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Dear Mothers Expecting Baby #2,

I saw a friend this week strolling her 8-month-old baby in the mall.  She looked on the verge of tears. She had left her older child with her mother for an hour so she could have a break.  She said the previous day had been very bad.

“Oh the kids were driving you crazy?” I asked nonchalantly.

“No, I had a bad day as a mother…..and as a person,” she answered gravely, tears threatening to spill over.  She went on to tell me how she was feeling – but I didn’t need to hear the details.  I could just look at her eye sockets and the despair on her face and it all came flooding back to me.  I remember all-too vividly how I felt everyday for 3 years when I was home with two babies.

But this is the kicker….nobody warns you how difficult it will be with two children.  Nobody mentions how your whole world will get turned upside down and you will end up on the verge of a nervous breakdown.   As a result of getting blindsided you end up walking through Nordstrom with your baby in a haze of tears, guilt and despair.

That’s what I am here for….TO WARN YOU!!!

To keep it real for you people.

When you are pregnant with your first child, people shower you with gifts, compliments, foot rubs, unsolicited advice, old wives’ tales, hand-me-downs…..

When you are pregnant anytime after that – the general attitude you will get from people (including your husband) is – “You got this, right?”

Nobody cares anymore.

When you have one kid – you have to adjust and it is difficult at first.  You have to get used to running on empty.  You have to get used to putting someone else’s needs before your own.  You have to be a little less narcissistic, but yet, once you get used to all of this – it’s totally manageable.

When the second child comes, you are completely caught off-guard.  You have done this before, so you should be a pro.  It should be easier this time around….right?


Remember how tired you were with one baby?

Remember how guilty and confused you were with one baby?

Remember how much you wanted to smother your husband with your boppy with one baby?

Remember how fat you were with one baby?

Multiply all of that by 1 million percent.

I know what your thinking… can one extra little person make the percentage jump one million percent?

Trust me.

It just does.

Oh yeah – and remember that little bit of “me time” you had carved out when you had one child?

Oh, that’s actually completely gone now.  That little snippet of time is now alloted for the baby.

Oh yeah, and if there is an act of God and both children are sleeping or otherwise occupied – you still don’t get a minute to yourself – because that’s when the old needy, neglected husband will come a’ knockin.

You will have to find another avenue for your narcissism too, (thank you blog and Facebook.)

Just don’t say I didn’t warn you……

When Michael was 9 months old, with what little faculties I had at that point, I realized that if I were to ever come out of the state of shock and sleeplessness that I was in, then I would probably tell Mr. Gaga that I was done and put that shit* on lockdown.

(*”That shit” can be loosely defined as baby swings, diapers, and my uterus.)

If you saw me or spoke to me from 2005 to roughly mid-2009 – this is all I remember from the conversation….Sorry.

So in my baby-induced stupor I suggested that we have our children close in age.  Mr. Gaga basically just rolled over in bed and I was pregnant….Michael was 9-months-old.

This arrangement is not for the faint-of-heart.  Two boys came into my life  in an 18-months time span and I thought I would actually die.

If not from just sheer mental and physical exhaustion – but from the loss of self, the sucking up and vanishing of my soul…my actual being.

It was all gone.  My hopes, my dreams, my desires…they were all gone buried under a cloud of nipple pads, burp cloths and “Good Night Moon.”

One time I got a sitter and I went to the nail salon, and acted really crazy. I was hoping to get put away for “exhaustion” – but nobody cared……

I remember sitting on the couch attempting to breastfeed Sam while Michael cried and pulled on me.  Sam would cry because he couldn’t latch on to my boob, Michael would cry because he wanted me and I would cry because I was starting to realize that my life would never be mine again.

FYI – Nursing a baby while an 18 month old jumps all-over you is not recommended for the preservation of your sanity or your nipples.

At Sam’s 3 month check-up, the doctor asked how the breastfeeding was going.

I stared back at him and without emotion stated, “Well, this kid will have a super-duper immune system and no ear infections, but sadly he will also have no mother….because I will be in the institution…”

I thought for sure he was writing down that he advised a quick hospitalization for “exhaustion,” but when he left the room I looked at the notes – and it just said “Mother still fat and complaining about breastfeeding.”

Thankfully, my doctor did suggest switching to formula, time marched on and I survived.

When all was said and done – I always say it was an extremely tough 3 years and then things started to get easier.

The great pay-off now is that they are the best of friends.  They love each other so much and are inseparable.  I am grateful to think that they have each other and will always be close.

Of course as is to be expected they fight incessantly – but I know that they care about each other very much.  When I hear them in their rooms laughing together or watch them playing, I absolutely know that all of my hard work and loss of my soul is worth it in the end because they have each other.

Especially this morning when I went into Sam’s room and saw a little note folded next to his bed from his brother.  I love how they secretly communicate with each other with notes or pictures.  Sam idolizes his older brother, so much that he will keep every little scrap of paper that Michael gives him.

I sighed and thought how sweet my two little angels are as I opened it up to read it and saw this…..


23 responses »

  1. Too cute!!! The note that is….the advice shucks…yikes….I feel an incredible sense that I should keep this stuff close as to not forget it!! Lol lol….I know for sure I would be locked up!

  2. You always leave me in stitches. Sitting here drinking my coffee (with my two very young sons), trying to hide the fact that I’m reading on my phone (lest they steal it from me) and laughing maniacally.

  3. I too spent the first year of my childs life roaming around nordstrom in a foggy haze. I was there so much that the employees recongnize us and comment on how my kids have grown….so sad.

  4. I had my first two 18 months apart as well and you nailed it. I felt like a drowning person someone was peeing on. Two someones, in fact. Now when I hear someone tell me she is pregnant with her second, I offer my condolences.

  5. Annnndddd that I why I chose to stop at one…….

  6. I have three.. and for those of you wondering if going from 1-2 or 2-3 is worse…. it’s definitely 2-3! I feel guilty when my oldest goes to school because I only have 2 at home! But the biggest bonus comes on MWF mornings when my middle guy goes off to preschool!!! Whooo hooooo!!!! As always you are hysterical and spot on but my favorite part of this post was about the husband comin’ knockin’!! I even read it to my husband in hopes that he would FINALLY get it!!

  7. OMGgggggggosh,
    You. Freaking. ROCKkkkkkkkk!

  8. Hahahaha!!! I KNOW exactly what you are talking about. Crazy me went on to have a 3rd…I had 3 under 3 for a while. Needless to say, I was in a fog as well. In all, we have 4 kids, but the last 2 are 4 years apart 😉
    Thank you for making me laugh, and I love that note.

  9. Man, i remember my girls coming at 22 months apart and I’m pretty sure I should’ve been institutionalized. I had no clue what I was doing and there were days I was a sobbing wreck. I had fantasies about running away. Fortunately there was a shred of decency that kept me from abandoning house and family. lol I’ve got four now, and it’s gotten much easier as they’ve gotten older. I’m so thankful for the school day!

  10. This is one of the funniest and sweetest things I have ever read. When I read the first part, all I was thinking is “I’m never having a second” and then when I read the end, I thought “Okay, yeah, maybe I could do it”. That said, I think I’m still recovering from the newborn phase (my daughter is almost a year), and there’s no way I’m having another until I somehow manage to forget how awful those first few months are.

  11. Oh, Lord. This is the funniest and most bittersweet thing I’ve read in a while. I’m mom to an almost 14 yr-old, 10 yr-old, and 16 mo-old. The “you’ve got this, right” attitude you’ve described is IT, even though there’s a wide-ranging space between my kids. That’s the thing that has been plaguing me since this last baby was born…I don’t think I have ever felt so alone as I have since he entered this world. Because of the years between the kids, in some ways it’s almost as if he’s a first baby all over again, and yet because he’s a third, he’s in many ways an afterthought for a lot of people, which is so sad to me. I’ve looked at his sweet little face (especially during those first miserable five months of colic) and thought “it’s just you and me, babe.” Anyway, thanks for a great post–even in the little differences, I loved the familiar things that made me laugh out loud.

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  13. Ah, now I can read all that and smile and nod and remember. I had my 2 kids 18 months apart–way back when. Now they are 26 and nearly 28–yikes! I didn’t kill myself or either of them, we made it. You will too 🙂

  14. I was going to say that having two isn’t that bad — then I realized that I probably only think that because I have four. After #3, the people around you *really* have the “you got this, right?” attitude!

  15. I absolutely LOVE this story. I felt exactly the same way after I had my son, who is now 18 months old. He has an older sister who is 4. She wasn’t quite done with her “terrible two’s” stage when he was born. When I read the part about breastfeeding while your older child cried for you..OMG, I remember sitting and crying about the very same thing! I believe everyone in my household cried, at some point, with the first month or so after my son was born. LOL God Bless!

  16. Ohmigosh, anytime I’m thinking about #2 (knowing I barely survived #1) I think to myself we’re OK, one is OK….this most definitely will be in my memory each time I think ‘it has to be easier the 2nd time right’. Bless you for saving me, my husband, my child and all of our sanity.

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