Monday, November 24, 2014

What number of children is the hardest to have?

I got married in January of 2010.

In December of 2010 I became a Mom.
In October of 2012 I became a Mom (again).
In June 2014 I became a Mom... again.

With that sort of track record, I frequently get asked how hard the transition was from one to two, or two to three. I think many people are convinced that three is the hardest number to get used to. All of a sudden, things get a little crazy. They are kind of right about that. Things are a little crazy.

The fact is even with Mom and Dad both home (a rarity in our palace), the kids outnumber the adults. So it has to be the hardest transition... right?

Wrong. Thats really, really wrong.

You want to know what the hardest transition is?

---> 0 to 1.<---

That's when things are the craziest. Why? 

Don't get too excited...parenting never (and I do mean never) gets easy.  But as a parent to one new baby...everything is foreign.

Changing diapers, bottle feeding. Pure exhaustion. Most new parents don't know what is normal behavior for a newborn and what isn't. Most don't know when to call the pediatrician or when to just call an experienced Mom. Chances are you don't have many "Mom" friends yet. It's like a foreign community you never knew existed and now desperately want (need) to be apart of. It's overwhelming how much you suddenly do not know!

Spontaneous lunch dates are out of the question. Your clothes still don't fit. Suddenly everyone is driving at lightening speed and coughing all over your sweet and vulnerable newborn. You begin to wonder how your Mom got dinner on the table by six every night.  Everything is new, weird, unknown and confusing. Oh. And you're exhausted. (Did I mention that already?)

Your body is recovering, and you don't know what is normal for that, either. Your relationship is shifting from "the two of you" to "our family". Your confidence in actions and choices is generally pretty low. (You're probably doing great, by the way). 

In short -- your world is turned upside down. Entirely. 

By the second baby you'll know more. Buckling in the carseat won't seem like putting together a 3,000 piece jigsaw puzzle without the picture. Diaper changes won't be so horrifying. You'll know that even though you didn't read the whole baby book and you may not know what to do --- neither did your baby. And babies don't judge. You'll be experienced enough to take comfort in that.

The fact is you'll be seasoned. Experienced. You'll have some confidence in what is an emergency and what is not. You'll have practice in rushing out the door, bathing babies, getting dinner on the table during a meltdown and having a meaningful conversation with your husband in the midst of it all.

You'll just know more. And when you know more, you can do more.

Moms of one, be encouraged. You've already gone through the toughest transition. I promise. If you've learned one thing, even with just a small newborn, its that the phases go quickly. The transitions won't last forever.

It won't be like this for long. 
I know you're doing great. Rock on.