It has been six months and I am still noticing a transition time in our family with the arrival of Noah.
I have heard friends say that it is harder to go from one to two kids than it is to go from two to three. I would have to disagree-strongly.
Maybe it is because of the four year gap since babyhood, but I find that I am constantly running around to help each kid with their particular needs, while failing miserably at every one.
Let us take the hour of everyone getting ready for school in the morning. It consists of Abby helping get breakfast for her and Caleb, while I feed Noah. Then it is Abby getting herself dressed while I dress Noah and usually Caleb, who suddenly finds himself incapable of dressing himself. If I spend too much time fixing Abby's hair, Noah gets mad and Caleb absolutely decides that he cannot do a thing to get himself ready. If I spend all of my time with Caleb, Noah again gets mad and I suddenly realize that I have not said one word to Abby since "Good morning."
And this is all after I have been up for an hour before anyone else, laying out breakfast, pouring juice, putting the vitamins out, packing lunches and snacks, making sure folders, permission slips and share items are in the backpacks, and laying out clothes.
I try to have quality time with Caleb when he gets home from school, but after I make lunch for him and Noah, feed Noah, clean up the mess that is Noah, and attempt to clean up from lunch (which usually does not happen because Noah is under the opinion that he deserves 100% of my focus when he is awake), it is almost nap time and I have missed those moments that Caleb needs.
Naptime is over (i.e. I catch up on all of the stuff that I did not get done while Noah was awake), and again, instead of having some quality time with Caleb before his sister gets home, I have to spend that time feeding Noah. As I am cleaning him up, on cue, Abby walks in the door. Then it is homework and making dinner, and holding a fussy baby who likes to be a crab between the hours of four and seven. Suddenly, it is bath and bed time, and I have yet to sit and read a book with Caleb. Or Abby. The 4th grade reading level girl reads chapter books to herself, but I know we both miss the times of reading together.
Each child deserves 100% of me, but I can only give them a third of that. No, correction-a fourth of that. I do have a husband who needs me, too. And how often he gets forgotten in that equation.
I have no idea how people with more children do it. God must give them super powers so that they can split themselves into multiple beings who can be the perfect parents to each child.
In the meantime, this imperfect parent will continue to strive to be there for my kids and their individual needs. Someday they will appreciate it.
You know, when they have their own kids.