maternity leave

Maternity Leave with Number Two

MATERNITY LEAVE WITH NUMBER TWO

I’m really noticing how completely different maternity leave is this time round.

When Ella was a baby, I really enjoyed my maternity leave. Ella was one of those dream babies. Don’t get me wrong, she had her moments. But mostly she was pretty predictable in how each day would go, when she’d feed and when she’d sleep.

I run my own business, and when Ella was a baby, I started working again during my maternity leave, managing to get a few hours done every day while she was napping. I kept on top of the washing, as there were only three of us and her clothes were diddy. The house wasn’t taken over by toys, as baby Ella just had her play gym and a few small toys.

When Ella was awake, we’d snuggle on the sofa, probably watch a bit of Kardashians, which I was obsessed with at the time (and might still be…)!  We’d spend a lot of time walking. We’d walk everywhere. To the shops, to baby weigh in, to wherever we needed to be. We had a few exercise classes we went to, and Ella would chill in the buggy watching. I’d even do some home exercises with Ella lying on the floor watching.

We might make it to the odd baby group. We did a baby massage course, which Ella loved! We could go to the shops and Ella would stay happy and content throughout.

It was lovely and it definitely helped me make the decision that I’d only work a couple of days a week when returning to work properly.

This time round, it’s a lot different!!!  Sienna isn’t as predictable as Ella was as a baby. She’s a lot more…vocal, let’s say!!! She cries a lot more than Ella did, she doesn’t nap consistently and she’s not always happy just chilling in the play gym or having a cuddle.

And of course, it’s not just me and baby this time. I have a two year old now too!! A two year old who is very different from the baby she once was!! She’s loud and lively and wants a lot of attention.

Ella isn’t content going for long walks in the double buggy. She wants to walk. Or, should I say, she wants to run til she reaches a road and gives me a heart attack by running straight across it without looking. So the reins are on the majority of the time. So she then dawdles, fights against the reins and wants to run free. Or she wants to be carried, but doesn’t want to sit in the buggy. We walk the dog most days, but we certainly don’t go for long walks!

Then there’s what to do every day to entertain a toddler, while having a pretty sensitive baby. I want to keep Ella entertained, but our trips to soft play are becoming stressful with a crying Sienna, and the glances of empathetic mums. Not to mention the fact that Ella is recently toilet trained and I’m forever on toilet tenterhooks (not helped by a recent soft play experience that involved a couple of accidents that weren’t of the wee variety!  Two pant changes and a whole lot of messing, in the space of twenty minutes!).

I can’t take Sienna to baby groups, as I have Ella too most days and they just don’t seem to coincide with the days I don’t. Ella still goes to her nanna’s one day a week, and nursery another, which gives me a couple of days of just me and Sienna. Some of these days are lovely, like maternity leave mark one over again! But others are spent calming Sienna all day. Or unsuccessful trips to the shops that have involved more settling than shopping.

There is far more washing to be done. There is a toddler to feed three times a day, as well as a baby to feed every three hours. There is the exhaustion, as Sienna doesn’t sleep great and our day starts at 6am, regardless of how bad the night was.

I can’t leave the girls alone to go for a wee or put washing away, as Ella is so heavy handed with her sister. A lot of activities take place with Sienna on my hip!

Getting both girls in the car takes a good ten minutes. I have to battle Ella in to shoes and coat. I have to put her in the car first as she is prone to running off! Then come back in for Sienna who is usually screaming as she hates being in her car seat unless it’s moving!!

And I’m really struggling to get much work done! I don’t have the energy. I can’t use my laptop with Ella around as she likes to bash the keyboard. And the windows of opportunity are far more narrow. So I feel the mounting to do list growing all the time.

But all that said, I love life with my two girls. There are very tough days, don’t get me wrong. Especially when both girls are poorly. And I’ve had hardly any sleep. And I’m definitely a lot more weepy this time!

But while last time was chilled, this time is busy. And I like busy!! This time I don’t have just a baby who can’t talk or interact much. I have a toddler that I get to have crazy conversations with. Who likes to randomly break in to song! Who I have a little boogie with in the kitchen, with Sienna giggling away in my arms!  I get to play all day rather than get absorbed in the lives of a rich American family! I get to bake terrible biscuits with someone who will eat them regardless of how awful they taste!

I have a baby who, although sensitive, has the most gorgeous giggle and the biggest brightest smile. Who I cuddle probably far more than I did Ella, as she needs that extra bit of assurance. Who I see growing daily and changing constantly. Who is far more content as she gets older and who is also starting to nap more predictably (though the night time still leaves a lot to be desired!)!

And I get to see the relationship between my two girls grow. To see how excited Ella is when Sienna gets up from each nap. To see them giggling together. Or to see them having a snuggle on the sofa.

And it may be different, and I may sometimes crave those quiet days that I had during maternity leave the first time round. But there’s no way I’d change what I’ve got right now for the world!

maternity leave

maternity leave

maternity leave

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10 thoughts on “Maternity Leave with Number Two

  1. It is a lot more challenging once there are two children to look after isn’t it and the days are very busy! Looks like your two have a lovely bond though and glad that you are enjoying it all in spite of all the challenges. Sometimes it’s good to get them off your chest!

    1. Yes I agree!! The joy of having a blog is that release isn’t it! It’s so different from the first time round but I really am loving it!! Xx

  2. I can totally relate! I now have 7 month old and 3 year old and life feels much the same. I’ve mbeen lucky I’ve been on maternity, but I start work (from home) again next week and no idea how I’ll make more time! Right now, though, one is watching Winnie the Pooh and one is sleeping, so it’s a rare moment of peacefulness!

    1. Ah enjoy that peace!!! It is so hard to find the time with two isn’t it! Especially when you work from home and don’t have much childcare. It’s tough and definitely involves more working at night! Xx

  3. It is funny isn’t it – no two children are the same!! It is such hard work but amazing as well. I also wouldn’t change it for the world Xxx

  4. It’s funny how maternity leaves can be so different, isn’t it. I experienced this, too, though slightly differently. I hated my first maternity leave. Becky had colic, we had no family nearby, I hated baby groups and felt isolated, lonely and missed the “professional” me and didn’t adapt well to being “just” mummy. Second time round, I loved it. I just went with it – also because Alex was a very different baby and just wanted to cuddle and sleep on me, which was lovely – and I embraced mummy groups, made great friends and was basically a lady who lunches for eight months. I was sad to go back to work then. Funny how things can be so different! #sharewithme

    1. Ah it’s like me the other way round, great first time not so much second time! Sounds like you had a wonderful time second time round! Xx

  5. Ahh bless you I know the feeling maternity leave was way different for my second as well as I work from home too so I can so relate to it being hard to get things down while all together at home. It’s finding balance that’s hard somedays and the second babies always seem more vocal don’t they? lol Looks and sounds like you are doing great though. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round #sharewithme

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