Did you know that more babies are born in August than any other month of the year? It's true! Pairing the sunny month of August with World Breastfeeding Week, we thought this was a great time to highlight some amazing moms from our community who humbly opened up to share their journey to motherhood as well as the complicated experiences associated with the postpartum phase. We hope that you enjoy and laugh, cry, and experience all the emotions with each mama we highlight this month. Don't forget to keep scrolling and enter to win our postpartum giveaway below!
Postpartum Story #4: The Stress and Struggle of Going From One to Two Kids
I’m currently raising a three-year-old and a three-month-old, working 20+ hours a week, taking my kids to playdates, going to the gym 3-4 times a week, preparing daily meals, taking care of the house, and trying to maintain some sort of social life…all while my husband flies across the country each week for work.
From the outside looking in, I’m one of “those moms” that looks like she has it all together.
My friends often say to me, “I don’t know how you do it all.” In response, I typically shrug my shoulders, muster a laugh, and reply with, “It’s really hard, but I make it work.”
And this might have been the truth when I was just a mom of one, but this is from the reality now…
What most don’t see is the always-growing pile of clean clothes on my closet floor. The permanent marker drawn on our semi-new couch courtesy of my three-year-old “bored to death” as I feed my newborn. The child-watch workers at the gym flagging me down 20 mins after my arrival because they can’t calm my screaming baby. The tears flowing from my eyes as I try to get my already overtired 3-month-old down for a nap while my oldest simultaneously pretends to audition for American Ninja Warrior. Or the fights I pick with my husband because sometimes I wish he was the “home for dinner every night” kinda guy so I could get a break.
As a second-time mom, I felt prepared to take care of my newborn. The first few days of life, the exhaustion from overnight feedings, the first cold (which in our case happened to be a 4-day hospital stay due to RSV). I felt more confident about all the things I obsessed over and worried about with my first.
But what I didn’t realize was how freaking hard and mentally draining taking care of two kids together would be.
I honestly thought it would be easier than this.
“The first six weeks suck, but then it gets better.”
“Two is so much easier than one.”
“It really isn't all that bad.”
All words spoken by people I knew when I asked what raising two kids close in age was like. And fourteen weeks into my postpartum journey, I still feel like I’m in survival mode most days. Either they were lying, or I’m doing something wrong. I must be, right?
While the last three months have felt almost impossible, amongst even the worst of days are the small reminders of why I wanted two kids in the first place and how it’s all worth the tears, the stress, and the overwhelm.
Like when my three-year-old and I get into an “I love you more” match. When I’m singing Old McDonald’s Farm to my newborn who smiles at me almost the entire time. When I see my two babies playing together so sweetly…as much as they can at this stage. Or when I get 20 minutes during a playdate to lean on my village and talk about more than poopy diapers (if you’re an expecting or new mom, be prepared to talk about poo more than you ever have in your life).
And while there are plenty of happy, carefree days with both of my boys, I share this part of my postpartum experience because not enough moms talk about the tough times of motherhood. The really hard days…the hard seasons.
I’m here to remind you that even though you may have mom friends who seem like they have it all together, the truth is they probably don’t. And that if you hate the newborn stage, are struggling to balance life with multiple kids, feel overwhelmed by trying to fill all the buckets, or are raising kids by yourself (or semi-by yourself, like me), you’re not alone.
As a new mom of two, my postpartum experience hasn’t been a ray of sunshine or some magical fairytale, as many others would like you to believe. It’s a mess…a beautiful one, though, I’ll admit.
I know, eventually, the days will get easier, and I'll come out of this stronger, more confident, and remembering all of the good moments in this season of life.
Ashley Foster is a mom to two wild boys, a freelance social media manager, and a fitness enthusiast. In her free time, you can find her chasing after her kids at the beach, park and basically anywhere she goes.
If you enjoyed this postpartum story, don't miss the others:
- Postpartum Series 3: The First Five Days of Motherhood
- Postpartum Story 2: Anxiety, Self Love, and Giving Yourself Grace
- Postpartum Stories: Andrea Shares Her IVF and Infertility Journey to Motherhood
We have partnered with the mom-founded, daughter-run brand, Motherlove, which supports moms from bump to birth, breastfeeding, and baby. Motherlove uses the power of plants and herbs to create a more supported journey for expecting and new moms. Founded by an herbalist mother over three decades ago, our products have always been rooted in connecting motherhood to the wisdom and time-trusted herbs of Mother Earth.
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