Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Twenty days into being a mom of two, I’m dubbing this life chapter as “a season of half done.”

The dishes are always half done, toddler toys half put away, meals half eaten, floors half swept, laundry half done, work half completed. 

The demands of juggling two have me pulled in so many directions and force lots of decisions each hourdecisions about how to spend each precious moment. 

I know too well how fast these precious angels grow and develop, and I want to be here for it. Present and engaged. 

The questions constantly flood my mind in any free second . . . Should I eat? Should I read to my firstborn? Wash bottles? Freeze milk? Prep lunch? Sleep? Sweep the floors? Walk the dog and kids? Do some real, make-us-money work? Laundry? Clean the moldy shower? The pink toilet ring? Take a shower? 

And the guilt is real. Regardless of what choice I make, someone is getting the short end of the stickmy newborn, my toddler, my husband, or me. 

RELATED: I Don’t Know How to Be a Mom of Two but I’m Learning

My toddler looks up at me with his big, beautiful, blue eyes, wide smile, and a smudge of yogurt still on his forehead as he holds up a block to show me. “See,” he says.

“See.” He wants me to observe. To look. To pay attention. To be present. To see

I tell him, “Mama’s coming to play blocks with you” as I quickly clear the table and rinse off his high chair tray so it’s ready for next meal time and to prevent the return of the ant army that invaded the countertops last week. I’m then distracted by the four breastmilk bottles I’d removed from the fridge earlier to freeze and think, “Shoot, I gotta get that milk in bags before it spoils.” 

Then the baby cries. He’s hungry and needs to eat STAT before a major meltdown occurs. 

The bottles wait and my toddler waits. I so badly wanted to play blocks, I said I would play blocks, and now minutes later, it’s pushed down the list again. 

My big guy is craving more attention. As I sit tethered to the reclining chair nursing in hopes of avoiding having to relatch the baby, I try to distract and engage my energetic toddler as he bites my knees, tosses blocks toward the mounted TV, and squeezes the dog’s tail. 

I know I need to be patient and give him graceafter all, his world has been completely rocked and changed in the last few weeks. He didn’t have 10 months to prepare, he didn’t understand what that “baby in Mama’s belly” really meant. I remind myself he needs love and attention and even though I’m running on three hours of sleep, I owe that to him. 

Early mornings are no different. The baby wakes at 4:10 a.m. after only sleeping 90 minutes. I nurse him in his room so my husband can get a few minutes of sleep, as I scroll Instagram and doze in and out of sleep myself. I change his diaper between breasts and hold him upright for a few minutes to help him digest. 

It’s 4:58, and I kiss his sweet little cheeks, get a milk-drunk smile, and am reminded “babies don’t keep.” I get teary and just look at him in awe. A true miracle. 

RELATED: To My Firstborn: A New Baby May Divide My Attention But Not My Love

I swaddle him up, lay him softly in his bedside bassinet, and crawl back in bed. I fall back asleep within seconds, but am awakened by an infant whimper at 6:29. I roll over and give him his binky a few times between whines, but he won’t calm for more than a couple of minutes. It’s clear he’s hungry again. 

I get up and nurse again, this time taking the monitor with me to keep an eye on my oldest, hoping to make it quick so I can sleep a bit more before he wakes up. I see him begin to stir at 6:40 and realize that more sleep isn’t in the cards this morning. 

The baby falls asleep nursing, and I take him back to bed, exhausted and yearning for just one more hour of sleep. My husband is awake, ready to tend to our oldest, and tells me to go back to bed. It’s music to my ears but accompanied by so much guilt. 

I should get him up for the day, like old times before the new baby. I should play with him while I have the chance since his little brother is sleeping. 

Despite my hesitation, I chose to grab a quick snack to ebb the insatiable hunger I feel while breastfeeding and go back to bed. 

I get another full hour of sleep. It renews me enough to feel human and ready to tackle another day.  

I know this season of half done will not last long and the next season will have its own unique challenges too. So, I’ll continue to do my best to embrace these fleeting moments, soak in the snuggles, let the dishes sit, give the attention, give the love and drink the coffee.

I will see

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Joanna Gossett

Joanna is a wife, mother of two boys and multiple business owner. She lost her mother and brother as a teen and conquered a dibilitating anxiety disorder called trichotillomania (hair pulling). Joanna is fueled by helping others see the positive in tough situations and offering hope for a brighter tomorrow. 

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