When I was pregnant this time around, I had all these goals - I was going to do the "baby wearing" thing. I bought a Moby from a friend and a Mai Tai from a store. I wasn't going to use that nasty nipple shield - I was going to do the straight nursing thing. I was going to be patient with my toddler who would obviously be having some adjustment issues and remind myself that he was going through a transition rather than losing my temper and screaming like crazy at him when he started acting out. I was going to get up very early every day on little or no sleep and get showered and rearing to go so that I could get the kiddo to preschool on time, get my errands run, and clean my house.
Let me just say that NONE of that is happening. Not a single thing I had planned for or anticipated has gone as I planned. The baby hates - HATES - the moby wrap. She cries as soon as I try to "wear" her. She is addicted to the nipple shield which I succumbed to using in a haze of hormones and fatigue at the hospital. I have tried repeatedly to wean her from it and she refuses to let it go. When she does latch, I am pretty sure it's incorrectly as it feels like she's about to pull my nipple off. I am weak - at this point, I prefer the shield! As far as the temper, mine runs rampant. I feel guilty constantly because my two year old is acting like, well, a two year old and I am frequently exhausted, losing my cool yelling at him and threatening time outs like there's no tomorrow. I keep trying to remind myself that this is a huge transition for him and he's struggling with sharing his space and (more importantly) his mommy, but in the heat of the moment it's hard to remember. And I don't even want to talk about how hard it is to get myself up and out of bed on the days of little sleep in order to get dressed and get the kids fed and out the door.
So, being the planner that I am, you would think that all of this upheaval would make me miserable. Only it doesn't. It's not what I planned or pictured, but it's a different kind of wonderful. The baby is so small and soft and reminds me so much of her brother who now seems indescribably large by comparison. My toddler is struggling with this new arrival, but he shows a great deal of compassion and care for this new little person. He frequently orders me to "Go get her!" when she cries and he gives her his toys to try to cheer her up. I have explained the purpose behind burping the baby and why she gets fussy when her tummy hurts and he says to her "I am sorry you have bubbles in your tummy". I struggle to find one on one time with each of them, but am so glad for all of our together moments. I love our family. Our messy, loud, disorganized, fun family of four.