In the new baby trenches

by Jessie K on January 10, 2014

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Being a mom of two is wonderful and exhilarating but it’s surprisingly hard to maintain the blog when Katie decides she doesn’t want to sleep. I’m writing this post with one hand while she nurses in the other. Please note my stellar punctuation.

For the most part, Katie is calm and relaxed and an absolute joy to be with, but we spend an awful lot of time pacing from one of the house to the other.  I can’t always set her down because she fusses. I can’t put her in the Ergo or the Moby because she fusses. We can’t go for a proper walk because it’s raining and cold and miserable outside so we end up walking from one end of the house to the other 10,000 times. When she does go to sleep, I’m faced with a choice — do I nap with her? Or take the time to get something done? Usually my need for productivity wins out even though I know I’ll be biting the heads off live chickens by 6 p.m.  Sorry, loving husband of mine!

Everyone always told me “having a second child is more than double the work of one” and while I’m not sure I’m able to quantify that as exactly true, I know I’m sleep deprived. I look like I’ve aged ten years in the last ten days. I’ve got these two new laugh lines etched in my face from the side of my nose to the corner of my mouth (do you think they’ll go away once my schedule gets back to normal? Har! Har! I wish!) I’ve completed more than 20 crossword puzzles in the last couple of days. I’ve been watching Girls Season 2 while Katie squirms in my arms. (Is it just me or does that show become more irritating with each child you have?) My skin is dry and crackly and I’m wearing five sweaters. I’m still wearing maternity jeans. The old man — my new name for Jake — and I grunt at each other as we pass in the hallway at the end of the day, each trying to commandeer a child. 

I’m in the new baby trenches, in other words. It took me approximately 4 hours to peck out this post. One of these days, I’ll come out the other side, smelling like a rose. For now, I smell of spit-up.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

JulieO January 10, 2014 at 1:30 pm

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Oh man, do I remember that!! It’s so mental, yes? When you’re in the thick of it it seems like it’s never going to end but it’s really such a short period of time. really. seriously. Chocolate…to hell with the maternity pants…you’re nursing a baby and you’re walking the house…chocolate really helps.
All the best to you!

Jessie K January 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm

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So funny. I just polished off the second half of a jumbo Hershey bar right before I read your comment. Chocolate cures all!

Annette January 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm

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I hate to be a downer but when I was main-lining chocolate while nursing it had some negative consequences -fussiness and digestive upset (the baby, not me). Hopefully, Katie won’t be sensitive to foods you eat. That was about the only food that mine had any reaction to.
About how quickly time passes- one of my dear friends told my son that the days are long but the years are short. I think that is very true of baby time!

Diane January 10, 2014 at 4:21 pm

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Yeah, I remember the sleep or acomplishment dilemma like it was yesterday even though my last child was born 30 years ago (gasp!) However, probably the most notable thing I realized during that time was that a baby takes her emotional cues from her mother. If mom is tired/crabby/tense then the baby will be, too. If mom is calm then baby will be also. I always wondered why my baby (whichever one of three) was fussiest on days when I was most wiped out and needed him/her to cooperate until I realized that I was the one beginning the cycle. We love the blog but screw it and get some sleep, honey. We’ll still be here after you’ve had a nap.

Jessie K January 12, 2014 at 8:37 am

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You are so right, Diane!

Nancy at Coneflower Ranch January 10, 2014 at 4:45 pm

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Re:Girls, it’s not just you, but seriously I would take that time to rest if you can.

When I had my second child that’s what I missed the most. My 2 year old didn’t rest at the same times as the baby. I yearned for the day that I could get back to work and get some rest, lol. I was teaching second grade at the time so that’s saying something. This mommy thing takes it’s toll. Choose rest and everything else will be there when you’re better rested.

sarah January 10, 2014 at 5:48 pm

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i got things done when my second was born and my first barely 2..but looking back i have to say..”F” it ! take the dam nap! then by dinner time..you might actually be able to force a smile and eat..maybe a shower and see how junes day went..no nap..and..well,.. have you seen the shining?

Jessie K January 12, 2014 at 8:35 am

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Good point!

Bonnie January 10, 2014 at 6:54 pm

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I remember when my 3rd was really little, a friend told me how put-together I always looked when picking up my oldest from school. I almost burst out crying because that was the furthest from how I was feeling. I did my best to shower every morning and keep everyone fed and said screw it to everything else. It gets better, thank goodness.

Jessie K January 12, 2014 at 8:35 am

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To be honest, it’s actually not that bad. It’s just sometimes when I’m sitting in the house all alone with the baby with no one to talk to that I get a little stir crazy. But like my mother in law reminds me, it’s all over in a flash…which is both good and bittersweet, so I’m trying to take it in stride and enjoy these moments.

Bob F. January 10, 2014 at 10:20 pm

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Chocolate:

Chocolate comes from beans. Beans come from plants. Plants are used in salads. Therefore, chocolate is a salad.

Enjoy your chocolate Jessi. :)

Penny January 11, 2014 at 9:49 am

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Amen Bob!

Hobbitprof January 10, 2014 at 10:32 pm

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A friend of ours equated having the second kid as “going from zone defense to man to man.” Hang in there, it gets better eventually (ours are 28 mos and 8 mos and we are almost back to zone defense).
As others have said, your loyal readers will understand if blog posts are a bit thinner right now. Get some sleep whenever you can!!!

Barbie.O. January 11, 2014 at 8:23 am

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My doctor told me “baby rests, mommy should rest too”. Take the nap and take care of yourself.

Penny January 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm

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Rest when you can Jessie. We will all be here when you come back. You can’t take care of the family if you don’t take care of yourself.

Olga January 11, 2014 at 8:49 pm

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I think the only accomplishment that should come before “nap” is earning money to pay your mortgage (and heating!!!!). So laundry or nap = nap. Cooking or nap = nap. Responding to email from the publisher or nap = email to the publisher. Anyway it’s my rule, but I think it’s a good one.
One other thing I did (and still do) is have my ultimate reason for wanting kids visualized into one picture. And when I think I am about to go belly up I bring it up in my mind and look at it long and hard – it really helps. So for me, it’s having grown up kids (like 20′s or 30′) sitting around the table drinking wine and talking about oceanology or design or food or whatever. So maybe for you it’s taking Kate to see ballet… anyway you get the idea… It really helps

Rachel January 13, 2014 at 6:46 am

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I practice the 5-minute Rule: if I can accomplish something little in 5 minutes and it will really make me feel better, then I go ahead and do it. Otherwise, if that glorious opportunity arises, I take the nap!! For example, today’s task: the really icky toilet! (note, not the WHOLE bathroom, just the toilet! lol)

Winter is VERY long if your stuck indoors with a newborn, (I live in Canada, so I feel your pain!) If the weather’s icky, can you take her for a drive, or go for a mall walk, or a library walk, or ANY OTHER indoor building that’s close to you and provides a different view for you? (No lie, last winter my newborn and I walked the halls of the only public school in our little town when mommy was going stir-crazy!! I have a car seat-hating baby, so we had to find somewhere close by. We also walked around the pizza joint and the post office. lol) Or maybe find some other mommies and have mommy playdates?

Hang in there! This too shall pass :)

Janelle January 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm

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Doesn’t June look so huge and like such a big girl next to Katie Bea?

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