Sunday, May 29, 2011

surviving the first month, part I

I am surprised to say that the transition to two kids so far has been much easier than anticipated.  The hard stuff of transitioning was already passed when we had our firstborn, David.  So, Judah was just a tiny addition of responsibility.  A welcome one, at that.  He is so darling.  Incredibly laid back and fusses when there is only a clear problem and easily consoled.  In the class I teach (human growth & development) there are three types of temperaments that babies have (and are usually stable throughout their life) and they are:  easy, slow-to-warm-up, and difficult.  Undeniably, Judah is an easy baby who has already (and pretty early) shared his smiles with us.  He allows us to put him down more often and his cries are not intense compared to what his older brother's were when he was that little.  I am amazed how early you can see their personalities.  If you are going to have kids (which I highly suggest you do, if married) then I also highly suggest you have more than one.  Having Judah has helped me understand some of my past experiences with David.  I am able to do some healthy comparing and contrasting.  For instance, I gained perspective about David as an infant.  There were always seeds of doubt about whether I made David into a fussy infant.  Was I, in our attachment parenting philosophy, creating a difficult child to raise?  The answer is no, happily.  I can see clearly now that David's temperament was not a figment of my imagination and it wasn't my fault.  I can only see that because of how different Judah is.  Cool, right?  Their need levels were different and I could only know that this was a normal thing to deal with by having two of them.  Oh, the lessons we'll learn with the more we have and the older they get!

After my firstborn, I desired my "me" time.  Well, I long got used to not having as much of that.  After Judah, what I miss is more couple time.  I find myself planning and looking forward to times when David and I can have dates that don't require a nursing break.  This is mainly because we are two-on-two.  I handle Judah mostly and David handles David Jr. mostly.  So, my husband and I are not together as much.  This is a normal challenge of this phase and it will be over likely before I am truly ready to see my kids outgrow that kind parenting but I do look forward to couple time.  The summer will be better because David is thankfully a teacher with summers off (mostly--he has an online course to complete).  He'll be around and that will be GREAT!

David (husband) has found himself in the first month feeling oh-so-bonded with David Jr.  Whereas, I was completely and utterly in love with Judah.  It is hard to compete with a cuddly and adorable newborn.  I have struggled with all sorts of mixed feelings about my toddler, in the meantime.  When I am feeling patient and rested, I am able to sympathize with my toddler's transitions from his perspective.   However, when my toddler is particularly challenging I want to get away from him.  This is all the more complicated because this is the son that I was so bonded to prior to Judah's arrival.  I feel sad, then guilt, then good.  Kind of a crazy mix of emotions.  Again, I have read enough to know that these complicated and conflictual emotions are a normal part of transitioning but just because it is normal doesn't mean it is comfortable or fun.  I'm thankful at these times that David's daddy is his playmate (a great one at that).  I see the genius in God design, don't you?