Happy Birthday Max! I survived the first year… again. The first year with the second child is so different. For one, it has gone by ridiculously fast. Secondly, Max seems so much more baby-like at this age than Abby did. Perhaps a part of me wants him to remain a baby, especially since I know he is our last child. Of course, I could have another baby. If that happened, I’d certainly have some ‘splaining to do.
In many ways Max’s first year was much easier than that first year with Abby. I was more confident. My expectations (in myself) were more reasonable. Here's what I didn't expect:
- How frazzled I’d feel on a daily basis
- That dealing with two kids is exponentially harder than dealing with one
- There would be no time for myself
That my marriage would feel more like a ship navigating a stormy sea (peaks of utter happiness and total fulfillment; then lows of extreme frustration and sadness)
Hard is not an adequate word to describe the last year in our almost 12-year marriage. Challenging? Yes. Depressing? Yes. Preventable? Nope, probably not. I honestly think this is a ride we have to take. Literally, it’s like we are on two separate teams. Sometimes, it feels like we are in two separate places. In fact, often we are. When I am at home, he is at work. And vice-verse. When I am in bed, he is watching TV downstairs. In fact, when I am in bed, I am usually with one of the kids. Our parenting philosophies often run perpendicular, not parallel. We are working on that. I am not pointing fingers or placing blame. What’s the point? I vent when I need to and I hold nothing back. If we have one thing going for us it’s that we don’t ever internalize.
I have faith we will survive. Things will get better. They already are. We have invested too much into the relationship to simply give up and walk away. We are both fighters, which is good and sometimes bad. Besides, I don’t think we are going through anything that other new parents, specifically those who are on kid #2 or #3, don’t also endure. We are just trying to get to know who we are in our new roles and how our life together fits into that picture.
Max is an adorable little boy. His only goal in life right now is to make us laugh. He is a goof and his giggle is completely infectious. He worships his sister and she adores him. When I see them together, usually cracking each other up, I am overwhelmed with happiness. It’s easy to forget those rough patches, those surly, sour emotions. Instead, what I feel is sweet and loving--a reminder of how (and why) Paul and I got here in the first place.