Sometimes I think, as I haul my screaming toddler to the car with a baby strapped to my body, that people probably feel sorry for me. Maybe they even pity me. And you know what? That's ok. I would rather be pitied than judged. I would rather people recognize that I'm an insane person, just trying to control the chaos, than a bad mother with a bad child.
Because, boy, has my child been... we won't say "bad," because he's not. But he's been challenging. Like it should be when your whole world has dramatically changed.
Let me tell you how its been going since H went back to work:
The first week- it was fairly difficult, but I was filled like a balloon with false confidence. I had an activity planned for every day. I was active in Collin's homeschooling, and Upsherin planning. I felt like I had this motherhood thing DOWN.
The second week- I was flattened. Monday came around and I sort of went, "Wait, what? You mean I have to do this again? FOREVER??" I was exhausted. I was depressed. I passed out the minute the kids went to bed at night. I watched Frozen and A Bug's Life multiple times a day because it meant I could get away with sitting on the couch, and it guaranteed at least five minutes of quiet.
The third week- Sibling adjustment was in full swing. Collin went through his days with both guns drawn. It was war. He is feeling very angry right now, mostly at me, and I felt it all week. Every day was a count down until Daddy came home. But, strangely, it felt easier than the second week, and I think that has to do with me. I'm feeling a little more confident. Real confidence this time, the kind you only get from life experience. You have to fall on your face before you know what you're made of.
By the way, I'm still on my face. But, I feel like, six months from now, I'm going to be a completely different person.
I'm so humbled by the way motherhood changes you. And, I'm learning, you are changed completely the second time around, just as you were the first. You bend, you stretch, you grow. You go into your cocoon and come back again, something else. You draw strength from places you didn't know strength was hidden, so you can be strong enough for your children.
I once heard of second time motherhood described as a passage from one of my favorite children's books, The Velveteen Rabbit. It was the part that describes what "real" meant, as the Velveteen Rabbit was a toy who wanted to be real. Becoming a mother again was related to being "made real."
"Your eyes are loved until they fall out. Your fur is all loved off."
Something like that. It said that the first baby made you a mother, but the second baby made you Real. It's true. It's all true. And I feel very Real.