{Guest Post} From One Child to Two…Learning to Embrace the Chaos and Enjoy the Moment

I get my inspiration for blog posts from a variety of sources, and the daily Facebook musings and interactions of my friends and fans are no exception.  A recent status update of my college friend, Susan Adell, resonated with me on a few levels.  She shared about managing her once Type-A life with her newly expanded family of two children under three years old. Susan’s below guest post provides insight as to the real transition from one child to two. And how being Type A makes this all the more challenging. Can you relate?  Show your love in the comments below the post.

There once was a time when I vacuumed and mopped my floors on the same day.  I look back longingly sometimes to those blissful mornings when it felt so good to dust, scrub, vacuum, mop and then relax with some piping hot coffee. It was always in that order.  Saturdays my husband and I would spend the late morning cleaning our apartment and afterwards we would spend the rest of the day and night doing fun things.

Things that didn’t involve sippy cups or diapers.

I wouldn’t call myself Type A, necessarily.  I am just someone who likes order and routine.  I follow rules and generally loathe chaos.  I take my roles in life pretty seriously and while I know how to have fun, I pay close attention to detail and perfection is not really such a bad word to me. (Ok, so maybe that is type A?)

I am so happy that my first son, Grant, was a blessed surprise, because I honestly don’t know if I ever could have actively chosen to mess up my neat life so swiftly and so manically.  We were thrilled to have made such a beautiful, amazing little being, but from day one he was throwing me off track.  A month early?! I wasn’t ready for that! Colic, reflux, jaundice, and a host of other small health issues on top of being sleep deprived sent me into a panic.  I wrestled with how to regain some control and yet abandon any sense of who I once was.

Needless to say, Grant grew into a feisty and strong-willed toddler, but tasks like cooking from scratch or organizing a closet eventually became a little more doable.  He was on a fairly predictable routine and (more or less) I could count on times when I would have some “free” minutes to do chores, or (gasp) read a book! Things were going along so smoothly that throwing another kid in the mix did not seem so daunting.  Two kids?  Why not?  We could do it!

And if you are pregnant right now and reading this or thinking of having a few kids, here’s the spoiler alert – it’s a mess!!

My house is a tornado, my occasional midday nap is such a distant memory I can’t even recall how I could manage to fall asleep in the afternoon, and at the end of the day I go to bed with a list of things I wanted to do but couldn’t.

My little guy, Clark is only four months old so we are in the throes of crazy town right now. It is a Herculean effort to get both of

Guest Author, Susan Adell, with her boys

Guest Author, Susan Adell, with her boys

them fed and clean.  I find myself doing normal things at odd times.  Clark is sleeping (mercifully) and Grant is playing for a solid two minutes without needing something, time to scrub a toilet.  Clark is in his crib cooing at the mobile and Grant is napping, time to put the laundry away. Daddy has a great game of blocks going with Grant and Clark is lying on the floor beside them, time to chop some vegetables (even if it is at 7 am and dinner isn’t for another eleven hours).

I find myself living in snippets of time that mostly exist when Clark is asleep.  He is too new to this world to be on a predictable routine yet, so I am just completing tasks where and whenever I can.  Suddenly, any spare minute is a good minute to get something – anything – accomplished.

Most days, I just go on the philosophy that “you get what you need.”  Maybe I need a little mania to help me truly know what is important and what isn’t.  Like last night we skipped Grant’s bath time routine to snuggle on the couch and read books before Daddy got home, and I was ok with that.  And those nights that I am too beat to clean up Grant’s toys, they get thrown into a pile that is less in the way of foot traffic.

It is still often hard for me.  I am not quite ready to say that I have truly embraced it all and I am madly in love with my new way of doing things.  But, I am forced to be content with a lifestyle I never would have been pre-baby.  And maybe when I look back when I am old and gray, (oh wait, I am gray already…fine, just old then), I will reminisce fondly about these wild baby days that helped make me a little less rigid, a little less structured. Perhaps, dare I say it, more messy?!

Susan Adell is a wife, former elementary school teacher, now stay-at-home-mom of two funny boys, and recovering perfectionist living in Long Island, New York. 

{The opinions expressed here are of the guest author.  There was no compensation in any way for this post.}

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