A Letter to My Second Born on His First Birthday

Your birth story is an interesting one, to say the least.  It wasn’t even 3 weeks before you were born that I clumsily slipped down our staircase and broke my ankle.  It remains the scariest moments of my life – not knowing if you were okay, if I hurt you, if I did something that would make you come into the world before you were actually ready.  But by some miracle, and many miracles after that through the surgery, and recovery – you remained snug inside my belly, free of harm and trauma. I guess even then I was subconsciously protecting you.

Those weeks before you were born were full of doubt and fear.  You would be our second born. How could I possibly love another baby as much as I loved your sister?  What kind of baby would you be? I didn’t have the same maternity leave privileges with you – was that going to harm our bond?  I wouldn’t be able to rock you to sleep or put you to bed those first few precious weeks due to the injury – would you still know me as your mommy?  How would your sister handle the changes happening to our family, and how would I divide my attention appropriately? What, really, would life be like now with two of you?

As I reflect back on the past year, I must admit it had its challenges.  I wasn’t in the best place mentally when you were born, and adjusting to life with two is a bigger change than I anticipated.  In fact, we are still trying to figure out what works best for our family.  And yes, there were more happy and heart-bursting moments than not, but a very real theme for me this past year has been major mom-guilt.

So many of the things that I made a priority and focus with your sister went by the wayside this year.  The special laundry detergent? Hardly used. The baby-brand dish soap? Never touched. Milestone photos?  I missed months 5, 7, 8, and 10. Religiously checking every “Your Baby This Week” email? Didn’t happen. Carefully steamed, pureed, and prepared at home baby food?  Well, let’s just say you were a big fan of Gerbers. Then there’s the bedtime routine. Every night we read multiple books to your sister when she was a baby, and then I used to spend hours holding her, rocking and singing to her each night before placing her in her crib.  With you, by the time we make it up to the bedrooms it’s usually way past bedtime, your sister is demanding all of the attention, we scramble through a book (which, by the way, you are constantly trying to grab or eat) and then I spend just enough time with you to hold you and get you to sleep before having to place you in your crib, go tuck in your sister, and get going on all of the work that needs to be done before falling into bed.  

Every night I ask myself – is it enough?  Am I focusing on you enough, playing with you enough, feeding you enough, teaching you enough, holding you enough, talking to you enough, loving you enough?  Am I being enough of a mommy to you?  Sometimes when you can be needy and demanding – always at the most inopportune times like when I’m rushing to get ready for work, or attempting to make dinner – I practically explode with frustration.  And then I’m immediately wracked with guilt that my patience level is practically zero and hello, you are a baby!  Of course you want love and attention.  And then I pick you up, and squeeze you tight, and wish like hell I had all day to hold you but my brain won’t stop shouting at me all the things that need to get done before we zip out of the house (and really, we are already late).

So your dad scoops you up and buckles you in the car seat while I quick dress your sister and work some sort of miracle to keep her hair out of her face, and then we zoom off to daycare where I leave you, usually crying, until I return later in the evening to start the whole routine over again.

But here’s where the magic happens.  It’s usually almost 6 and I’m cutting it close to get to the school.  I’ve rushed out of work and left a giant list of to-dos that I’d love to tackle that night after I put you kids to bed but the likelihood is low given the pile of housework that needs attention.  I swing open the door to school, and usually one of the teachers lets you both know mama is there. Your sister runs to me “mama, mama, mama!” and you, well, you flap your arms like a crazy bird, bestow me with the biggest, sweetest smile, and can’t crawl over to me fast enough before you hold your little arms in the air and beg for me to lift you up.  And that’s when I think – this, this is what life with two babies is about.  It’s crazy, it’s chaos, and it’s never having enough time for pretty much anything.  But it’s so much more than that. It’s beautiful, and precious, and fleeting, and it’s the time in your life when the happiest moments of your childrens’ day is when they get to see you again.  I am your world, and you are mine. And whether we have 10 hours a day together or 2 doesn’t matter because every single second is meaningful.

And you, you are so forgiving that you never love me any less for not using the baby-approved dish soap, the special laundry detergent, or the Gerbers jars.  And all you ever ask of me, my sweet, precious, one-year old little boy, is for the gift of time. And this year, I vow with all of my heart, to spoil you with my time and attention for as long as you want it.

Angela Isherwood

Hi there!  I’m Angela – I recently turned 30 and have determined that this is going to be my year to embrace change and chase new dreams.  My husband and I are going on 5 years married this Fall – we grew up not 10 mins from each other (Greendale/New Berlin) but never met until college (Go Badgers!).  We have a spunky little girl + sweet baby boy. We are brand new members of the Lake Country community and are so excited to start this next chapter of our lives here.  I’ve spent the past 8 years working in the tumultuous retail industry which has had major ups, and more recently, major downs. At this moment I am in flux – reflecting and re-evaluating what is best for me and my family as I make a career change.  Personally, our lives revolve around family – we are lucky to live close to both of our parents, and adore spending time with our siblings, and nieces & nephews. I love all things Disney and know almost every lyric to every song. I’ll always remind my daughter it’s okay to believe in Magic.  I adore a good book, a steaming cup of tea, any bowl of soup, a glass of Red, and putting pen to paper. I enjoy elaborate party planning, and wasting too much time on Pinterest and Instagram. I love eating more than I love cooking, and going out and trying new restaurants is a favorite way to spend our evenings or weekend afternoons.  I am passionate about traveling the world, and exploring as much of it as possible together as a family. When I “grow up”, I want to plan incredible trips that excite, inspire and fulfill people’s travel desires. We adventure together as much as we can both near & far. I am honored to be a part of this community, and hope you will join me as I share fun things to do, local places to check out, and travel tips & inspiration for the family on the go! You can follow me on my personal instagram accountor at my new, travel-focused account  (or both!).  

We love you, Lake Country!

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