The transition from one child to two children has been hard for me, both physically and emotionally.
Jude has energy, and lots of it. He go, go, goes from the minute he wakes up in the morning until the second he falls asleep at night. Finding ways to meet Jude’s need for movement and exercise and one-on-one interaction has been a real struggle since Ramona’s birth. It still is today, nearly nine months later.
Physically, I’m still struggling with the herniated disc issues I wrote about back in 2010. Actually, I’m in the midst of a really terrible flare-up that has had me bed-ridden for two weeks. Even taking these specific, acute injuries out of the scenario, I still have a hard time running and climbing and physically playing with Jude. Some of it can be blamed on the fact that I’m always wearing Ramona. An extra seven, ten, fourteen pounds make for hard running and climbing. Beyond that, I’m just out of shape. Simple movements, like bending, are hard for me in the best of times. So, once this back/leg pain lets up, I’m going to just commit to exercising. I’ll do my physical therapy exercises daily (and hopefully get to go for some instructed PT somewhere), and I’m going to start jogging. At thirty years old, my body is failing me. I need to figure out how to support it so that I can start interacting with my children the way I want to.
Emotionally, it’s hard for me to not be giving either child all that I can give. Jude ends up playing on his own a lot more often these days because Ramona won’t nap unless I’m lying right next to her (this is one way that she is very similar to Jude as a baby). Ramona doesn’t get all the cuddles that Jude got at her age because I’m constantly trying to direct my attention toward Jude, who most definitely needs and desires more of my focused energy.
Still, we’re making it work. One thing I’m really grateful for is Jude’s smooth transition to being an “only” to being a big brother. Sure, for the first few weeks he had more meltdowns than usual, but considering his world had been turned on its side, I don’t think that was an inappropriate reaction. Luckily, he has only shown his sister love and affection since her birth. He relishes the chance to help me take care of her, and will even consent to letting her play with his plush Pokemon toys. I think that speaks volumes about his love for her.