Now that a month has passed since Seoul was born, I'm getting more used to the fact that I have 2 children under the age of 5 to take care of. So many people have been asking me how I like it, is it harder, am I more tired, and those sorts of things. To answer your pressing questions, I thought I'd do so in the form of a blog post.
What's it like being a mom of 2 kids?
Being a mom of 2 small children is like setting fire to opposite ends of your house simultaneously to see which one engulfs the entire place first. Something is always happening and you are on your toes constantly. When I'm nursing the baby, you can bet all the money in your bank account that 2 things will occur. The first: baby Seoul will suddenly squirt out a poop that sounds like shit hitting the fan. And if I'm too quick to change it, she'll make more poop either on me (ugh), Jeremy (haha) or surrounding areas (ughhhh) or into a new diaper which I'll have to immediately throw out while enduring a lecture from my husband about the cost of diapers. The second: a small voice will arise from the living room, "Poo poo. Poo poo. POO POO!" This is Raelynn's way of asking for help once she's pooped in her little potty. She has yet to master wiping her ass perfectly so we still have to help her. She always poops when I'm feeding Seoul when my husband is not around. Now I must choose to either stop nursing Seoul for a moment to wipe Raelynn's butt and then go dump out the poop into the toilet in the bathroom or ignore the poop in the small potty and wipe Raelynn's butt, hoping to God her poop doesn't stink up our whole home until I can get to it. Or I can continue nursing the baby and risk having Raelynn come over to me, shuffling across the floor with pants and undies around her ankles with a clean wet wipe in hand so I can help her while nursing Seoul and leaving the poop for a later clean up. Neither of these options is fun.
How are you managing?
If you mean how am I managing my home, I'd say quite poorly. It gets messy in here and I cannot even blame MIL for all of it (some of it though, yes). Chores are done haphazardly. Like dusting, for example, while the baby sleeps, until Raelynn wants to play. Dust or play with older child? Of course I'm going to play with my kid. Even if that means my house looks dusty and dirty like MIL's place. I'm always blowing Raelynn off for the baby's needs and dusting as well as other chores, much as they need to be done, can wait.
I've mentioned we don't have a dryer. So I have to hang everything to dry. Our bedroom always looks like this:
Raelynn is the queen of spills. Give her a bowl of ice cream and she will wind up with part of it all over her shirt. Soup with dinner? Yeah, that girl will be wearing half of it...just watch and see.
Seoul, while being a much quieter baby than Raelynn was, has another key difference - she spits up a lot. A LOT. My parents used to tell me my brother Phillip would spit up everything, so I guess she takes after her Uncle Phillip (or rather, Uncle Spit-Up). So Seoul will spit up all over Jeremy when he's burping her, forcing him to change clothes, and all over me too after another feeding. Another change of clothes. Because each of us is too stupid to remember the burp cloths Natalie sent us. And of course, Seoul's clothes get covered with regurgitated breast milk too. And let's not forget the blankets she vurps upon, or poops onto.
And there you have it: my insane daily laundry load.
Another question I love: Are you tired?
No, I absolutely love living off a couple hours of sleep. Every time I try to go to sleep, someone thwarts my plan. Well-fed baby placed gently in the crib...5 minutes later, screaming and crying because she was apparently Houdini in a past life and has now freed her arms from my lovingly-swaddled blanket. Arms she's using to hit herself in the face because she has yet to figure out those are her arms. When I do finally get her to sleep, my husband's loud snores that people on the other side of the earth can hear are rupturing my eardrums, even with 32 decibel-blocking earplugs firmly in place. It's amazing I can still hear him over the white noise machine. When I finally start either hallucinating from lack of sleep or am actually having bizarre dreams (I'm honestly not sure which it is), Raelynn will decide she's lonely or there's a ghost in her room or something and she'll come bug us. Jeremy winds up going in there which solves my issue with his snoring and I settle in for 5 more minutes of sleep before Seoul wakes up again.
I must say though that in the morning, Jeremy is very kind with coming in and watching Seoul so I can at least get that one hour of sleep. 2 if I'm lucky.
How is Raelynn handling having a baby sister?
I don't know a three-year-old child anywhere that thinks completely rationally. Try as I might to explain things to Raelynn, sometimes she just doesn't get it. Because at her age, the world revolves around her. Sometimes, she's a great big sister and daughter, helping me get diapers and wipes ready or picking up her toys when I ask her. Other times, I'm met with great defiance, usually in the form of ear-splitting screams, particularly when the baby is sleeping. As you may have guessed, this leads to the baby waking and me having to now deal with soothing a crying infant and punish a toddler for not listening to Mommy. Add in my sleep deprivation and I feel like smashing my head into the wall. Repeatedly.
All complaining aside though, as I cradle a small baby in my arms through the wee hours of the morning, when I look at her little face, it makes all that spit up, all that fucking laundry and all that lack of sleep worth it. Because you know what? She won't always be this little. Raelynn won't always act out to get attention either. A little over 3 years ago, I had a beautiful baby girl, and before I knew it, POOF! She grew into a beautiful little girl. And now, I'm so lucky to have 2 precious children. Time goes so slowly yet flies right by and I know that all too soon, these girls will be all grown up, too big for Jeremy and I to hold on our laps, but never too big to hold onto our hearts.