First child’s nursery, completed before his delivery. How special.
Oh, preparing for the second baby. Long gone are the days of packing a hospital bag months in advance or taking classes offered at the hospital or worrying about having my nails freshly manicured before delivery.
No, this time it’s much different. Although it seems lackadaisical from the outside, preparing for this baby is all about practicality and easing into a major transition as smoothly as possible.
You see, before I had Jack, I was the kind of person who liked to fail privately. I’ve always envied people who were confident enough to try new things, no matter who’s watching. I didn’t care if it was learning to ride a bike, trying a new workout, or attempting a new recipe – I didn’t want anyone watching me until I was sure I could succeed. Type A Perfectionist to.the.max.
So when it came to taking on the biggest challenge of my life, there was no way I was going to learn how to take care of a baby in front of anyone besides my husband.* My mom even offered to stay with us once the baby was born, and I declined because the idea of having her watching my every move (and offering advice) was something I couldn’t handle. To me, advice was criticism, and I was way too insecure.
I would never, ever classify postpartum depression as a failure, but at the time, it exacerbated my fear of failure. And at the time, I believed that because I was struggling, I wasn’t succeeding. So I hid. I pushed people away because I couldn’t risk the idea of someone seeing how miserable I was (because I had never heard of a miserable new mom!) I was drowning, but the idea of admitting it was petrifying.
My experience as a new, first time mom would have been so different (dare I say easier?) if I had understood the power of vulnerability. Once I chose to open up and expose my struggles, the floodgates opened and the support rushed in.
As I start preparing for this second baby (“preparing” is a strong word tbh), my entire focus is on my support system.
The nursery is a completely undecorated room, aside from the crib Cory put together. The clothes have been sorted by size (where they lie on the floor in in piles), but there’s no dresser or matching closet hangers or Dreft. We don’t even have a clue as to what this kid will be named.
What I do know, is that this time, I’m calling on my village.
This time, I don’t mind if someone comes over and I’m sobbing because I haven’t figured out our family’s new rhythm. I don’t care if someone sees dishes in the sink and an overflowing trash can and my un-showered, dirty self. This time, I will tell my friends and family that I need a nap or that I need someone to entertain Jack or that I’m having a difficult day. Because this time, I know those things are normal and par for the course – they are not failures on my part.
This time, there is no way I’m attempting to be Super Woman, and that is wildly liberating.
Sure, I have fears and anxieties about adding a new baby to the mix (most of them surrounding sheer logistics and lack of sleep), but this time, I’m not scared that I’ll fail. I obviously don’t know how difficult the transition will actually be, but I have an idea; and this time, I’m not planning on hiding or pretending.
I’ll be much too busy for any of that nonsense! (Right, moms of 2+????)
*With all this talk about having “felt alone” or like a failure, I think it’s worth noting that Cory is the most supportive husband on the face of this earth. I’ve never truly felt alone, because I know he’s here and has always given me anything I need. But he also has a job and will have his own adjustments to sort through, so this time, I’m stepping off the crazy train and won’t be expecting him to be my entire village.
PS: Check this out!