I will never forget the evening that Elin was born. My second-born child. That sweet girl came into the world like a storm in a teacup! She wasn’t a happy bunny! She came into the world angry and tearful. Hey, I’d be pretty upset to move house too!
I was wheeled down to the recovery ward and she was screeeeeaming! I felt so bad for all the Mums there who had just rested their new babies and were after some much-needed sleep.
They popped me in the furthest corner away from the door and I remember feeling the most tired I had ever felt. Feeling heady and sore after a long day of, you know, giving birth. Not knowing this new tiny baby and not knowing how on earth to stop her crying.
I knew how to stop my other baby crying. My toddler. Who was at home with a full belly of milk having a sleepover with his Nana.
This new baby was alien to me.
I looked at the midwife… “help!”.
She said kindly, “you know what you’re doing, you’ve done all this before!” and left to carry on with the million other duties her poor overworked self had to handle on that night shift.
As she walked away I felt like the lights switched off with each step she took, you know how you see in the cartoons? I’m being dramatic I know but I just felt this huge “oh sh*t” moment as I stood there jiggling my new, screaming baby.
You see. Mums of Two don’t really know what they’re doing. Especially not in the early days.
We are navigating a whole new baby who usually just so happens to be the exact opposite to our old baby! You know… just to mix things up a bit.
We are navigating trying to manage two children, two completely different sets of needs, two completely different personalities.
We are managing the guilt of trying (and failing) to split our time in two. To navigate back to the newborn days where you can’t fix all of your child’s problems with a packet of quavers, we are back to being part of #teamnosleep, we are trying to be the mother we were before but can’t because right now, we are half of her.
Yet with baby number two, there seem to be fewer visitors, fewer casserole dishes of home-cooked hearty meals popped in. Less offers to hold the baby “so you can get a quick shower”, fewer people to put the hoover round or put away the dishes.
But really NOW is the time that we need you more than ever.
Now is the time that we need someone to hold the baby so we can sit and cuddle our older child whose having to adjust and share us. Now is the time we need someone to offer to take our older child to the park while we cluster feed the newborn to ease the horrendous guilt that things aren’t the same anymore. Now is the time we need someone to pop a McDonalds in. (Mines a quarter pounder meal by the way).
Now is the time we actually just need someone to come and check “are you doing okay?”
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