It’s been about 3 weeks since I got home from the hospital with Bryson. I wasn’t sure what I’d be walking into, but I had high hopes that Matthew’s actions towards, and love of, other babies up to this point would trickle into our own home and we’d be all set.
This has been true for the most part 😉
Until last week, there had been nothing but love and kisses tossed on Bryson by his big brother. I just got Matthew up from his nap and his first concern after asking where our visitors went (we had two of our favorite people here when he went down for his nap) was his little brother. He caught a quick glimpse of Bryson on our bed and wanted to be seated right beside him, climbed up to kiss him, and is now sitting next to him in the bop.py with his hand on Bryson’s foot. He loves his brother.
One day last week… not so much. There was hitting. And kicking. And trying to pry Bryson out of my arms. Today, he tried taking his favorite friend’s arms off of Bryson so that she could play with him instead. Besides those two instances, we’ve had nothing but love and happiness – and help – from Matthew. He asks to hold Bryson every day and showers him with lots of love. I’m thrilled with this!
Bryson is not as “easy” a baby as Matthew was – or we’re just forgetting what it was like with a newborn. I, for one, believe that we are programmed to forget the hard times so that we’ll have more babies. I do remember some tough times with Matthew, but not as many as we’ve had with Bryson. Bryson is also in a different environment than Matthew was, so I expect him to be unsettled. Matthew had nothing but quiet (when he needed it and when he didn’t), both of his parents’ attention, and everything he needed exactly when he needed it. Bryson has nothing but noise, “just give me a minute’s” from both B and me, and divided attention. So – when you think about it that way, it’s no wonder that Bryson is a little bit of a “tough nut.” When Matthew is sleeping, Bryson rests very easily. When Matthew is up, Bryson is unsettled and nothing seems to soothe him.
Everyone knows about the sleep situation. I made the same mistake with Bryson that I made with Matthew, and ever since correcting that, we’re all sleeping better. Well, everyone but Matthew is sleeping better. Matthew wakes up some time between 4:00 and 6:00 crying for me, and I have to go lay with him to calm him down. I think he hears what’s going on outside his room because every time he wakes up, it’s when Bryson is up or has just gone back down. This is surprisingly OK with me because I get to get in bed with Matthew, without a monitor and with B on Bryson duty, and I get REAL sleep. I am so much more well rested now that Matthew is waking up in the early morning and wanting me. HA! Bryson still is not as settled at night as we’d like, but he’s getting a solid 2.5-3 hours when we initially put him down (which means I’m getting that too) and then wakes up a lot after his first waking, but I think I’m getting up 2-3 times a night, which is normal for a newborn. I expect this to only get better.
Naps are going OK. Right now, both boys are asleep and I’m thrilled. Bryson does GREAT in the mornings once he’s up for the day and is very happy to just sit around and watch you do things. After lunch, he gets fed and then plays in his little gym and today, I got some true smiles from him (and got them on camera!). He naps after he “plays” and right now, he’s asleep in the pack and play (holy hell!) beside me, and seems rather peaceful. Each day gets better in this regard, with the exception of yesterday. But yesterday, we were all over the place with noise, distractions, visitors, etc – so I’m giving us all a free pass 😉
I was super proud of myself today. B had an appointment just as I was getting ready to put Matthew down for his 2-3 hour nap. B usually watches Bryson while I nap Matthew, but he had to take off and was a bit worried. I said, “hey, next week, I’m on my own, so just go and let us figure it out.” I put Bryson in the swing awake and headed into the nursery with Matthew (he still naps in the crib). Matthew fell asleep during book time after a delay tactic or two (water, then George) and has been asleep for 2.5 hours (he’s got to be getting up soon). I left his room to find Bryson in the swing, lightly dozing, who then greeted me with a true smile and we headed off to fold laundry, etc. He was content, he was happy, all on his own. I put one boy down while the other was awake and happy! It was wonderful! It gave me hope!
Parenting two is not hard when everyone is getting rest. Parenting two is hard when no one is sleeping. We started out with plenty of rest, then no rest, and are now back to plenty of rest. The ease in parenting two has followed along that sleep pattern: easy, then hard, then easy again.
I feel like we’ve got this pretty figured out now. Sure, it could change tomorrow, but as long as I have plenty of rest behind me, I can roll with the punches. Yesterday was hard. The day before that was even harder (we had a very hyper, naughty kid at our house who taught Matthew some bad things, and kept Bryson over-stimulated for hours). Today has been ridiculously easy so far(and that includes taking Bryson to the dentist with me who then told me I need a root canal on Friday). Evenings are by far Bryson’s worst time (as is the case for all newborns) so we’ll see what tonight has in store for us, but I’m thrilled with how things are coming together.
B is thrilled too! Well, most of the time 😉 He has had several hours each day to work on a garage project and has built some really nice storage shelves for us, and is planning more for the basement. He has another week until he goes back to work, but we’re both happy that’s he’s had time to do some fun things that he enjoys too. He’s also been going to physical therapy for his shoulder and I’m hoping that that will finally feel better for him. It’s been great for him to have this time to organize things the way he wants them, take care of his shoulder, and spend time with his boys (and me, of course!). We’ll miss him when he goes back to work, but we’ve learned that we’ll be OK. We also know he’ll work from home when he can (which is often)!
So that’s how it is parenting two. Matthew will be in shock next week when B’s back at work, but he’s good at entertaining himself and when it is just me and the boys, he actually behaves better than when he’s with his dad.
Don’t tell B that 😉
July 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm
Thanks so much for giving us a little glimpse into your experience parenting two, even though I realize it won’t help me much because Matthew has always seemed WAY more low key than my daughter who had never shown any interest or affection toward babies and gets upset when I hold someone else’s. 😉 Still, it’s helpful to hear what it has been like for you. I hope we have a similar experience.
July 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm
You will! She will love helping! I forgot to mention that – Matthew has a little foot stool that he brings with him (without us prompting him) to help bathe, soothe, and play with Bryson. He just can’t seem to get enough of him, especially when Bryson gets upset. It’s very sweet. Isa will be the same way – I just know it! What little girl doesn’t like a baby that is ALL HER OWN? Just tell her it’s her baby – she’ll think that’s pretty awesome!
July 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm
I’m glad to get a little glimpse of what it’s like having two little ones in your house. It sounds pretty similar to our household…Drake is our needy baby but you brought up a good point – the second child doesn’t have as an “ideal” environment as the first child. I’ll have to mention that to JJ because right now I think he is in the frustrated stage with Drake like he’s crimpin’ his style or something. He needs more time alone with him, and I need more time alone with myself. JJ keeps ditching out and going to the lake for several hours at at time a few days a week while I’m home with both kids. I’m glad he’s able to go, but I’d like something similar where I can get away, and he can bond with his son. For the most part I’m on Drake duty and JJ is on Chloe duty. Luckily Drake is fairly good in the sleep department (easy to go down when we are ready for the night, we get his longest stretch of sleep at first, then I am up with him every couple hours). On good days he’ll go back down after his 6ish feed till between 8 and 10, and on bad days he’ll stay up. Those are the days I could use JJ’s help so I could get a little extra sleep. I agree, if I’m more rested the day seems to go smoother. I have more patience than if I’m tired. I will admit though, today was the first day in four days…FOUR DAYS…I took a shower. And I didn’t even ask! I just did it! Ha, oh the things that excite me these days. Wishing you much luck next week once B is back at work. It sounds like you are getting into a good routine now to prepare yourself.
July 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm
I’m excited to hopefully do a post similar to this about how our life changes with two boys! Matthew and Bryson are 2 years apart almost exactly right? I’m nervous for Aiden and baby #2…just how Aiden will handle it all. My hubby is planning on taking at least 3 weeks off, then my mom will come for another 2 weeks. I am looking forward to all the help that’s for sure! 🙂
July 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm
Yes, they are two years and 1 day apart.
You’ll be surprised by how well Aiden does. 🙂
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July 22, 2013 at 11:24 pm
So I’m not sure Raegan will be as helpful at Matthew is. I hope I get to post something like this, but I’m guessing it won’t be 3 weeks home. If I’m lucky it’ll be 3 years..HAHAHA!! I’m sure it will be fine. I’m so happy to hear things are going well and you’ve found a groove that works for you for now. Here’s hoping it stays in the groove!! 🙂
July 23, 2013 at 4:54 am
Glad to hear that things are more or less settling into a manageable place for you guys. It’s interesting what you say about the environment that B finds himself in and that being so different from Mattew’s experience. I bet this time is teaching both boys to be much more flexible and adaptable and that’s a GOOD thing!! I admit that when I think of these newborn days, I am glad that Sofia will be in daycare still, as it’ll allow me to focus on the new baby, but after reading this, I’m thinking the weekends with all of us home will also be pretty awesome!! I hope I manage to find a balance like this!
July 24, 2013 at 12:47 am
Sleep is SO key, isn’t it?! I’m glad you guys are getting some good rest again, it makes all the difference in the world. I’m not surprised you’re rocking it, you always sound so grounded to me. Parenting two has never felt that smooth to me, even WITH the sleep! 😉
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