Becoming a family of four

Motherhood
Our Little Tribe – First Family Photo of the Four of Us

I have been meaning to write this blog for you for SO long now. As I sit here and reflect on the past 12 weeks, tears fill my eyes with so many emotions. I cannot believe our littlest member to our tribe, Avery is already 12 weeks old! Yes, you read that right! It honestly feels like we had him yesterday. This week, Avery also ticked off the milestone of rolling from his front to his back which I was so excited for but then suddenly realised he has grown and developed so much already.

We had always known that we wanted more than one child and it was when Spencer turned 18 months, we were ready for another baby. This pregnancy was completely different. I initially had some bleeding at the beginning and thought we might of lost him, he was breech until 35 weeks, then hubby lost his grandfather in the peak of Covid-19 lockdowns in Shanghai, China and then 12 weeks later, I lost my grandfather in the peak of Covid-19 restrictions in Sydney, Australia. We took their passings very hard and it made us treasure our family so much more and honestly, Avery has been the light that has kept us going in this crappy year as we had something to look forward to. We were also so excited to have two boys – brothers! When we were waiting on the gender reveal, I never quite understood why people would make comments such as “hope you have a girl” because we would have been thrilled with either sex but honestly, I was even more thrilled to have two boys! I just always felt like I would be a boy mama and here we are!

Our littlest member, Avery.

Following suit of is brother, Avery went past his due date and was induced. Little did we know I was already in labour on our induction day, that he would be delivered in two and a half hours and that our little pork chop would weigh a meaty 3.7kgs! I was so damn proud that he was such a good weight as I never expected him to be 600 grams bigger than his brother!

I had never been away from my oldest son, Spencer and due to Covid-19 restrictions, he wasn’t able to visit me in hospital. I wasn’t sure if Spencer understood the whole pregnancy and a new sibling arriving when I was pregnant but looking back now, he definitely did. We talked to Spencer about his brother, read books to him and even gave some gifts to sweeten the deal of a new sibling arriving and when we introduced Avery to him, he was so excited (and to have mum home too of course)! Even now, Spencer is very affectionate towards Avery, tries to play with him and shares his toys. I expected some jealousy but there hasn’t been any thankfully but Spencer does demand for our time. On other occasions he will say “Mum, Avery crying…go” which breaks my heart that he knows I have someone else I need to care for but at the same time so incredibly proud that I am raising such a caring and nurturing young man. In another year, I imagine they will be the best of friends and fighting heaps too!

Adjusting to being a family of four has been hard for me – the first six weeks particularly. I was learning how to navigate between two kids and also Avery is so different to Spencer as a baby. Spencer was mix fed due to tongue tie issues where Avery is exclusively breastfed (meaning all the feeds are on me). Spencer would also wake/play/feed to sleep, where Avery likes to wake/feed/play/sleep. Not only that, Avery likes to be held during day sleeps, whereas Spencer would happily sleep in his own cot.

I remember reading a post on Instagram where someone asked for votes on whether they found it harder going from 0-1 kids or 1-2 kids. I was surprised to see most mums found it harder going from 0-1 kids! I wouldn’t change anything as I love being a mum but boy juggling two kids was a different ball game – especially with Spencer’s high energy levels! I felt guilty for not being able to spend the same amount of 1-1 time with Spencer and the chores were piling up. I had little time left to spend with hubby and no time to myself. Resting when the baby does isn’t an option either with a toddler around! So unless you have a nanny, a gardener, a cook, someone to do your laundry, dishes and the list goes on… there will always be the mess and chores around. There are no perfect mothers.

There will be days where your children have tantrums, days where you don’t want to parent, wonder what you have gotten yourself into, where you doubt yourself, where you feel guilty, feel like you shouldn’t have yelled at your kids and done everything you can but still nothing is working and nothing is getting ticked off from the to do list. All these emotions and feelings are normal. It is ok to feel overwhelmed. I think being a second time around mum, you know there is light in the tunnel as you have been through it before and we get through it. Parenting is challenging, it is hard, it is filled with emotions but so worth it. Despite the hardest days where I am so emotionally and mentally drained just wanting to get the kids in bed, when they finally are, I end up finding myself looking at photos of them. Then I cannot wait for them to wake up to start the next day to do it all over again. It is a crazy ride! No two days are the same.

I have learnt to prioritise which one of the boys needs tending to first, to go a little easier on myself and not to worry too much about the chores as it’s not the memories the boys will remember and not how tidy the house was. I have never looked back and regretted that the house wasn’t tidy enough.

They say it goes all too quickly and it truly does. Forget about the laundry pile and soak in those newborn cuddles and smell. Leave the cleaning and instead look at those little baby movements – those stretches, those little hands wrapped around yours and tickle those little tiny feet. Before you know it, they will be running away from you and no longer babies. I’ll be holding on extra tight to my boys and soaking it all in – You just never know when these moments become memories.

Porridge shawl by G.H. Hurt & Sons.

Photography by Sarah Mei Photography and Alana Wu

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