Having a newborn is sort of like living in a daze.
For me, combine the almost constant feedings and sleep deprivation with taking care of a 4-year-old, and it’s practically a miracle I can get Elliot to preschool on time every day.
On that note, I have to give props to all the super moms who have children close together (read: those who don’t have the luxury of taking the older child to preschool). I’m not sure I could function seven days a week without taking a nap after dropping off Elliot at school.
While I admit these first few weeks of Cecilia’s life have been exhausting, there are so many sweet moments. Who doesn’t love holding a cuddly newborn who still pulls her feet up, sticks out her little butt and tucks her arm under her face? We chuckle at her grunts and coos, and we love watching her sleepy smiles.
Without going all “Carpe Diem,” I do have to say that I’m really trying to enjoy this time as much as possible. When I look at Elliot, who will turn 5 at the end of the month, I am reminded of how quickly life goes. I can hardly remember what he was like as a newborn. I actually feel guilty for having to think so hard to recall those memories.
One of my fears is that the same will happen with Cecilia. I worry that somehow all the pictures taken or journal entries written won’t be enough.
I also worry that Cecilia’s first words could possibly be “No, Elliot” or “Stop that, Elliot.” Big Brother’s behavior has not exactly been stellar since Cecilia was born. Amid my frequent correcting and disciplining, I find myself getting so frustrated at the almost 5-year-old who I found so perfect when he was born.
I then started wondering at what point Cecilia’s behavior will trigger that frustration in me. While I’m not looking forward to putting her in time out or taking away privileges from her, I know the time will come for her too. The sweet moments when she is curled up on my chest will begin to gradually cease.
It is somewhat bothersome when onlookers offer that ever so common “enjoy every moment” advice, but having a second child certainly gives me a new perspective on that notion.
So, yes, I will hold my newborn as much as I want. And, yes, she may sleep in our bed if it’s easier on a particular night. Yes, I will enjoy her as much as possible.
All that said, I will not enjoy the times when she decides it’s a good idea to be awake from 1-4 a.m. During one recent middle-of-the-night party, I actually said, “Cecilia, this is getting a little ridiculous. Don’t you think it’s time to go to sleep yet?” My first taste of true frustration with my “perfect” newborn. No wonder I feel like I’m in a daze most of the time!
Originally published on ovparent.com.