Reagan is very different from Lincoln when he was her age. I think.
From what I can remember, Lincoln didn’t fuss, didn’t have separation anxiety, and was fine to play alone while I loaded the dishwasher or got a drink of water.
I may have made that up.
With only one child as my main focus and responsibility, it was easy to switch from one thing to him and back to doing what I was doing. With two, not so much. Reagan seems to be a little more difficult. I expected this. I felt lucky with Lincoln and convinced myself the second, no matter who he or she was, would be terrible because Lincoln was a breeze. I mean, that’s what I deserved. She’s not terrible, but she’s definitely challenging for me sometimes.
Before you get all “OOOooo babies are so hard. Yeah, stupid, it’s a baby,” I will admit I was SPOILED. Lincoln spoiled me. Having one child for four years spoiled me. I got it.
Last week was a difficult one for me. While everyone in my house was sick (including me) and preparing to host Thanksgiving, Reagan decided she would start the “MOMMY-OMG-DON’T-LEAVE-ME-EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” phase of life. Her constant crying whenever I’d put her down was wearing me down, and I told myself I was failing. I was a terrible mother. I wasn’t spending every minute my baby wanted to be with me WITH her, and I wasn’t “cherishing the moment that will be gone before I know it.” What can I say? I had to stuff a darn turkey! I had to clean up puke (constantly)! I had to pee!
Mid-week I told myself to fix it. After all, the way I was feeling was my fault. I either wasn’t doing what I thought I should be OR I was feeling terrible for no reason. I decided to act as I should and tend to my baby like she wanted – most of the time.
She hung out in her carrier on my chest while I peeled potatoes. She accompanied me in the shower. We sat when she wanted to sit and walked when she wanted to walk. We played. We danced. It was awesome.
While accepting this time in her life and meeting her needs does make everything take longer to do (so much longer) or at times prohibit me from doing anything at all, I know this phase won’t last forever. I’m not a fan of stress, especially unnecessary stress, so when my baby needs me, I’m there. I’m happy to report there’s no crying or self-loathing this week.