To the newly made mom of two...
…you've done this before. You knew what to expect - the sleepless nights, the constant feeding, the bouncing and jiggling - you expected challenge, maybe even postnatal depression or anxiety, but you are still surprised, surprised by the stillness of your newborn.
As your toddler dashes back and forth pretending to be a rocket ship or fire engine, your newborn dozes against your breast. You know they would stay like this for hours. Hours that seemed endless when you were first made a mother. You resented it then - afraid to put your first born down, you spent those hours waiting for the moment when you could dash to the bathroom. But now you yearn for those hours just to hold a newborn to your chest.
There is little stillness in toddlerhood. In quick succession between becoming a rocket ship, a rabbit, and a policeman, your older child needs a diaper change, eats lunch, and begins to deconstruct the dvd player. Again and again you have to put your newborn down. And again you are surprised by their stillness - they will not move from where you place them. Cries may come, but your house will not be torn apart in your absence. And as you ease this baby from your chest, you are surprised again. You are so used to heaving thirty pounds to your hip, this new life feels almost weightless. So light, so easy, and yet, this moment is so hard, so heavy. Your heart aches: "Can't I just be still like you? When will I get the chance just to hold you?"
"Wear him," you are told, "That way you can take him along for the ride, snoozing against your skin. Then you'll have your hands free." And of course, sometimes you tie that wrap around yourself and tuck him in close. But still, you yearn to just sit with him. It would feel heavenly just to sit, to soak in his unique being. In quiet, in stillness. But instead, you are always moving, always meeting the demands of motherhood as a mother of two.
Are you grateful that he sleeps on while you clean sticky toddler hands and calm fiery toddler tantrums? Of course. But even your gratitude makes your heart sore with guilt: he sleeps on, but you have only moments to be with him in quietude.
To the newly made mom of two, I see you, you are not alone
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