I'm a mom of two.
I say "kids" instead of "kid". I say "boys" instead of "Ben".
My hat is off to any parent with more than one kid, especially if one of those is a 2 year old.
I thought having a newborn was hard work. Then my newborn turned 18 months old (ha ha) and I thought that was work. Then my 18 month old turned 2 and I knew what real work was. THEN I added a newborn to my 2 year old and holy cow.
I'm blessed. My 2 year old is adjusting to new little brother very, very well. There are moments where his attitude is less than desirable. There are moments where I can clearly see he's jealous. There are moments my heart breaks for him because I can't let him be the entire focus of my world. My newborn often has a 4 to 5 hour stretch between feedings at night. When I factor in that Nick takes the 1st feeding, that's dang near a full night of sleep. Bliss. Both my boys nap at the same time (well, okay, Matthew pretty much naps all day). I can lay each kid down in their own room and still get my "me" time and time to do my chores.
However, they both seem to wake up at the same time. And when Matthew is awake, he wants to eat. And he tells you this at the top of his little bitty lungs. And he's a chunk, my little Matthew. He wants to eat all. the. time. and he eats well, for at least 20 minutes each time. That doesn't leave this mama very much time between feedings - he'd like to eat about every 40 minutes. I don't (often) let him eat that often.
Last week, I had the most stressful 3 minutes of my entire life. Matthew woke up fussing a little. I went in to his room, gave him his bink (oh the bink... the bink I swore my second baby would never know anything about...), settled him back and and was on the way back down the hall when he woke up again. I thought "okay, I'll just feed him now then" and went back to his room to get him up to eat. No sooner had I picked up Matthew, and Ben woke up (an hour into his nap) announcing he had pooped. So Matthew went back down into his crib, I dashed down the hall to Ben's room, did the worlds fastest diaper change all while Matthew is screaming his head off in the other room. Ben must have sensed I meant business when I said "go back to sleep" because he did. Matthew got fed and peace was restored to the land. But those few minutes where I was needed in two places at once... yikes.
And holy cow, let me tell you what having a newborn does for how you view your toddler. I used to think Ben was so little and so small. Dudes, he's huge. HUGE. This was especially apparent to me the first time I did a diaper change on Ben after changing so many tiny butt diapers on Matthew. As my friend Kelsey said, it was like changing a diaper on a grown man. I think sleepy time diapers for Ben will be going away here soon. And p.s. - no regression on the potty training at all yet. No accidents in his pants - wahoo!
All in all, we seem to be coping as a family of four fairly well. Nick went back to work in the office on Monday and it's been okay. I'm so thankful that Matthew is a great sleeper and than I can get a good 2 hour block (some times longer) in the afternoon where both boys sleep. We've gone about life as normal this week: Monday I took both kids grocery shopping and that was fine. Wednesday we went to Tumble Time and that was good (Matthew stayed strapped to me in his carrier vs in the car seat like the first time we went and it went SO much better). Thursday we went to the library and it was great. Today we did the park AND we visited my grandmother and it was good.
Ben is fascinated with breastfeeding and keeps asking if he can touch. I tell him no (cuz that's weird... right?) and Ben asks if he can feed brother, and again, I have to tell him no. He's been pretty good about being a good boy while I'm nursing, though. I had visions of Ben destroying the entire house while I was stuck feeding baby brother (and I suppose that day may still come). He gets a little... rowdy? aggressive? while I'm nursing and I have to remind him to calm down and settle down. For the most part, though he's good. I just tell him I have to feed brother and I ask where he wants to play. So we either hang out in brothers room (where the best game ever is to run laps around the ottoman) or in the front room while Ben plays with his trains or out in the living room and watch a few minutes of a movie.