----There's another sweet pierogie in the Northwest and I couldn't be happier for Bianca and her brand new family of four ... WELCOME MISS RUBY! While The Pierogie Mama snuggles up her two little ones, I'm excited to pop over from my blog, That Mama Gretchen, and share about my own transition from one to two children.
Bianca and I have had stairs step pregnancies - my Jemma was born in 2010, Penny came in 2012, my Max arrived in 2012 and now Ruby in 2014. So, needless to say, much of our talk has been focused on motherhood. A far cry from our high school conversations! Yep, we've been friends for a long time! From birth stories to breastfeeding tips, we've talked about it all, but one thing we've only lightly touched on is the transition our eldest daughters make when becoming siblings for the first time.
With my second pregnancy I had a handful of worries, one of the biggest being how I would adapt to loving two children and how Jemma would welcome (or not welcome) a baby. She was only 22 months when her brother was born so although we talked and read about new babies often, she didn't seem to fully grasp that mama's growing bump would soon rock her world. Thankfully, she transitioned well.
To help us both, I made sure to give her one on one time each day, even if only for 10 or 15 minutes. For those moments, she had my undivided attention. I encouraged her to be mama's helper and brother's protector and over the last 18 months, she has fully owned these roles. I let her be a baby too. When she starts to get that whiny tone (you know, that one) or is acting out of sorts I do my best to pull her tight and cradle her in my arms. I remind her that she is my sweet baby even though she is growing up. I tell her I am so proud of the choices she makes and the help she gives me. I asked for help from Daddy, grandparents and aunts, and yes, I know it's hard to ask for help, to help me balance caring for two children.
No doubt, going from one on one to being outnumbered is hard. I have shed tears, felt overwhelmed, used harsh words and collapsed at the end of the day with pure exhaustion. But over the last 18 months our daily trio has become the most wonderful thing. All the ups and downs, the "getting into a routine" and forging strong relationships have paid off. So much so that I find myself thinking, "What would it be like with three little ones ...". It's a fleeting thought for now, but life with two has become normal. Dare I say, occasionally easy. So of course I'd go hunting for the next challenge. The three of us have found a beautiful groove where our days are filled with lots of laughter and hugs. Ok, ok ... Max attempts to bite sometimes too, but we're working on that :) Best of all, by far my favorite thing is the relationship between my children. It's priceless. Seeing them together makes all the hard work of mothering two absolutely worth it.
So, my advice to Bianca and other mama's expecting their second - the early months are difficult, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Let yourself own survival mode. Feed your little ones, keep them safe and don't feel guilty when the toddler watches a few movies. It's just a season. Order take-out, don't stress about the cleanliness of your home, pause your Pinterest projects and just be with your kids as you all transition into a new life together. It takes time, but I've witnessed the bond that grows between siblings early on and there is nothing better. I can't wait for the years to come as Jemma and Max grow up together and I know a priceless bond will be solidified between Penny and Ruby too. Congratulations, my friend, you've given your children one of the greatest gifts they could ever receive - the love and partnership only a sibling can bring.
See more of my munchkins over on Instagram! That's where I capture the majority of their sweet and crazy moments :)
THAT MAMA GRETCHEN