So if there are moms out there that only have one child that are planning to have a second, please do not let what I am about to say scare you. There is a silver lining at the end of this, so please read all the way through to the end.
Having one child is a cake walk. Having two children is exploding that cake into your face while you are driving 80 miles per hour down the Dallas North Tollway 30 minutes late for soccer practice with the newborn screaming for a feeding in the backseat with a dirty diaper and the older child complaining that their shin guards are scratchy and he didn’t want to wear these particular shoes because his teammate bought these same shoes the other day and now he won’t be the only player that has them and now it is so uncool and WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY can’t you just buy me a new soccer ball because this one is dirty and just plug in your phone so I can hear my favorite song because your music is so uncool and pass me my water because I’m so thirsty and what’s taking so long?
I’m not joking.
Ok, so deep breath everyone. Really, the deep breath was only for my benefit.
I realize now how easy I had it with only one child; especially a 9 year old who was really so self-sufficient and really mature for his age. I used to wonder why there were so many moms of two or three children out there that were sans makeup and crazy hair out there. How could they leave the house with mismatched clothes? I mean, come on women, get it together! Pffffft! It was not passing judgment on my part. Ok, it was. Perhaps ignorance on my part. I can totally relate now.
For example, I had a couple of hours to myself one Saturday. I picked out a cute outfit, managed to get my hair somewhat presentable, and threw on some makeup. I looked totally cute! I picked up my adorable baby, gave her a quick squeeze, gave my son and husband a hug, and drove my SUV as fast as I could to Target. I picked myself up a tall, skinny vanilla latte and cruised the aisles as slowly as my feet would take me. I mean, this is the mecca of new Mom-dem. I picked up a few things, and headed home. Once home on my Target-I’m-wearing-a-cute-outfit-high, I realized something as I looked in the mirror. I had dried spit up running down my shoulder and all the way down my back. Yes, this was my new life. My new normal.
But as I live my new normal, I’ve learned so much more. When I do finally get to sit and spend time together as a family, these are the special times I’ve earned. All the stress, all the chaos, all the rushed moments, are all because we are one. One family. One love. And I look at the smiles, and know it is all worth it.
Janet Fragle works in customer engagement for innovative technology solutions at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano and is Mom to a 9-year-old boy and 3-month-old girl.