Well, it’s official. We have expanded. It’s incredible how that sentence is only three words long. Those three words don’t even scratch the surface of what we’ve gone through to make it to this point. Part of me wants to say that very few people can understand what we have overcome to make it to this point, but that’s not true. In actuality, there’s a large group of people out there who unknowingly, know exactly what we have endured. If you are a parent (especially a mom), with two or more kids, then you know.
Our original opening was in many ways, much like having our first child. It came with a mixture of nervousness, anxiety, loads of questions, but mostly excitement. Nothing can prepare you for what you’re about to experience. You have preconceived notions of how you will be as a parent, so naively, you prepare exclusively for delivery day. When it comes, a startling realization sets in just a matter of hours after your baby is born. THIS IS JUST THE STARTING LINE. All the preparation, anxiety, anticipation and excitement is only the tippy top of a massive iceberg.
The first few months are grueling; joyful, but grueling. Very gradually, this new gig begins to get easier, and you slowly forget the difficult things: pregnancy, labor, recovery, being the MVP on #teamnosleep, nursing, yellow poop, constant baby vomit, I could go on. Forgetting these things can be easy because of the joy this little person brings to your life.
Then one day you think, “we should have another one.” Or maybe you don’t and it just happens unexpectedly. Either way, the reality of the “second round” sets in much more quickly. The excitement is still there, just overshadowed by the full understanding of what is to come. You don’t have a choice though. The deed is done and resisting your inevitable future is futile. This time however, your attention is divided between tending to your first one and preparing for the second. Although your first experience prepares you for some things, a plot twist emerges and surprise! The two are nothing like each other.
Somehow, you manage though. Many days you feel that you are hanging on by a mere fingernail, but you make it through, one day at a time. The doubt that you are doing anything right is nearly constant, but then there are moments that fill you with so much love, pride and joy that you almost cannot physically contain it. Those are the moments that make it all worth it. All the long hours, physical demands, mental stress and tears, so many tears, suddenly seem like a small price to pay for this level fulfillment.
I can’t decide which was harder, pushing out a baby or pushing out a studio. My two actual babies are 2.5 years apart which gave me a bit more time between to recover. My studio babies are only 11 months apart, and brought me closer to my limit than I’d like to admit. The good news? WE MADE IT. At least that’s what I thought until I just now realized, I am probably only a foot down the iceberg. Sh*%. Well…here’s to the unknown; may we face it bravely and with endurance.