When my first son was born, I was in a different stage of life. I was just leaving a career as a teacher, and beginning a new career as a part-time realtor so that I could stay home with my tiniest new love, but also still contribute to our family.
I was able to spend practically every waking moment with him. We went to work together, played at home together, traveled together, shopped together, and so on. You name it, we did it together. And I LOVED it. It didn’t bother me one tiny bit that I had a small human attached to my hip every second of the day. He was sweet, quiet, calm – everything a typical firstborn is.
We practiced counting, letters, and sang nursery rhymes throughout the day. I created new activities for him weekly and made sure he had ample opportunities for learning. It was so easy for me to load him up and take him to show a home to a client or go have lunch with my mom. He didn’t require much and went along with just about anything.
We had a pretty great thing going for two and a half years, and I will forever cherish those days.
Fast forward to now.
My first is now almost five, and still as sweet as can be and still pretty much goes with the flow. But I also have a second child who is two and the polar opposite of my first.
He climbs everything in sight, nearly has to visit the ER weekly, does NOT have a clue what it means to let his mom go to the bathroom in peace, and he never ever stops talking or asking questions. He’s also as sweet as can be, he’s just non-stop.
Also in this new phase of motherhood, I’m in a new phase of my career. I’m now a business owner and have lots of new challenges with that. It’s not near as easy to just hop in the car and run an errand or have lunch with a friend as it used to be. I’m constantly having to schedule babysitters or take both boys to mother’s day out just so I can go show a home or go to a closing. We utilize a drop-in daycare, mother’s day out, grandparents & babysitters weekly. It feels like we are always on the go from place to place.
I’m constantly in a balancing act of getting someone (the 2-year-old) out of a potentially dangerous situation, homeschooling my oldest, running somewhere for work, or trying to fold the mounds of laundry that somehow accumulate much faster now than they used to.
I recognize that my second child doesn’t get the constant homemade activities and rigorous academic practice my first child did, but he still knows more at 2 than his big brother because he’s learning from his older sibling. My oldest child doesn’t get as much one on one time with me as he used to at bedtime because the younger one won’t go to sleep without me rocking him. It’s a tiresome challenge and leaves me constantly wondering if I’m giving enough to each of them.
And with different seasons of life come change. I have also changed.
I’m more focused on my business now than I was in the past, and I’m learning that that’s okay. It’s okay to let the kids go to Mother’s Day Out and have fun while I go to work. Separating work life and mom life used to be challenging for me, because I felt like I wasn’t giving the necessary attention to my kids, and I felt like I needed to be able to do it all with ease.
The truth is, we are all better off because of the separation we get during the week. I have learned that it’s alright to let go and ask for help. It’s alright to leave them at daycare a little longer so you can sneak in a mid-week lunch with your husband. My kids are both thriving and happy, and so am I, and at the end of that day that is what is most important.
I’m not the same mom that I was when I had just one baby, and that’s okay.
I don’t get on the floor as much as I used to because I’m constantly doing something for someone. I don’t come up with as many activities on my own, rather, I utilize lots of Target dollar spot activities. My house is not as clean as it used to be. The laundry doesn’t get folded as quickly as it used to. My kids’ socks don’t always match (yes this used to bother me). But that’s okay.
If you’re struggling with having a little too much on your plate at once and not sure you’re “doing it right” – just remember, your babies don’t recognize the constant battles you fight within your mind of whether you’re being the best mom for them. They just see you loving them and caring for them, and that is what’s most important.
They will always be your biggest fans, loving you BIG through all of your seasons of motherhood.