the math.)

I was doing laundry and making meals within two days of arriving home from the hospital, and wasn’t too shocked that on two occasions I need help getting up from a chair because I had back seizures. I was popping Motrin like it was no tomorrow, and dealing with a couple of professional issues where people were causing me unnecessary grief to boot. I wanted to drive to another state, check into a Motel6 and hope no one would find me.

We decided to take the pediatrician’s, nurse’s and shrink’s advice, and hire a short-term nanny. So we reached out to a woman that our neighbor had used & was known by others in the neighborhood.

She sucked.

But I decided to put up with it because I was so exhausted. However, when I cut back her hours going into the following week because I wanted to visit a friend one of the days, she didn’t want to show up for any of the days. I was left holding the bag….again. And I was seriously freaked.

Luckily, through all of this, with family MIA, neighbors MIA, and nannies MIA, my blogging friends rocked. In fact, I shouldn’t even quantify them with the blogging preface. They are friends. Period. Offering to stop by so I could take a shower or sleep, offering to make a meal or drop off food. Then actually doing it.

It meant so much.

I also learned which people in my life I could count on…and those who I couldn’t.

Have things gotten better? No. But I’m learning to adapt. Err…kind of. I know that my Mom had three kids under three. I know my friends have had twins, I know that others have dealt with two kids of their own. But this is my first foray into second-time Mom-dom and I’m still learning the ropes. Maybe I’ll never be good at it or love it like others, but I need to figure it out. And I will. Today is my first day on my own. No daycare, no nanny, no husband. Not sure how I will do, but I know that I’ll make it to the end of the day regardless of what mental state I will be in.

All in all, in the weeks ahead, I can adjust knowing that there is a group of people that care. And you know what? Back atcha my friends. Right back atcha.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

There are so many people who rock, but I want to give a special thanks to Sarah, Cindy, Kelly, Liz, Melanie, Sharon, and the awesomeness of Christy, Kim T., Jessica, Amy O., and more. Thanks guys. And thanks to many of my non-blogging friends, who keep cheering me up on Facebook too!

About Charlene DeLoach

As a Boston Mom Blogger in Massachusetts, Charlene DeLoach doesn't care about the megapixels on a smartphone. She only cares about whether it will survive being in the hands of her kids.

Comments

  1. Awww…I’m so sorry that the first four weeks has been so tough! But I’m very happy (and not surprised) to see that all of those wonderful ladies have been able to lend a hand. I wish I lived closer so that I could help too! I know your hubby is probably home on the weekends, but if you ever need weekend help let me know!! Hang in there…it will get easier. Sending you hugs from the North Shore.

  2. Even though my jump into second-time momhood was 12 (!) years ago, I remember those first few weeks like they were yesterday. No matter how many other people have already done it, this is *your* first time, so don’t discount how you’re feeling. My advice would be what it sounds like you’re already doing: friends! People! Isolation is the killer. Remember that you are new at this two-at-a-time deal, go easy on yourself, “dumb down” the to-do list (because I;m sure you have been trying to plow through a lengthy and ambitious one), and remind yourself that it will get better every day, Sometimes in tiny, nearly-imperceptible ways, but more often in deep-breathing, I-really-can-do-this ways. Keep accepting those offers of help, and you will be good — you’re already on your way.

  3. Charlene says

    Thanks Kate! Hugs to you too!

  4. Charlene says

    You are so right about the isolation! And you are doubly right about doing too much. LOL. Thanks for the words of encouragement! Means a lot!

  5. Hang in there mama. I know it’s tough now, especially when you are sleep deprived. It will get better. Know that you are surrounded by caring friends that will help in a heartbeat. Message me if you still are looking for a replacement nanny – I might know a couple of nannies that would be willing to travel to your area. Hugs!

  6. I wish they gave dads more paid paternity time because it’s oh-so-hard without the help. I think I cried for the first 6 months of my daughter’s life. Over time, your son will learn that he can’t have everything he wants the moment he wants it, your daughter WILL start to sleep (eventually, anyway), and your hormones will level out. Find ways to let (get) your husband to help (pump and let him do some nighttime feedings, if possible), and find other ways to make everything simpler. It might be very little things like getting covered cups and pouring out all the juice at the beginning of the day (or the less environmentally friendly, but new-mom nice) juice boxes, making sandwiches for lunch ahead of time (or yogurt!), and doling out snack cups in advance. Better yet, have hubby do all that the night before. Anyway, this is supposed to be hard – going from one to two was MUCH, MUCH harder than the first – so you aren’t alone. But Jinny is right, it will get easier, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. Just take one day at a time.

  7. You rock Charlene. Ur honesty impresses me! Don’t forget ur mom did it much younger and no matter what anyone says that makes a difference. I’ve been struggling with the have or not to have a second and I truly appreciate hearing a honest moment in the life of a mom I can relate to.

  8. Gilda Aliberti says

    Let me know if you ever need to talk. Evan was 23 months when Lauren was born and it is so hard. My heart goes out to you.

    Gilda

  9. It’s takes a village to raise a child and I think you have found your village 😉
    Good luck with the nanny search!

  10. Charlene says

    Great tips as always Christy.

  11. Charlene says

    It is hard, but I know over time it will be worth it. Just hard to see right now.

  12. Charlene says

    Thanks Sharon. You’re the best.

  13. Lynda Schrader says

    I so remember that time. Friends and family don’t reach out like they did with the first. They figure you have it all worked out. After all, you’ve already had one baby. Problem is, there wasn’t another little one needing your attention as well. I finally reached out to my family and I can’t tell you how great they were. I went from blubbering mess to much happier mess. My mother and mother-in-law were there and showed me all kinds of tricks to make life easier. Reach out to loved ones and let them know how much you need them.

  14. Oh, I’ve only met you once and all I want to do is come over and give you a hug and help in whatever way I can! I really hope that each day gets just a bit better than the day before. Hang in there sounds so trite, but I know it will get better for you.

  15. Dr. Rajka says

    Me too so sorry this transition has been tough. You are not alone. I think birth to 5 ia the hardest. You love it and try not to wish it away but wonder if the madness will end.

    I recall calling my husband with our first crying as he was in a vicious cycle of eat vomit cry with his reflux. Fortunately he was only a cab ride away and was able to come home. At that point we also decided that hired help a few days a week was needed.

    Poor thing you must be so sleep deprived. Hopefully all your friends can conitinue to rally and help get you some time for needed sleep. Wish I were in the area as I would pitch in 🙂 as we are in this together as mothers,

  16. Charlene, I feel your pain! I was right there 11 months ago when my second was born. Don’t forget it DOES get better. I know you know that but I figured I would remind you anyway. We don’t know eachother personally and I don’t know where you live in location to me but I am happy to stop by any time and help out. I tried the nanny thing for a while but didn’t love having someone else in my house all day. It was different and not for me. Pre-school for my older one turned out to be my saving grace and now that I am back to work full time my little one is in day care. Don’t sell yourself short, the fact that you are keeping up this blog and still being a new second time mom is A LOT! Take it one day at a time! You’re doing a great job and keep us posted. I love reading your blog! Thanks for keeping it up.

  17. Hang in there! It gets easier, I promise but not for a while. Can you get a college student to help out with the toddler? Divide and conquer!

  18. Oh Charlene, I know exactly what you mean! No one ever tells you that the 2nd baby is harder than the first for many of us, for the same reasons you said. So glad people came through for you! Support is critical. You’ll make it through and the little ones will sleep regular hours and mature. For now, I wish you peace and rest…soon!

  19. Charlene says

    Thanks Lisa! Really appreciate your words of encouragement! Means a lot!

  20. Charlene says

    You are right. A lot of the time you need to speak up to let people know you need and want help.

  21. Charlene says

    Thanks SheStreams roomie! Look forward to seeing you again.

  22. Charlene says

    Love the phrase. My new motto!

  23. Charlene says

    Thanks Lisa. I agree with you on the Nanny thing. It was a bit awkward in and of itself! Thanks for commenting and for reading my blog!! Hugs to you too Mama!

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