When we first brought Avery home from the hospital, it was a complete adjustment for me to try to split my time between both girls. Avery needed me nearly every hour of the day, but Harlan still wanted my attention as well. Thankfully Harlan was as smitten with her new little sister as I was and she spent most of her time with both of us just gushing over her. She knew that Avery needed me and was completely understanding.
I’m not going to tell you that Harlan doesn’t love her sister as much as she did those first few weeks home, because she definitely does if not even more. But I will tell you that the newness of having a little sister at home has worn off. As much as they love playing with one another, lately they have found that they need their alone time as well.
I’ve been doing this “mom of two” thing for nearly a year now and over this year, both girl’s needs for me have changed. Avery no longer needs me every few hours for nourishment like she did those first few months. Harlan has realized that most of the time Avery’s needs aren’t as imperative as they used to be. Now Avery needs me emotionally just as her sister does. And to be honest, that makes it so much harder than it was in the very beginning.
Tonight as I was trying to get both girls ready for bed, Avery was in a very needy mood and wanted to be held by me and only me. You put her down and she would just sit and cry. At the other end of the apartment I had Harlan screaming from the bathroom for me to help her. I couldn’t help her and hold Avery at the same time, so I had to set Avery down to help Harlan. Avery’s sitting on the floor crying and I am helping Harlan in the bathroom as my heart rips into pieces hearing Avery cry and yell, “Mama!”
As soon as I finished and went to pick up Avery to help soothe her and get her in her pajamas, Harlan calls from the other room because she couldn’t find her pajamas. It was literally one thing after the other. This time Harlan waited while I got Avery changed and in her pajamas. But Harlan didn’t wait quietly. She screamed from her room while throwing clothes from her drawer trying to find her pajamas.
Rather than helping both girls, I just wanted to to curl up in a ball and cover my ears. I was overwhelmed. Isn’t it supposed to get easier as they get older?
Tonight wasn’t the first time that both girls have needed me at the same time. Tonight just happened to be the night that the light bulb went off in my head and I realized that being a mom of two isn’t as easy as I thought it was.
But with challenge comes growth. And as much as I would love to find an easy way out (yes, cloning myself would be awesome,) that won’t help me progress on this road we call motherhood. It’s night’s like tonight that make us stronger. They make us think. And ultimately, they make us better mothers.
More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:
- My Favorite Etsy Shops For First Birthday Decorations
- 15 Great Gifts for Baby’s First Birthday
- My Favorite Photos from Avery’s 11th Month
- 10 Things NOT to do When Traveling Alone with Children
- 12 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues With Your Baby
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.