Two Kids, One Day at a Time
This entry is from a new series of blogs by our very own OB/GYN, Dr. Elizabeth Tigges. In this series, we explore the adventures (and misadventures) that mothers share from the perspective of a mom and OB/GYN.
This series was originally posted to her personal blog, "Obstetrics and Momecology". This is a blog by a mom, for moms and those who love them.
We recently went from 1 kid to 2 kids. It’s been a new kind of journey.
For those of you who never go from 0 to 1 or from 1 to 2, either by choice or by the forces of nature/God/the Universe, this is not meant to minimize your story. After all, this was also my state of being until not-so-very-long ago. It could’ve always been had the IVF not worked. That doesn’t make my previous story any less important or valuable.
First off…MIND BLOWN.
If I thought one was busy, I laugh and laugh and laugh at that notion now.
By all standards, I feel like “I have it all”. Healthy kids. The luxury of a willing and helpful partner. Incredible support system. Enough money. Enough time off work/maternity leave. Etc. etc. So these things most certainly make it all easier for me.
But the busyness isn’t the hardest part for me. Though I’m not minimizing that either. Because whoa! It is nuts/controlled chaos/insanity around here sometimes.
I often feel like I’m not enough.
The hardest part is feeling like I’m not enough. Not giving enough, not being enough, not present enough.
I read in some parenting article somewhere that children want your time above all else. I think people of all ages want the same. They want your time and presence in order to feel value in the relationship.
This feels impossible at times. Though I feel confident that I’ll get there eventually, it’s hard right now.
Having more than one is mom guilt of the worst kind. There is literally no way to give of yourself equally or give the same that you did when you had one. You have to adjust to not being the Universal Amazing Mom that you once had the notion you were when you gave your one baby the love and attention you felt they needed. Even if that meant you held them constantly. And the new baby often gets put in a swing with horrible music, and screams because he wants to be held, for God’s sake!
One of my babies needs to be fed and held and can’t keep his head up. One of my babies is saying “hold me” and “I want you.”
I haven’t yet figured out how to grow an extra arm.
I don’t know how parents find their flow and give enough to each of their babies to feel content. Plus, I’ve always said it’s important to take time for oneself too. How can I be a good mom AND have my own internal peace, which means time to work on me. Oh and the marriage, which is of utmost importance. Oh yeah…and (at the time of writing this) I haven’t gone back to work yet!
I feel like I lost something with my first child.
I loved hanging out with Eleanor and I knew in my heart this would have its emotional challenges. I give the tubbies (baths) to Eleanor. I do art projects. I do the naptime and bedtime snuggles. But now, more of “we” or Daddy does these things. This is not bad. It’s actually good. It’s just an evolution and change.
Eleanor has a Mom version of me that she’ll never have again. And Nelson never gets to experience that Mom version. That version of me/Mom I was really pretty content with. But my new and improved me will get there in time. If this sounds like you, whether you’re on your first or second or third, you’ll get there too.
My heart grew, and there is room for both my kids in there.
I was worried it wouldn’t. Thankfully, I have a great counselor/therapist that was able to show me an alternative perspective recently. She proposed that I was choosing to look at it from an angle of loss. Which it is. But I have also gained a lot. And the gains are so much much bigger.
Didn’t I love having siblings? Didn’t my own family grow up to feel amazing once I had brothers? Did I ever recall feeling like my mom didn’t love me as much or care about me as much? No! of course not!
I feel like in my own life, it’s often how I choose to see it. If I choose my brain waves to focus on how full of love and life our home is, was and will be, then that’s mostly how I’ll see it. My perspective matters and influences how I see my/our little universe. Our house feels abundant and peaceful.
Well, peace is maybe a stretch. At naptime…for 20 to 40 minutes. Maybe content is a better word.
And in line with one of my favorite pieces of advice….One Day At a Time.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Tigges, D.O. is a small-town Iowan at heart, having grown up in Southeast Iowa before graduating from Simpson College. She subsequently began her medical career at Des Moines University, followed by her residency training at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio. Life took her to the University of Tennessee in Memphis where she was an Assistant Professor of OB/GYN, but the call to return home prompted her to return to Iowa in 2013. She has now made what she hopes will be her last move, enthusiastically joining Surgical Associates in April 2016, where she will provide compassionate and comprehensive care in Women’s Health to women of all ages.
Dr. Tigges’ unique clinical interests include pelvic and minimally invasive surgery, robotics, preventative healthcare throughout a woman’s lifespan, evaluation and treatment of pelvic pain, and female sexual health. She recognizes, however, that while those topics may be the reason for a patient’s visit, they are only a small part of the individual. Dr. Tigges believes in recognizing the whole person and connecting with them on a personal level. This is largely because she loves getting to know patients personally, but also because she wants women to feel comfortable discussing Women’s Health issues openly and wholeheartedly.
Dr. Tigges is pumped to be living in Grinnell with her husband Cody and daughter Eleanor. Cody agrees that she has a special gift for making personal connections and says that she could form a lasting relationship with a rock. When she’s not sharing jokes and funny stories at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, hiking, running, and reading.
Dr. Tigges' Disclaimer:
"This [blog] is meant to entertain and inform. I share my personal experience and opinions through this web-based forum, which may or not apply to you, but which most certainly should not be interpreted as medical advice. I only provide medical advice via in-person appointments at my office or hospital."