Note: I wrote this essay for my sister-in-law’s baby shower, as she prepares to welcome her second child in a few months.
It’s no secret that being a mom is…challenging.
With the birth of your first baby, the world as you know it ends. Your life now revolves around a tiny little creature’s feedings and nap times. You pass out by 8:30 only to be awoken two hours later and then two hours after that. (And repeat.)
You say goodbye to your friends, your social life, and any hope of having a day in which you get showered, dressed, blow-dry your hair, and put makeup on.
There are so many things to learn, so many decisions to make. Do I breastfeed or use formula? Sleep-train or not? Should I let her use a pacifier? Which diapers are the best?
You ask for advice, get help from your family and friends, and somehow make it through those difficult first months.
Then one day you look down and see, “Hey, there’s no spit-up on my jeans today! I’m lookin’ pretty good!
The baby is napping. You have time to make dinner. The house is relatively clean.
Suddenly, you realize that you’ve got the hang of being a mom. You’re doing it!
And just as you’re feeling like life is finally under control again, you get the news that Surprise! You’re pregnant!
Now, the world as you know it with one baby ends.
You thought it was rough trying to get one on a schedule? Try doing it with two and still managing to get out for errands in between everyone’s feeding and napping schedules.
Bath time now has two squirming babies! And neither has any qualms about pooping in the tub!
You will spend a small fortune on diapers and wipes and still always be on the verge of running out.
You will get one through a sleep regression just in time for the other one to start. Hooray!
So yes. It will be tough. You will be tired. You will say Why on earth did I do this to myself?
And we will remind you that it won’t always be this hard.
You will make it past the sleepless nights and the endless days with mug after mug of coffee (and then wine) and suddenly you will have another realization…you now have siblings.
A brother and a sister who will giggle together.
Crawl to each other.
Smile at each other.
Team up against you with each other.
Bully the cats together.
Teach each other.
Love each other.
And it will all be worth it.
Photo courtesy of the amazingly talented Mackenzie Tanner Photography.