What lies ahead

There are a million other things I could be doing. Washing dishes, folding clothes, staring at my new bundle of joy — even sleeping. I just returned to work from maternity leave and I know I need to be concentrating on finding our new “normal.” Beginning and committing to a new blog may not seem like a great idea.

But I’m looking at it this way – it’s either now or never. I could always come up with an excuse to put it off. I could tell myself I’ll make it through my first summer with two kids first. Or, I’ll wait to get back into the swing of things at work. Or, I’ll wait until he’s sleeping through the night.

That may take longer than I’m willing to wait. So, I suppose it’s finally time to take a leap of faith in myself and start writing.

I’m still getting up about two times a night to feed the baby. Hayden is his name, and he’s 2 months old (he will be 3 months old June 1). It’s not as often as I expected though, and I’m grateful for that. He eats and falls right back to sleep. It wasn’t exactly that easy with the first.

We went into it thinking it would be 14 months before he would sleep through the night. That’s right. 14 months — the same amount of time it took Nathaniel, our now 4 year old, to sleep 7 to 8 hours regularly. But so far, it’s been a little more smooth sailing for Hayden in the sleep department. He already sleeps for longer stretches than Nathaniel did at this age. And, so far we haven’t had to get up every 3 to 5 minutes to put the paci back in his mouth.

So, expect the worst, hope for the best, right? It worked out that way this time for us — at least with this particular issue.

The effort was exhausting the first time around: pulling yourself from bed, again and again and again, thinking EVERY time, it’s going to work THIS time, but being discouraged over and over again because it doesn’t. He won’t go back to sleep. He’s hungry this time, needs changed the next. Now he won’t stop crying. You think to yourself you will not make it another night. But you do. And it ends — eventually. I can say I know this now, having been through it before. Just as all the other challenges you encounter as parents, this too shall pass.

We were able to sleep again. We’re still working on keeping him out of our bed. We’re getting there. We got past potty training. We got past the meltdowns when dropping him off at preschool. We got past the terrible 2s – and 3s and some 4s.

Now, we get to start over. And I don’t really mind. The lessons they teach you — patience, perseverance, selflessness and unconditional love among them — end up being just as relevant as the lessons you teach them. I like to think these early struggles have already made me a better person, a better mom.

There will be many obstacles ahead with our newest addition. He’s sure to throw us for some loops. But no matter what challenges lie ahead, we’re up to the task, because there’s not much that’s more rewarding than being loved by — and being in love with — your child.

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