WELL HELLO, INTERNETS. IT’S BEEN A MINUTE.
Owen is now 3 months old, and my firstborn, Olive, is 4. Where does the time go, when you’re not sleeping?
It really hasn’t been easy, truth be told. Between the onset of cold/flu season and all of us getting sick multiple times since Owen was 2 weeks old, Olive having a few rough weeks where she was going through an (expected and normal) behavior regression, and general “getting used to the new chaos”….I don’t think I’ve really had a quiet moment to reflect on how I’ve been coping with this new state of my life. It’s always just go, go, go; putting out fires left and right, and taking every moment alone I have to sleep or eat.
I was also having a really hard time with Owen not sleeping for longer stretches until he was about 7-8 weeks old. Up until that point, he ate every 2 hours (every hour in the evening!) and only slept for a maximum of 2.5 hours at a go. It was especially bad during Week 6, when he had a combined growth spurt and Wonder Week smashed into a few days. Thankfully, he now usually sleeps anywhere between 4-9 hour stretches at night (I know, such a huge variation) so I’m a little less sleep deprived these days. He also now can go up to 3.5 hours between feeds, so I’m also a little less couch bound, as well.
Being alone with two kids has also been a learning curve. A few weeks ago, Patrick went on his first overnight business trip since we’ve had two kids. He was gone for 3 nights, which meant 3 double dinners, double bath times, and double bedtimes for me to do solo….and let me tell you, that was bonkers. Between getting Olive to and from school on time, an infant who doesn’t like naps, a preschooler who missed her dad, and all that crying …I was up to my eyeballs with stress. In those moments, I realized that I am everything to everyone. Everything depends on me; when my children cry (sometimes simultaneously), the weight of their need can feel too heavy to bear. In those moments I know I need to be grounded and calm, but instead I am frazzled and short. Which makes for unhappy kids, and an unhappier me. This is something I need to work on, and if anyone is giving out advice, I’m happy to hear it.
But, here we are, 3 months in as a family of four. And while all of the above is still incredibly overwhelming to me, it also has its many sweet moments. Watching Olive and Owen interact with each other is unlike any feeling I’ve ever had. The sleepless nights are easier to handle because I know it’s not going to last forever. I’m genuinely enjoying the baby stage more this time, rather than trying to make the baby fit into a set schedule right off the bat. And when I get the rare moments alone with Olive now, I really pay attention to everything she says and does, because I treasure these opportunities to bond alone.
It’s a hard time right now, it is. But i’m optimistic that it’ll get better soon. Like the old saying goes – “The days are long, but the years are short”; and that’s proven true with Olive. I’ll just take it one day at a time, with lots of breathing, and wine.