Seven weeks into life as a mother of two, and I am back on my feet. Wobbly feet, maybe, but still.
Although physically more challenging (yes, I can feel the additional three and a half years very much), on the whole, I find being a new mum the second time around much easier.
Sleep deprivation is worse (Petite Pea doesn’t think much of sleeping in the night), I have another child to look after, and the baby blues (including increased mother’s guilt) has been quite persistent, but still, I am happy in an oddly contradicting way. Maybe because I know that all this is just a phase. A phase my gorgeous little baby girl will grow out of much quicker than I’d prefer.
When Little L was born, I was so eager to be the perfect mother that for a while, I forgot what was important to me. To be honest, having a baby and becoming a mother turned my life completely upside down, and I am not even sure I knew anymore what it was that was important to me. My entire value system shifted. I had a career break and knew I didn’t want to go back – without having found a new path. Old friends became strangers; at the same time I wasn’t quite ready for strangers to become friends. My husband was completely tied up in work… It was a lonely, confusing and challenging time.
It pains me to admit it, but I couldn’t wait for Little L to grow up. I found spending every minute of every day with a young baby tiring and tedious. But have felt way too guilty to voice my frustration or even consider handing her into the care of a stranger. Little L was five and a half months old when I left her with her dad for the first time. To have a coffee at Starbucks. On my own. A few minutes of guilty me-time.
I am doing things differently now. Big M is giving his daughter a bottle every night – so I can get some sleep. Also, Petite Pea is spending two mornings a week with a nanny. Time I spent writing my blog for babycentre.co.uk and trying to fit in the changes to my novel as demanded by my agent. It’s what is important to me. And it’s making me a much happier mother.