Kailtyn will officially be two weeks old today at 2:04 pm. Before she arrived I tried to picture the whirlwind and chaos that these first few weeks would bring, so imagine my surprise when we sit here at the two week mark actually settling in to our new normal. Please note that settling in should not be confused with any sort routine or schedule; it’s more like a somewhat-organized chaos. Let’s take a look…
Monday was my first official day on my own. I wasn’t sure what we’d do or what to expect, so I just went with it. Well, let me tell you, the day was flawless. Seriously, I felt like super mom.
We read books together while I nursed. We played with toys and colored together at the table.
We went on a long walk with Kaitlyn in the ergo (<– life saver!), Koda at my side and Hailey pushing her lawnmower.
We played on the new swing set.
We picked strawberries from the deck to wash and devour.
Yup, it was about as June Cleaver as you can imagine. When I had both girls napping at 1:00 pm and was able to do a little laundry and cleaning, I mentally told myself that I could not blog about this. I figured you would either think I was straight up lying or throw virtual tomatoes at my face for making it look easy. Nope, I’d savor this victory in blissful silence.
…then Tuesday came and brought reality along with it.
And I decided that I definitely could blog about it.
Tuesday went about as opposite from Monday as possible. I did manage to get both girls to the bank and get the certified checks I needed to order Kaitlyn’s birth certificate (…um, and Hailey’s which I apparently never did? Oops. #newmomfail). Then the day sort of fell apart and we all looked straight up disheveled.
Maybe I sparked it all by trying to squeeze in a trip to Target when I knew I was pushing it. Having Hailey begging the cashier for a bag while Kaitlyn screamed her hungry head off really set the tone for the rest of the day.
Trying to be savvy, I decided we’d stop at a playground so Hailey could play while I nursed Kaitlyn. Good in theory, but it was hot as Hades and I ended up sweating all over Kaitlyn while Hailey begged to be lifted into the swing, which I could not do while nursing. She then decided to run back to the car, which led to a fall, a scraped knee and a crying toddler and newborn while I still had half my shirt undone. Screw this, I thought, and made a beeline for home.
As we pulled in the driveway, the pest control guy pulled in behind us. He came to say hi as I parked. Well, Koda went barking at him like crazy, Kaitlyn was still screaming for the rest of her meal and Hailey was whining for a Band-Aid. Plus, I really had to go to the bathroom.
Ah, I knew reality would arrive sooner or later! Thank you Dora the Explorer for getting me through that one.
The rest of the days have been a blend of Monday and Tuesday. I figure those are the new normal. A beautiful, unpredictable, sometimes stressful blur of days that will turn into weeks, then years. The days are long but there years are short. That’s what ‘they’ say, right?
I have, however, learned a few tricks in the past two weeks that have made the transition a bit easier.
- Just go. I am not one to sit around at home. I go stir crazy! I’ve been filling up our mornings with play dates and errands. I remember with Hailey I’d think ‘but what if… she starts crying, or gets hungry, or gets a dirty diaper…’ but now I know, yup, all that is going to happen. Who cares. Figure it out as you go.
- Say yes to all offers. I have some very generous friends that have offered everything from meals to running errands for me to having Hailey over to play so I can have a morning with Kaitlyn to myself. Very generous. I’m usually (used to be?) terrible at accepting help. I’d swear up and down I was just fine, but you know what? People want to help (I know when I offer, I truly want to be useful!) and it’s SO nice to have some extra helping hands when we don’t have family nearby. So I’m practicing saying yes and I’m falling in love with it. My friend Cheryl asked me if I wanted anything from Starbucks yesterday when we were meeting at the park. I said no, but she pushed and told me about their great iced tea, so I accepted. And it was delicious! Friends are the best.
- Chat with those that understand. My friend, Courtney, brought dinner to us last night. She arrived at 4:30, just as Kaitlyn was nursing and Hailey woke up on the wrong side of her soiled bed and was in quite the mood. It’d be easy to feel embarrassed by my toddler crying in time out and my pajama pants and hair knot, but Courtney has two little girls herself and so it was easy to laugh it off and trade stories of crazy toddler antics and the ups and downs of being a mom.
- Embrace the chaos. Yesterday evening a storm moved in. Kaitlyn was needing to be held and rocked and Hailey had a serious case of the sillies and was running around giggling like a rabid hyena and wanting to style everyone’s hair, Koda’s included. David and I looked at each other with these ‘how the heck did we end up here’ eyes, then smiled. We both know that one day we will sit around reminiscing on these unpredictable, exhausting, wonderful days. The chaos is part of the fun if you can just learn to roll with it.
So there’s the first week on my own in a nutshell. My washing machine pretty much runs non-stop, I’m almost fully dependent on dinners brought by friends and even though my type-A side would love to see some semblance of a routine develop, I know we’ll get there in time.
I hope you all have a great weekend!