Here we go again: A fortnight of contradictions

I am living in a house of contrasts. Well, I call it contrasts, my wife calls it you-have-no-idea-what-I’m-going-through-growing-YOUR-baby.

I’ve just spent the last two weeks at home being a full time dad, and loved it. My wife has spent the last two weeks allowing the parasite that is our unborn child suck another 200 grams of energy from her. I’ve watched my child develop intellectually into a clever, gifted communicator. My wife is sick to death of my daughters new found ability to ask “why” about everything and then whine for Australia if she doesn’t get her own way. I’ve watched in awe as my little baby grew up before my eyes, staying up all day and on a few occasions to 10pm handling it with ease. My wife is mourning the 40minutes of peace and quiet she could count on each day.

As I type this post on the eve of my return to work, relaxed and recharged after spending a fortnight not in meetings, working on spreadsheets and power point presentations, I can’t help but notice my pregnant wife, 32 weeks pregnant flopped on the the lounge, wincing as she reaches for the remote control, sweating in the 30 degree heat. The image sums us both up at the moment. There’s me, wishing the holiday will never end, looking for ways to work from home (insert plug for a very keen blogger looking for work) whilst my wife spends each day finding a new pain, discomfort or ill effect from the little person growing inside her.

But although we are very different in our current outlook there is one thing we have in common. After two and half years we have definitely forgotten how to be parents to a new born. We’ve definitely ‘lost our edge’, stamina and patience. In fact we are so far from remembering what is was like to have a new born in our house that I actually believe I had any stamina, an edge or patience!

A two-and-a-half year old is easy (well our one is anyway). You can reason (“would you like to wear your blue skirt or grey skirt?”… “this one”… “ok, green dress it is! lets go”). you can go to fun places like beaches and swimming pools and actually enjoy yourself. You can watch Peppa Pig and both get the jokes. You can eat ice-cream and chase each other around a park and best of all, you can leave them alone for a few minutes and they won’t die! A new born needs to eat every 2-3 hours, cries – lots, sleeps – lots… in the day whereas at night they need to be patted to sleep, and patted, and patted… Basically the new born doesn’t have the instruction book that we’ve spent two and a half years writing for the first one.

Intellectually I realise that every child is different and that our tough experiences with the first do not mean our second will be the same but latelyΒ my ability to get along with our new housemate, due at the end of February is starting to weigh on my mind. Rather than our first where I had a healthy fear of the unknown now, this time, I know.

With my impending arrivel there’s going to be a bit of a theme over the next few weeks. That theme being – “here we go again”. and this weeks questions are… how did you prepare for the second one? Were you prepared or were you caught napping? Was the second easier, different or both?

Great to be back in the blogging seat and sharing as always with our favourite Tuesday link up essentiallyjess. Happy 2013 everyone.

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24 Responses to Here we go again: A fortnight of contradictions

  1. This is going to sound stupid but I honestly can’t remember how or if I prepared for Number Two. (Hahaha, that doesn’t sound right does it?). But seriously, I guess I was a bit too caught up in the whole oh my goodness I’m pregnant and huuuuge to worry about what would happen after she made her appearance. It was a bit tricky at first and believe you me, we drafted in help (aka Granny) to look after our Miss 3 during the day but it just sort of all organised itself after a while. It was tough and we were tired but it just worked itself out. Sorry, I’m not much help am I? lol

    • Kevin says:

      Although my wife is spending a lot of time feeling uncomfortable (note the non-use of the word huge πŸ˜‰ ) she has started to ponder how we’re going to keep little miss 2.5 entertained when the new one comes. We’ll be drafting a lot I think.

  2. mumabulous says:

    To tell you the truth, I was completely freaked out just before our P2’s arrival. Then she was born and I realized just how freaked out its possible to be. One just has to knuckle down and power through. Its much easier now that the girls are 5 and 3. I can feel my life returning like the prodigal son.

  3. I was completely prepared for my second. There were 23 months between them. Pity she wasn’t at all like the first. Nothing I knew worked on this one πŸ™‚ Good luck! Rachel xx

  4. thekidsareallrightaustralia says:

    My second one was 10 years after the first, so it was like starting again but I certainly wasn’t stressed about it. Until I read in a baby book that newborns need to feed every 2 to 3 hours. I’d conveniently forgotten that, and promptly started hyperventilating. What do you mean I will need to wake every two hours overnight, spend an hour breastfeeding, an hour getting the baby back to sleep, to do it all again an hour later. HOW IS IT HUMANLY POSSIBLE TO SURVIVE THAT??? I did survive it, three times over, but I’m sure I’ve suffered permanent damage. Good luck πŸ™‚

  5. roshniaamom says:

    congratulations, first of all! Not much to prepare for; just jump in…the water’s lovely!!

  6. Emily says:

    This is exactly where we’re at as well! Too funny to read. I hope all goes well (for both of you! All three of you, in fact!) when you do return to work.

  7. Rita Azar says:

    Welcome back to the blogosphere Kevin! All the best for 2013! When is your partner due to give birth?

  8. Oh man, I am convinced that this next one is going to be our devil child. At first I thought things were so hard with Mia, but looking back, with the beauty of hindsight, I’ve come to realise that Mia was actually pretty good by baby standards and that we were lucky. So I am convinced that this one is not going to be so easy. I am just going to do what I did for Mia and perpare for the absolute worst and then hopefully be pleasantly surprised when the worst doesn’t eventuate. And try to keep in mind that what worked for the first might not work for the second and to just try and go with the flow.

  9. robomum says:

    I think being as prepared and organised as you can is good, so when mum and bubba come home, you don’t have to sweat the small stuff, you know where everything is and you can concentrate on your family.
    I was nervous with number two but eventually found my groove. Thankfully, she was a fairly easy baby, which gave us lots of time to share the love with her big brother.
    Best of luck and happy new year!

  10. It’s truly like riding a bike, you never forget, it all comes flooding back to you, but with your second baby (or third in my case ) you enjoy everything more, you stress less, love more and laugh harder. Great post πŸ™‚

  11. It all comes back to you, it’s like riding a bike. The biggest difference for me second time round was that we were more relaxed and able to trust ourselves – and that makes a big difference!

  12. Mandy says:

    It is rather unnerving and scary indeed to return to the days of the newborn! Days of sleepless nights, 10 diapers a day, endless poo, wee and feeding. My 2nd baby was way harder than my first 😦 Congrats on 2nd bub and all the best!

  13. We had Number 2 just 18 months after Number 1 so I must say I didn’t feel the same sense of not remembering how to deal with a newborn then. However, after waiting a further 4 and a half years for Number 3 – I had NO idea how to cope with a newborn! Good luck with the new arrival, I’m sure it will all come flooding back to you!

  14. Kelly HTandT says:

    I’m the worst person to give advice on this. Our first was a breeze and our second an almighty challenge, so I’m thinking there’s something we DIDN’T do right in terms of preparation. Yet to figure out what that is though.

  15. EssentiallyJess says:

    The first six weeks will have you questioning why you ever considered having children, and then after that you will hit your stride and all will be well.
    But I look forward to reading the posts written during the first 6 weeks πŸ˜‰

  16. iSophie says:

    Having number 2 was a bit difficult, but after number 1 being such a terrible sleeper to begin with we weren’t expecting much from number 2 in that department.

    Going from #2 to #3 was no biggie, and even less of a biggie from #3 to #4.

    Welcome back!

  17. Nathan says:

    Our first and second babies were only 18 months apart, so it just kind of seemed like one continuous conveyor belt of nappy changing and feeding. Number two was also a terrible sleeper, which just made everything great (that’s sarcasm, btw). Number three came four years later, and she seemed much easier. Either I mellowed, have payed less attention, or it just got easier!
    Like so many other people have said, it comes back naturally – though I resist saying “like riding a bike”, because I don’t think there is anything natural about that exercise!

    • Kevin says:

      Hi Nathan (Great to see another Dad blogger joining the fray)

      We’ve already had the failed slpeeing child so I am hoping we get the lazy, I-just-want-to-sleep-all-day-and-night kid. I am also aware that there is no chance that I’m going to get that πŸ˜‰

      • mrnathanrussell says:

        Hey, I’m glad to be here!
        You never know your luck – our baby #3 was an angel. Was. Now she’s two-and-a-half and into everything. Aaaahhhhg!

  18. Felicia says:

    We’re at this point as well! I’m too busy counting down to (relative) freedom from my whale state to be bothered preparing much! That said my first is only 16mo so we’re still kind of in the swing it all. Unfortunately we have no draftees living nearby so we’ve enlisted the help of an au- pair to help keep us all sane! Good luck! πŸ™‚

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