Sunday, October 30, 2016

What I Wish I Would Have Known

I remember walking into my house with our tiny bundle. I remember my familiar home feeling different. There was an eerie calm. Our daughter was napping while my sister ordered pizza to welcome us all to our new normal. The calm that seemed so out of place? It was the calm they talk about that occurs right before a storm.

The storm was the next few months of our lives as we slowly adjusted to a family of four rather than the family of three we had known for the seventeen months prior. Our daughter eventually awoke from her nap. I sat down to nurse the new baby and she immediately tried to pull him off my lap while simultaneously throwing a fit herself. My husband took her to the grocery store. I sat alone with the baby I barely knew wondering what in the world I had done.

I wish I would have cut myself some slack at that exact moment. I wish I would have enjoyed nursing my son, shut my eyes and taken a nap!

I wish I wouldn't have had my daughter come to the hospital to meet her brother. If you’re one of those families who has sweet photos of your children meeting… skip this next paragraph.

My “sweet” photo from the hospital includes an obvious swipe from my daughter in the direction of her new brother (while ironically wearing a shirt that read, "Best Day Ever!"). The truth is, my son deserved that time with just his parents. Heck, I deserved that time and so did my husband! I wish we would have realized it was okay to wait a few days to introduce chaos into our new normal and allowed ourselves quiet bonding with our son.

I wish I could have suppressed the guilt I felt for sending my daughter to daycare while I was on maternity leave. I wish I could have seen that routine was good for her, and that it's easier to get a baby to sleep without a screaming toddler around.

I wish I would have realized sooner that what I thought was a serious breach in trust between my daughter and I was nothing of the sort. I wish I could have seen the future through the clouds of sleep deprivation and toddler tantrums.

I wish I had known then that the baby boy I barely knew would grow into my daughter’s self-proclaimed “best buddy"!

I wish I would have known that it would take a few months, but eventually she would stop plugging his nose and start kissing his cheeks.

Ultimately, I wish I had known that sometime in the future I would awake to giggles coming from that sweet baby boy’s room. Those giggles would belong to siblings, and friends, and would be a sign of the forever bond that was forming. 

A version of this post previously appeared on Today Parents.

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