Thankfully, when we were going through the process of adopting our daughter we had some idea of when she would arrive. With my son, we did not know anything about him. We received a call he had been born and that we could pick him up from the hospital.
My daughter came two weeks early, so that was a surprise. Coincidentally, a couple of days before she was born I went into total nesting mode! Our house was the cleanest it had been since we moved in. I thought it was awesome that I was able to experience the need to “nest” without being pregnant. As far as being ready, we had everything we needed because this was our second child. My husband and I did not buy anything for our children until they were in our home. I guess we were a little superstitious. And scared.
We were able to bring our daughter home when she was three days old. We were on the “newborn high” for a couple of weeks! After five weeks–when all the company came and went, when the official exhaustion kicked in–I was completely overwhelmed. At the time, my son was going to preschool twice a week and I was a part of a bible study at church. Getting out of the house was such an ordeal. I would get so stressed and was always late. My poor son never made it to school on time. Every time I dropped him off it was a complete frenzy. Most of the morning I was juggling how to get him dressed while trying to feed a newborn. It was a zoo in my house and I only had 2 children. It was a miracle if I was able to put on make-up or brush my hair. The mornings were rough. I needed a schedule. (It’s hard to have a schedule with newborns!) I felt like it was always changing.
My son was four when we adopted our daughter. He is a typical boy that is very energetic and needs a lot of attention. I worried I was not playing with him enough. He started to act out. I knew part of it was because of all the new changes in his life, but some of related to me. Something had to give.
I knew I was not the only one going through this. Tons of people have multiple children! How did they do it? After talking to some of my friends, I began to realize I was not the only one feeling overwhelmed. Going from one child to two is a huge adjustment. Especially since my son was four. I think if he had been younger, it wouldn’t have been so hard on us. It was reassuring to know I wasn’t the only one to ever feel this way. Somehow that made me feel more confident in my parenting.
It took me about six months before I felt normal again. My daughter was sleeping longer at night and going longer stretches between feedings. I learned to get up a lot earlier in the mornings to get everything done before school. My son was adjusting to having a little sister around. My husband was letting me sleep late on the weekends. For a while I didn’t think I would ever get back to a new normal, but I did.
If you have just adopted another child and feel overwhelmed, I understand. It will get better. This is a season of adjusting and eventually you’ll find what works for you. For us, creating a schedule and sticking with it was vital. We created one-on-one time for my son, which helped with his behavior. You also have to make time for yourself and for your spouse. Now that my daughter is one, I feel like we could have another baby anytime.
I just have to convince my husband!