Our second daughter Kate arrived on September 6 and has been a wonderful addition to our family. While I was pregnant, however, I had all of the same fears as the average second-time mom-to-be: How will I/we juggle two kids? Will our new baby sleep? What will Isabel, our three year old, think of her new sibling? But here’s the thing: I never once considered that the biggest post-baby challenge I would face would have nothing to do with Isabel or Kate. Instead, it would have to do with my marriage.
Joe and I were once again ships literally passing in the night, trading off on diaper duty, rocking sessions and feedings. There were two mouths to feed and double the clothes to be washed. We were back to diapers, diaper bags, bottle washing, and mass amounts of baby gear. And we were up every three to four hours with our newborn after getting used to having a toddler who sleeps up to 12 hours a night, not to mention juggling all the responsibilities of two kids (Joe would eat with Isabel while I’d feed Kate; I’d take Isabel to preschool while he’d care for Kate; and so on). We had no time for each other; the kids were getting everything we had.
Flash forward several weeks…Kate is now a little over two months old, and Stella (aka ME) is veryyyy slowly getting her groove back. While Joe and I certainly aren’t running out for weekly date nights or swinging from the rafters like the good old days, we have found time to sneak away from the kids on occasion. For example, our anniversary was just a few weeks after Kate was born, and Joe pushed me to leave the kids with a sitter so that we could have a few kid-free hours to celebrate us. I would have NEVER left Isabel at only three weeks old, but I recognized how important "us time" really was in order to excel at "kid time."
As for appreciating each other day to day, we’re still working on that. We should make alone time more of a priority, and I should ask him "How was your day?" before pushing two kids on him each night when he gets home from work. We will get there again, and "fun Karyn and Joe" will hopefully return one day. Until then, I'll just focus on the two minutes of quiet that we have together before I go to bed (at 9:00) each night. Tackling two isn't always easy, but there's a lot of love and laughter in our house and in the end, that's all that truly matters.
How did you find time to reconnect after having your second child?