So, I'm writing this as I am one week away from my official due date.
I just left the house to work in a coffee shop so that I could concentrate on the overwhelming list of things that I want to accomplish before baby #2 arrives and my life as we know it, will never be the same.
Needless to say, I'm still shaking off the #momguilt that comes with leaving behind my 16-month old princess, who now understands what "Goodbye & kisses" mean, as she chases after me while I make my way out the door.
Married for 3 years this October, with 2 babies in 2 years. Do I recommend it?
And that's just the honest truth. No matter what people have said to try to lift up my spirits (especially during the first trimester), it didn't make it easier for me to bear -- physically or emotionally.
Just as I was bouncing back on my two feet with my 7-month old sleeping through the night, cutting down breastfeeding to 50%, spending more quality time with the hubby (without a needy baby) and regaining my social life, we find out that we are pregnant... again.
Morning sickness, body aches and pains, career on hold (for longer than expected) and a strict limit to what I can and cannot do.
I felt compelled to share my journey because it hasn't been an easy one... but I know that if I can champion it, anyone can.
Here's what you can expect if you are expecting 2 in 2 years (and it's not the same for everyone, this is based on my personal experience):
- Friction and tension between you and your spouse: adapting to parenthood as a TEAM doesn't always come easy. I mean, you can't expect to be a pro at something you've had no practice with. For some, this takes practice and a lot of patience. What's worked for me is one thing and one thing only, communication in a loving way. Practice it.
- Your thoughts -- everything going on up there -- can either be your saving grace or a detriment to your sanity. Check in with the little voices and be sure that you are not creating negative energy with your thoughts, otherwise you suffer, babies suffer... and everyone around you is affected.
- If you're like me and addicted to the grind, this is going to be a challenging time for you -- especially because your body will demand you to slow down, your little one will demand you to step-up and the baby you are making will demand you to do all sorts of things!
You have to remember that this is a phase in your Life that requires even more attention than your pursuit of dream building... or your desire to live a life on your terms.
As soon as I came to terms with this and surrendered, everything became lighter... and I was able to regain focus and a sense of self, in spite of the chaos. Expect to be challenged. Expect to adapt. And prepare to change. There's nothing like motherhood that will transform you to become stronger and wiser than you think. Focus on the little humans you have created/are creating, but never lose sight of your dreams.
- You can expect to lose some friends -- the ones who are on a different path than you, pursuing their own dreams, experiencing their own struggles. Your journeys no longer align and that's okay. Expect to make new friends -- ones who can relate to your struggle, your dreams, your challenges. Having a circle of friends who you can vent with and relate to will help you through some of the toughest moments, no doubt.
How do you survive? Here are my top 4 tips to survive 2 babies in 2 years:
(1) You ask for help -- and you keep asking, without hesitation or guilt.
This one was a hard one for me, Miss Independent. I struggled with letting go of being in control, because let's be real... you lose all control when you are caring for a baby AND making a new one. Letting go of the need to always be strong and asking for help will save your sanity, believe me.
(2) You DIG DEEP. And you meditate on the BIGGER PICTURE.
You know that quote, "everything happens for a reason"? While it's difficult to see the rainbow in a storm, it is imperative that we BELIEVE that everything DOES happen for a reason and it is only a matter of time that we realize the blessing behind our current circumstance.
Do your very best to put your energy and focus on preparing the World for baby #2 -- and that means, making peace with where you are in Life and what's to come.
(3) You work on your dreams!
You're like, YEAH RIGHT? How do you work on your dreams when you're fatigue, drained, exhausted, feeling sick and not yourself?
You write down your goals, realize that "this too shall pass," and utilize the moments you have to yourself to recalibrate and move towards your dreams.
Even if it means having 30 minutes in your day when the chaos simmers, to read that book, write that blog, continue that business plan. All of your efforts will compound if you continue to take steps toward your dreams. And remember, every step counts.
(4) EAT GRATITUDE for breakfast. I think most of my strength over the past 2 years come from being GRATEFUL. The reality is, not everyone is blessed to have the opportunity to bear a child, never mind two. Although this is a common burden for a lot of women, the struggle prevails and it doesn't make things easier -- having to care for 2 babies... but what i can tell you is that feeling grateful makes it completely WORTH IT.
Be still for a moment and take 10 deep breaths and focus on being GRATEFUL. Breathe into the moment -- and breathe out any feelings of exhaustion, worry or fears you might have.
So, if you're like me, and going through it... brace yourself and pull up your socks. You are a Warrior and you will survive. After all is said and done, we both know that to love and be loved is the greatest gift of all. Make room for Love. And everything will fall into place.