Firstborn Honeymoon: Round Two

on May 19 | in Parenting | by | with 15 Comments

I’ve got to be honest. There are times when I fervently wish life came with a mute button. I almost feel guilty even saying that, because I am so grateful for Katie’s active little mind. She is so inquisitive, so talkative, so incredibly nurturing toward babies. In other words I adore her.

And yet.

After answering the same question for the twentieth time I become the “BECAUSE I SAID SO” parent. I process things internally. Katie is quite the opposite, and I often feel outmatched by her needs for intellectual stimulation, conversation and company. Sometimes is just feels like a job. A job with no sick days and no paid vacation.

Keeping it Real

I say this because I don’t want my next statement to seem like some “pie in the sky” airbrushed version of motherhood. Everything written above is true, but with Babypotamus’ arrival getting closer something has shifted. Despite all the challenges, Katie and I are on a second honeymoon of sorts, all over again. This Round 2 is our last season together as two peas in a pod. It’s precious in a way I can’t describe.

When she yells, “I love you SOOOOOO MUCH!!!” I want to bottle it and keep it forever. It melts my heart when she squeals “I’m getting all fwesh and clean!” in the bathtub. I snuggle her more at night, knowing that soon Daddypotamus will get all the cuddles while I’m up for 2am nursing sessions. Yesterday morning we took her “twins” for a walk and played ball in the front yard. Nothing eventful happened, but for some reason I wished I could burn it into my memory forever.

What Say You, Experienced Moms?

For those of you who have multiple children I have a question. What did you do to make each season special? How did you relish time with your little ones before a baby’s arrival? How did you welcome the new baby and celebrate the beginning of a new season? Before you click away without leaving a comment remember this:

Good parenting doesn’t come from reading all the right books. Your experience is more valuable to us newbies than you probably realize, so please share!

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15 Responses to Firstborn Honeymoon: Round Two

  1. Whittney says:

    I will definitely be checking back here….I am also becoming obsessed with trying to remember EVERYTHING with Avery right now. And honestly, I fear that we’re going to lose some part of being buddies when the boy beebs arrives. Good post Heather!

    • Heather says:

      I have had those feelings, too. I keep trying (not always succeeding) to remind myself that I felt the same way before Katie was born about the effect she would have on my relationship with Daniel. Of course, she did change everything. We never sleep in or have weekend Battlestar Galactica marathons (yes we are dorks), but on the other hand we have never before worked more as partners and shared the joy of common loves and common interests.

      I hope we get some good ideas here on making the transition!

  2. Des says:

    One huge this is something you are already doing, blogging and taking pictures! It’s funny because when I’m nostalgic, I can look back on previous blogs or open iPhoto and just go on a trip down memory lane that more often than not, leaves me in tears.
    Other than that, just making conscious efforts to take it all in. To enjoy the moment and not get caught up in being tired (which is soooo easy with number 2 on the way).
    Sounds to me like you are doing it already :-)
    .-= Des´s last blog ..I Like My Heroine 17 =-.

    • Heather says:

      Great suggestions, Destiny. I want to get better at blogging the “little stuff.” Like this morning when Katie were reading Goodnight Moon Katie asked where the lady went (the quiet old lady whispering hush) on one of the pages. Before I could answer she said “Oh, she’s in the potty.” Love that!

      Also, I think this would be a good point to thank Daddypotamus for the millionth time for getting me a good camera. Every photo from the first year of Katie’s life is so grainy I can barely stand it. Now we just need to start taking more video and we’ll be set!

  3. Russell Hemati says:

    I know I’m not a mom, but I do share the childcare duties equally, so I have an opinion – even if it isn’t as useful to you as other full-time parents. Basically, the reality of having two kids is much better than how I thought it would be. I thought my oldest daughter would feel neglected, de-throned, competitive, and so on. I thought I would constantly battle guilt and stress. Didn’t happen that way. Instead, I see a whole new side of Claire’s personality and character. Doing bath time together with baby Annalise, listening to them laugh at each other in the back of the car, Claire and I crinkling our noses during baby diaper changes, waiting for Annalise to get sleepy so we can go bake cupcakes during her nap – all wonderful, new and priceless additions to our busy days.

    Far from “losing” my oldest daughter – I think she feels more free. She isn’t the sole vessel for mommy and daddy’s attention and dreams for the future. She isn’t constantly watched. If anything, she seems more herself now than she did when Christi was expecting.

    Just my 2 cents. :-)

    • Heather says:

      Russ, you got me. I didn’t mean to imply dads don’t have any wisdom on this subject! Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. Because of Katie’s nurturing tendency toward babies I expect there to be a lot of sweet moments, but I have been concerned about focusing too much on her role as helper rather than just letting her be a kid. Your response gives me a more balanced picture of how things can be. Thank you.

  4. Jessica says:

    I will tell you, I have come to learn that my favorite days ARE the days when we are not doing anything extraordinary. I have hundres of pictures of us running around the front yard, or Ava and Easton on the swingset. Not because these are gorgeous picture-worthy moments. But because they are beautiful memories that I KNOW will drifty out of my mind because they are so mundane. I won’t lie, it is a hard transition from loving one with ALL your heart to loving two with ALL your heart. The guilt can be overwhelming. But just know Katie’s life will never be hurt by sharing you with the new baby it will only be blessed. Ava still remembers (fondly) sitting next to me snuggling, while I fed Easton. I am almost tearing up thinking about how sweet those moments were. :*) You will be a fantastic mother of two. Enjoy your time as two peas in a pod, because it WILL be different. But it will be so much better! : )

    • Heather says:

      Thanks, Jessica! You inspired me to take more pics of our everyday lives. I’m making a list right now: bathtime, story time, naptime when Katie and I are cuddled in bed (gonna need some help with this one), making worm food (don’t ask).

  5. Kathryn says:

    I think you are doing exactly the right thing, losts of hugs and cuddles! Its true, she will have lots of “daddy time” once the new baby arrives. One thing we always do is make a BIG deal out of the Big brothers and sisters. The baby already gets tons of attention. So if the Bigs want to help change a diaper or hold the baby, we encourage that ALL the time. So they feel needed and important. All 6 of ours have been 17-22 months apart and they all have been excited to welcome each new baby! As for asking the same questions 20 times, we get that alot too. If I know I have already answered them before, I ask them if they can tell me the answer….its pretty cute hearing them answer their own question. :)

  6. Linda says:

    I agree that you are pretty much doing it! Take tons of pictures, video, blogging, etc. My major thing now is that I make sure that I carve time out of the day every single day to spend time with Clay (my oldest) while Colt is napping. I also make sure that Clay gets 2 bedtime stories everynight. And he looks forward to them as much as I do. We snuggle in his bed & read, and then we say good nights.

    It is crazy what little ones can sense. The day/night before I went to the hospital to have Colt (I was induced), Clay was so clingy with me. I didn’t really notice it during the day as much as night though. And that night, he couldn’t sleep. The way that I finally got him to sleep was a way that I hadn’t put him to sleep since he was 6 months old. I rocked him for the first time in over a year. It was the sweetest thing ever, and it will always be burned into my memory.
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..Is it the job of a man or woman? =-.

  7. This post totally reminded me of the sweet, priceless months before each of my children was born. I can remember thinking “I want to hold onto the this moment forever.” a million times over as our family transformed. Not that I wasn’t excited about what was to come, just that I was a little sad that I might not be able to take it all in with each new addition.

    My babies are 16, 12, and 10 now, and I admit, I’ve forgotten many of the moments that I had planned on treasuring forever. But last night, as we sat around the dinner table, laughing and joking, and sharing life in a completely different way than when they were in diapers, I sat back for a minute and took it all in, and I thought “I just want to hold on the this moment forever!”…
    .-= JamietheVeryWorstMissionary´s last blog ..Missionaries probably shouldn’t be jealous of strippers. But sometimes they are. =-.

  8. Angela says:

    You will enjoy the moments she first gets to play with baby, the adventures they’ll have together, and the sweet moments of bonding they will have as siblings (not all of them fight ALL of the time).

    My most precious memory is my oldest “teaching” her younger sister to walk. She still takes credit for that. And my youngest still looks to her big sister for help. They are perfectly fit and I tell them that God deliberately placed them two together to be sisters.

  9. Kate says:

    I know exactly what you mean! I’m due in August with number two and I pick up my 25lb toddler several times a day and rock her like she’s still a baby in my arms… it is a bitter sweet time. I am so excited about this next baby but I am anxious about having to split up the attention I will be able to give to my children. I will definitely cherish these last few months we have together as a family of three, as I (at the same time) look so forward to making it a family of four :).

  10. Joanna Moore says:

    well honestly that time before josiah was born is kind of a blur. we moved to a new home, experienced some financial changes and family conflict, and i was really tired. the one thing i do remember was wishing that i had savored our (julia and me) time alone together more. so i determined to do the things that i had up to that point usually procrastinated about– just everyday things like taking her to the park or shopping with me or riding her tricycle around the neighborhood. things i knew would be so much harder with two. i can remember now thinking certain things were too hard to do with julia but now i wish i had done them because they’re really harder now with two, and looking back it would’ve been so easy.

    also, not that it won’t be harder to spend time cuddling, but you CAN still do that when the baby is sleeping or whatever. if it were me again, i’d do outside-the-home things that are easier/only possible with just one. oh, and take advantage of the naps you can get with katie now– because the whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” thing gets chucked out the window pretty much. unless you get lucky and both children nap at the same time.

    you’re doing great, which is apparent just by the fact that you desire to bond in a deeper way before your attention is divided, and are asking for tips from other parents who’ve experienced the same. i hope you enjoy this season to the fullest!

  11. Maggie says:

    I agree with the blogging and picture taking, but just experienced the complete opposite and wanted to share. We just got back from our first family vacation, in Padre, with my 3 1/2 y.o. Jackson, and 19 m.o. Tucker. I purposely decided to leave my camera at home (I did have my iPhone for extra special moments), but I wanted to take a different approach to my picture taking. Since Tucker was born, picture taking has taken a back burner, due to lack of time, and desire to carry a camera in addition to the trillion other things I am a pack mule for :) To make myself feel better I decided that every time I wanted to snap a shot I would stop, take a deep breath, and really FEEL the moment…smell the smells, feel the warmth of the sun, see my boys doing whatever crazy cute thing they were doing, and take a mental picture that I am sure I will never forget! Then I would jump right into that picture and make some more memories. I had been feeling guilty for not taking enough pictures, but I think my boys will remember Mommy making those memories rather then enjoying flipping through huge scrapbooks filled with hundreds of pictures from our vacation. I did snap some pics on my iPhone when I could, and I will treasure them, but I finally released myself from the guilt and decided to “live” in my picture taking moments :)

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