Being as this was supposed to be a blog post about life with two children, I decided it'd be fitting to do it in two parts. I'm really glad I made that decision because the first part was a little intense. But honestly, it was a really good snapshot of the first three months of my little Samuel's life. Today marks three months exactly since he made his way into this big world of ours and I swear to you people, it's like a magical switch has been flipped for the last week or so. This is not the same baby. Okay, yes, he still would prefer to be held over pretty much anything ever; and alright, he's not afraid to let you know when he's unhappy, but my word. This child is laughing already. He coos and gurgles and squirms with glee. He smiles so big at strangers that it makes virtually everyone who looks at him say, "Woah! He's a happy baby!" which makes me smile inside because liiiiittle do they know...
I'm so excited to get to know who this little one really is underneath all the pain and misery he was in for the first few months. Poor baby.
So. The great, amazing, awesome, wonderful bits of being a mama with two:
1. You LITERALLY have super powers.
Your kids will be the first to really, truly believe in these powers. Gradually, their belief will be enough to convince your husband. And finally one day you will realize it: You are magical. Your cuddles make their cries stop within seconds. (Even faster than daddy's do.) You can somehow carry three bags, two kids and one car seat even though you only have two hands. You can turn things that are healthy but nasty into meals that taste unhealthy and delicious. Your kisses (apparently) have healing properties. You can have an entire conversation about something deep and meaningful with your husband while both children are hollering in the back seat. You know where everyone's everything is. And you can clean around five rooms in the five minutes that you have until the baby wants to be held again. It's all rather astounding.
2. You have all kinds of new realizations about how astounding your capacity to love is.
The minute you see that new baby's face, all of your fears about not being able to love a second baby as much as you loved your first just melt away. Because dang. You love that baby. And then you wonder how many babies you could love as hard as you love the two you have and you realize you have the potential to never stop loving these little people and it's kind of addicting so you start to understand why people want 10 or 11 of them. Then your kid pukes and you think, "No. Two's good".
3. You get to watch your oldest become a big sibling.
Which is magical. I can't tell you how much you will feel like your heart is going to explode with happiness when you watch your first kid hold your second kid for the first time. Those feelings come again when your oldest tells the youngest he loves him, or gives him kisses when he's crying, or gets really excited when he wakes up from his nap and tells you to 'get him up, quick!' And again when you watch your new baby's face light up in pure joy when he sees his big brother come in the room. (Disclaimer: This happy part of having two also comes with a side helping of anxiety when you realize that the two-year-old loves the three-month-old SO much that he wants to squish him. So there's a mixed-bag of elation and terror when the two-year-old wants to hold the baby again)
4. You are kind of a baby expert now.
Everything that was overwhelming with your first is suddenly a no-brainer. You don't worry nearly as much about things as you did with the first. You've figured out newborns. Bathing, feeding, changing, dressing, doctors... all of that is logged away in your brain and you can pull any of it back out quicker than you'd ever imagine you could. You feel like you're the baby whisperer. You figure you could probably write a book about mothering by now. It's very empowering. Of course, your second baby will throw a wrench in everything by being a completely different human being who won't take a binky or stop crying for anything ever for what feels like the rest of your life. But the mechanics of it all? Cake.
I'm sure as the years progress and I continue watching my boys grow up together and learn more about who they are, I'll be able to add several numbers to that list. I'm so excited to watch them navigate this world. I love that they get to grow up together. As tricky as it sometimes is with two so close in age, I'm really grateful that they'll have each other as a built-in best friend as they get older. Yes, it can be overwhelming. Sure, you feel stretched to the limit (and sometimes beyond it). And most nights you do collapse into bed feeling like you've been run over by a mack truck and wondering how in the world two such tiny humans can be so completely exhausting. But in all honesty, it's all completely worth it. The ins and outs and ups and downs and goods and bads all mix together into this cohesive, beautiful chaos that you wouldn't trade for all the structure and predictability in the world. Being a mama of two is hard and wonderful. And it will change and grow you in ways you never thought it could.