Having two babies under two years old will definitely make you question your parental confidence. I remember having the baby blues with Giuliana but I also feel like those first couple of months were a blur. Now that I’m back in the same spot I was just 15 months ago, it’s a constant battle between raging postpartum hormones and assuring myself that we made it through this tough but temporary stage before. My heart is a fragile beast these days. It’s full of love and happiness as I come to realize that we are now a family of four, it beats harder for my husband who bends over backwards with the sweet compliments and a constant helping hand, and it’s in awe as I’m forced to accept just how much my first born baby girl has grown. All of these positive, loving emotions also give me unmeasurable amounts of anxiety. I’m nervous all night as I try to let my mind and body rest but it’s a constant struggle of nerves, to-do lists, and still recovering from labor and delivery that make days short and nights extra-long. I have to constantly remind myself that I’m normal. These feelings at this stage are normal. My anxiety, nervousness, feelings of being overwhelmed, piles of laundry, random crying bouts, and self-doubt are 100% normal.
And then here we are, one full month later. My baby blues have thankfully subsided and my anxiety is far more under control. It took about two weeks to get to a point where I wasn’t crying at any given moment and the best advice I can give to anyone trying their hardest to get through postpartum is to accept any and all of the help you can. Don’t be afraid to cry in front of your husband’s grandmother or your father’s cousin. If they’ve reached out to help, they know you need it and they’re willing to help you heal in all ways that you need healing. Also, get out. It might take 2 hours to get you and your baby(ies) up, fed, changed, cleaned, and dressed, but do it. Get ready and get out of the house. Take full advantage of baby wearing and get some fresh air, and hopefully, a Starbucks drive-thru.
To anyone with expecting friends or family: flowers are nice, but new mama’s will probably cry tears of joy if you bring food and/or come over to help with housework. My husband’s grandmother stayed with us for two weeks after I had Isabel and, at first, I would stop her every time she did our dishes or laundry. But, after a few sleepless nights and long days of chasing my toddler, I let her help me around the house and O M G, my recovering body and exhausted mind thanked her a million times over. She was my saving grace and played a huge part in me gaining control over my postpartum hormones and anxiety.
We all enter motherhood with different expectations and fears. We’re thrown into this new stage of life that you can never truly be fully prepared for. The days are long but the years are short and I promise you that every battle you face is temporary. I learned the true meaning of a mommy tantrum this past week when my infant stopped sleeping 20 hours a day and my toddler decided she wanted to be an infant again. Sometimes I want to cry right alongside my baby girls and other times, I make the executive decision that we’re having two bath times and pausing all housework while we cuddle in bed and binge watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. (Yes, my toddler loves cartoons and the iPad, but she also loves everything outdoors and has a collection of acorns in her sandbox- balance people.) This month has been a roller coaster but it’s the best ride and I love our adventure.