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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two v. one.

true life. 
I've been thinking about this for a while. This two kids versus one thing. It was one of those subjects that when I was a Mom to One, I often felt offended when I was told how "easy" I have it. Because in those difficult, new-to-me moments, it most definitely didn't feel easy. In fact, it often felt very challenging.

I swore I wouldn't be one of those one-uppers. I didn't want to be the person who said, "Oh, ha! Well you have just one kid? Just WAIT 'till you have two. You'll really never have time for a shower, then." Because I've been a victim of that, and it sucks.

I remember one time, pre-kids, pregnant with Emeline, I wrote a facebook status about having a busy week & being exhausted. It was one of those teacher-conferences weeks, lots of evening commitments, and dude, I was teaching all day and very pregnant. I WAS TIRED. And then, someone did it. Someone commented on my status with the Oh just you wait, you think you're tired now? thing, and it was awful. It made me feel awful. And kind of mad, honestly. They were much further along in life than me, a few kids, older kids, actually--and yea, I get it, you're tired. BUT SO WAS I.

Ultimately, those little snickery one-upper comments just invalidate someone's feelings. Feelings that are real, very real to them, you know? So I've tried to remain very conscious of this while making the transition to two kids. I told myself I didn't want to just fling off the cuff with statements like, "One was so easy!", because I knew that somewhere, a mom of one is thinking THIS IS SO HARD. And now, as a mom of two, my perspective is totally different. Just because it has to be different, mainly.

I think that in general, motherhood is trying and difficult at times and full of sleep deprivation, and newness, and a whole!'nother!person! which shouldn't be taken lightly, at all. For a first time mom, everything is NEW. So that almost makes it doubly hard. You're basically thrust into on-the-job-training with a screaming, crying person who demands you almost 24/7, and suddenly you're someones' sole nourishment, and whether they thrive or not is your responsibility. THAT can be hard, and slightly overwhelming, yea?

Is the transition from one to two kids hard? Yea. For me it was, and is. Does it mean that having one kid is suddenly "so easy"? Um, not at all.

And yea, I'm busier now than I was with just one. Yea, I have less time for me. Yea, errands are a little more difficult, and I'm worried about the well being of two instead of one. But it doesn't mean that I didn't feel busy with one, that I had tons of time for me, and that errands were easy with one kid, either. It's different.

And not only that, but I'm different. I have changed and grown as a mother. I've gone through this one time with another little person. In that regard, parts of the 2nd baby are almost easier. So much less of the unknown. More of a 'been there, done that' mentality, and much more roll-with-the-punches.

I've slipped up, I've said it before. I've probably invalidated someones feelings accidentally, and for that I'm sorry. Ultimately, I just want to be conscious and remember that when I had one kid, it was still challenging at times. It was still hard to find time for me. Going out running errands still felt like a rat race on some days. Being a mom was new, and it did come with lots of life lessons and difficult situations. It wasn't all peaches n' cream.

I'm just trying to remember that where we're all at, at these different paths along the journey--there are always feelings and emotions, and in those moments? Those feelings are valid, and so real. And perspective in life changes based on our personal situations.

My goal is to continue being mindful of this...and get better at it, too. Join me?

***

38 comments:

  1. Beautifully put, sweet lady! One is hard because of the unknown. Scary, in fact. But two is a whole other animal. You can't really compare the two, they're just different. And I loved the part where you said you roll with the punches because you know what to expect a little more. So true. Hang in there! You'll survive even this!

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  3. Beautifully put, sweet lady! One is hard because of the unknown. Scary, in fact. But two is a whole other animal. You can't really compare the two, they're just different. And I loved the part where you said you roll with the punches because you know what to expect a little more. So true. Hang in there! You'll survive even this!

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  4. This is something that has been on my heart lately, and something I've been struggling with in a different way (obviously, because I don't have any babies yet!) With Brian in Afghanistan, I have had moments of "woe with me" and looking at other people's complaints, especially about time apart, and it makes me a little bitter! I'm across the world from my husband and worried every day about whether he's safe! It's so easy to fall into. I'm trying to be incredibly conscious that everyone has tough things in their life, and those things are tough FOR THEM. Life isn't about comparing who has it worse, and your feelings are legitimate regardless of what it is you're going through. Tough is relative.

    Beautiful post!

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  5. Do not let other people's comments get you down! 1 is hard enough, 2 is impossible - and you are doing a great job managing impossible. I have no idea how people with twins do it.

    By the way, have you read STFU Parents? It's a hilarious blog that takes facebook statuses exactly like you described - you will get a kick out of it I'm sure!

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  6. This makes me think of that site stfuparents. It's basically screen shots of ridiculous FB posts regarding parenting but they refer to what you're talking about as "mommyjacking". The people who have to respond to every post, good or bad with the "just wait till you have kids!" comment. Lets face it, someone will always have it harder than you, no matter how many kids you have. So why bother invalidating someone's feelings over it?

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  7. One of my biggest peeves is when people say, "Oh you'll understand/change your mind when you have kids." I KNOW that a lot of things change when you have kids, and I don't doubt that a lot of the expectations I have now will be blown out of the water, but I've spent my entire life around babies, so when someone says that, it irks me. I am right there with you on this post!

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  8. I'm not sure how I even found your blog, but have been checking a bit in the last couple weeks. I have a beautiful 2.5 yr old son and gave birth two months ago to a my stillborn daughter. I love that you posted about 1vs2 thing. I will always be a mother of two, even if I only have one living. Will I ever have more? Right now, no. Will Sam always be considered an only child? Maybe, but not in our eyes...I could never judge a mother for only wanting one child, none or six! Every family is different :) You seem to have it together, despite the struggles.

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  9. People are forever saying - oh just wait until... to me. I dont want what is happening now not to be remembered and cherished (even the not so fun parts) b.c one day I will wish them back! I think you are a great mom to two - They are both loved and cherished and that is ALL that matters :)

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  10. What a great post! I am just about the last one of my friends to have children (most are at 2 or working on it) and I hate when I call from a rough night and I get the "you just wait until..." statement. I have often said I don't want anyone to fix my bad day, I just want you to LISTEN to me. I'm sure you are not only an amazing momma but an amazing friend!

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  11. Love this post! We're currently trying to grow our family & sometimes the thought of having more than 1 kid at home is scary. It also drives me crazy when people say it's easy now, I know that having one kid is different than having more than one. Definitely doesn't mean it's easy! Seriously, great post!

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  12. Beautifully said. I struggle with this too, on both fronts. Thank you for posting this, and for the challenge to remember to be mindful.

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  13. Well said! I believe that everyone's hard is different. Babysitting my nieces and nephews, that's my hard. As the situation changes, I think the level of 'hardness' does too :)

    Yes, I'll remember to be mindful and not make comments that will discredit someone's hard work :)

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  14. Yes. I am so mindful of this now that I am a mama. I hate it when people would tell me "oh just wait until she's walking!" or "oh man, you think you are tired now..."

    I get it, it's hard. But I wouldn't trade this for the world. I always try my hardest to validate others feelings and empathize with them...sure, like you, I may have screwed up and hurt someone elses feelings, but overall? I feel that being a mama - pregnant, with a newborn, 1, or 10 kids is a challenge. But we need to feel supported.

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  15. This is a good post. I have been guilty of saying something like that before and had no mean intention behind it, but I still feel bad after I said it and followed it up with "you're doing a great job!". Sometimes stupid things can fly out of my mouth. Really knowing that it can hurt someone will make me much more conscious of what I say because you're right, everyone's feelings our valid in their particular situation. Thanks Katie!

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  16. yes yes yes. agree with you mama 100%

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  17. I can say from experience, 2 kids are definitely more work than one...but i can also say, once they get past the diaper stage and are a little more independent, it starts to get easier! I have two girls, almost exactly one year apart...One is my step daughter...but I have been there since she was born, and we have raised the kids together since she was 1 and grace was 2. They are now 5 and 6...it gets easier! Except the fighting and bickering over girl drama...but then it just becomes completely comical. =) We r expecting a boy in december...i hear after 2, its all the same! haha

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  18. I've talked about this a lot with my friends who all have one baby. It can't be compared. It's so different. In some ways I feel like 2 kids is harder because, like you said ... It's two people to care for. But in other ways I feel like 2 kids is a easier because my life is already adjusted to revolving around kid stuff ... Diapers schedules naps feeding crying being exhausted. And the list goes on. In fct I have a post about this in my drafts that I'll publish if my laptop ever gets fixed. Anyways, I know I've said to my friends that when I just have Gwen with me it feels so easy. Because its just one. Just a baby. But I also tell them that when I just had Eva it sure as hell didn't feel easy and so I would never ever downplay their experiences now with one. Okay. I'm rambling.

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  19. Thank you for saying this! My BFF and her husband have 2 girls and constantly say, "just wait!!!!" and I'm like...well..hmph...ok...i guess...it's just so...unsupportive. After I had KP and people became pregnant I vowed to not be one of those "oh well wait! when i was pregnant!" people even though I'm sure I was at times. it's all about learning.

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  20. Just wait until you have three kids! Kidding! :) I'll let you in on a secret though--it actually gets easier! No, really, the changes as a mother the more kids you have are astounding.

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  21. It's all about perspective. I think about how busy I am but then there is someone out there with 6 kids , or a husband off fighting for our country and they would probably laugh in my face about how busy I think I am.

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  22. Good points. I've already determined that I was probably crazy for thinking one kid was hard and the second one isn't even here yet. But you are right...it was hard! It was hard because it was new and we didn't know how to do anything. This time around things will be hard because there are two of them...just different...just like you said!

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  23. I'm so guilty of this. Thank you for making me more aware.

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  24. And, PS, the other day I did a status about my kids waking up at 5:45/6/6:15 a.m no matter how late they go to bed...and someone chimed in, "Just wait until high school and you won't be able to get them out of bed until noon." PISSED ME OFF! I said, "I'll take noon over 5 am any day." Did I really say that? YES, I did!! Grrrr.

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  25. Amen. People enjoy one-upping. Makes them feel important, when really it just makes them look like a jerk.

    While I know it's a struggle going from 1-2, that doesn't mean having 1 is a walk in the park. They're just different. And trust me, I adore Noah but dealing with all of his challenges has not been "easy".

    Very well said.

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  26. I have been reading your blog and seeing all the things you are going through. I too have been struggling with going from one to two, and you put it into the words I couldn't say. No it wasn't easy with one. Now things are just different with two.
    Well said!

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  27. When reading your posts, happy or not so happy ones, I have to remind myself that everyone is on a journey and not necessarily in the same place. It's a good thing to remember.

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  28. I couldn't have said it better myself. K is almost a year old and I finally feel like I am doing a good job of parenting TWO kids instead of ONE. It's hard, and it makes one look like a cake walk! :) BUT not everyone is in the same boat and I try to be mindful of that, too. I think you are doing great, and I am really inspired by this post!

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  29. Goodness, such a good point and beautifully written (as always!). In fact, I feel like I kind of did this to you (but maybe in a little bit of a different way) this morning with the sweet pictures of emeline kissing Lucy. I told you to just wait that it just keeps getting better as they start interacting more. And you already know that! I should have just let you enjoy that moment, and for that I'm sorry!!! So, yes, I'll join you!! :)

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  30. Yes yes yes! I also hate when people do the, "O wait until you have kids" thing at my house when their child is grabbing something. I don't want them to hurt themselves 1, and 2, I didn't babyproof my house for you to be over! You never know who is trying to have a baby or anything like that, so amen to this!

    Such a cute picture by the way!

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  31. Love this post! I've gotten a few of those comments, and I know they weren't intentionally trying to hurt my feelings but they did, so like you, I've tried to be really mindful about not doing the same.

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  32. very, very well said. i've had someone make me feel bad before because they had three kids and i felt like i was barely handling one. but the way i see it, i do ONLY have one. i have nothing to compare it too unless i compare it to just being me. and having one compared to none? hard. having two compared to one? probably harder (i don't know, but pretty much guarantee it is). it's not right to compare though. thats why the comments hurt so bad.

    you hit the nail on the head with this one girl. good post.

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  33. You said it girl. I feel like my life is actually getting easier now (even with 3!) because of the stage we are in here at our house. BUT. There are still times when I'm ready to pull my hair out!!

    AND K is still not potty-trained so.... yeah.

    We all have different stresses at the different times in our motherhood timeline and yes, we MUST all be mindful of that.

    Wonderful post.

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  34. I was changed by this post. Although I never ever would say to someone "just wait til you have kids" I would think it. A lot actually. But you are completely right. It's almost like who can through the bigger pity party and like you said "one up" the next person who has a struggle. I realized the selfishness of that attitude. And even how detrimental to me it is/was. So thanks for posting this because it really was unfortunately a semi frequent judgement of mine. I hope to not think or feel that way towards anyone again. :)

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  35. Yep, this.

    Parenting is constant and changing, it's all about relativity and hopefully we can understand that and not 'down-play' other's experiences.

    I always look forward to your posts mama!!

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  36. What a great, great post! Not much else I can say. No one should make your feelings seem as if they're not justified. We ALL struggle. Thank you for sharing this and putting it so well :)

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  37. Oh man I'm so bad at this. My co-worker just had her first (twins!) and durng her whole pregnancy whenever she'd complain about this or that I would always throw out the "Oh you think you're tired now?? Just you wait!"

    You're right. It's such a bad habit. Thank you for reminding me to be more mindful of it.

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