Sometimes when you have 'one of those days', the ones where everyone is a bit tired and irritable, where your toddler is in a silly mood all day, you have an Easter bonnet to make for nursery, you haven't even thought about what to make for dinner and where your baby is so far past being tired that they won't sleep a wink, you just have to take a step back, take a deep breath and look forward to tomorrow. Today really has been one of 'those days' where bedtime can't come soon enough and where I just want to crash out on the sofa, watch TV and eat a load of Mini eggs.
Of course, not every day is like this for us but we have had our fair share in recent weeks. I think before Little L was born, I really underestimated how much harder it would be having two children than one. I think it will get easier, but for now, life with a toddler and a newborn is really hard work. I have been ill at least 3 times, and I feel I've aged about 10 years in the past 10 weeks! I think the lack of sleep is a massive contributor- on average we are still waking 2-3 times in the night, mostly around 1:30am, 3:30am and 5:30am. It has been a real shock to the system because we were well and truly spoiled by LO who slept through from 6 weeks and has done ever since, bar the odd night here and there where he's had a bad dream or been sick in the night. Little L is showing no signs of being close to sleeping through yet, and in the daytime I am craving an afternoon nap, like I did when I was pregnant. But of course, life can't simply stop in the daytime.
I'd love to be a fly on the wall in another house with a toddler and a newborn. I always wonder how other parents cope with the general day to day things you have to get done. On the whole, I think we are coping pretty well, but there are times when I wonder whether I am giving equal time and attention to each of my boys. Am I providing enough stimulation for Little L? Does LO mind sitting watching yet another episode of Thomas while I feed Little L or while I dash around trying to get lunch sorted or get some laundry on?
Today's mad moment came when I was trying to get LO to help make his Easter bonnet for nursery. I had gathered a few ideas from Pinterest (as you do!) and in my head, had this plan for a bonnet which I thought he could do mostly himself with help from me. I got all the necessary things ready, the glue, the glitter, feathers, those little yellow chicks and sheep, paper, card etc. and when it came to it, he wasn't the slightest bit interested in helping. Pom Poms and feathers went flying, Little L was crying his eyes out waiting to be fed, and still we had no bonnet. I probably shouldn't have such high expectations and I should probably accept that this year, maybe we should keep it simple and just stick to a perfectly acceptable cardboard headband with Easter stickers stuck on!
Another thing which has been tough in recent weeks is that we put our house on the market about 5 weeks ago (I will be doing a separate post all about that) and so we have been trying to live in a show-home like state for 5 weeks, ready for any potential house viewers who want to come and have a nosey at our home. Inevitably, with a toddler and a newborn we haven't been able to live life without making any mess, so we have been spending so much free time tiding, cleaning and then re-tidying the house again and again, for each new potential viewer. It really is exhausting but being the house-proud person I am, I couldn't show anyone around our house without it being spotlessly tidy and clean but this has put added pressure on us as parents, at a time when we are feeling truly exhausted.
But while life right now is really hard work, and utterly exhausting, it's also incredibly rewarding and I know how lucky we are to be a little family of four. I am learning to put less pressure on myself to do too much. I know that it really is impossible to split myself in two, so I should stop trying to do that. I know these difficult early days with the sleepless nights won't last forever and while having a little baby who won't lie down during the day makes getting anything done almost impossible, I know I should relish these moments, each and every cuddle, and just learn to accept that sometimes, it's ok to not fill our days with going to endless groups, soft play and crafty activities at home but instead to enjoy time with the three of us where we snuggle on the sofa watching the 100th episode of Thomas on repeat. And so I am learning that it's ok if the house it a bit messy, the breakfast dishes are still waiting to go in the dishwasher at 8pm and the beds aren't made, because in reality, all that can wait.
I have always been a 'glass half empty' sort of person and a bit of a pessimist, but I want to focus less on the not so good days like today, and focus more on the better moments of motherhood. The most ordinary of moments with my two boys- I want to absorb all the small things, I want to relish every cuddle with LO and every cosy snuggle with Little L while I am feeding him. For it's these moments which I will miss the most when they are my big boys.