6am thoughts, 5 weeks into being a parent of two

When I see families in public with two or more children, I think, wow, all of these people did exactly what I'm doing, and they look like they're doing okay. It gives me hope that soon, I won't feel like I'm running around frantically trying to meet both girls' needs and feeling like I'm not meeting either one's... Many days, it seems like all I do is try to put Margaret down so I can do what Julia wants/ needs me to do, and try to get Julia settled so I can take care of Margaret. Over and over and over.

Scott has said that this is the first time since he has known me when it seems like I can't get out of bed. When I hear Margaret for the first time in the night, I wonder how I will get up. And then I do, over and over. It was strangely a relief a few weeks ago when I realized, this is the most tired I've ever been. Yup... And still functioning, and still keenly aware that we are so, so lucky that being tired is our biggest complaint.

Even exhausted, I don't want to miss out on mornings with Julia, when I have coffee and she watches television, and now, Margaret eats (very noisily!). It's my favorite time of day. I would trade a million 5 am wake ups for the hours between 3-5 pm, which I will happily give away to any takers. 

I have moments now when I can see Margaret and Julia as one entity: my girls. I wonder how they will be the same, and how they will differ. Julia's love for Margaret has stunned me. Even when she is frustrated and in the very depths of her "3 1/2-ness", she adores Margaret. She asks, "can I hold the baby?" a million times a day.

I have two daughters. That still amazes me. Growing up, it somehow felt like the parents I knew "got" the gender(s) they were supposed to get-- but now I see that we adapt to parent whoever arrives. It's hard to articulate, but I think I sort of believed it was the opposite, maybe because it's just so hard to envision any families I knew being anything other than who they were. I wonder how raising two daughters will shape me.

It's a little strange to think that Scott and I won't know what it's like to have a son, and at the same time, it's impossible that Margaret could be anyone other than who she is: our almost 5 week old girl with a furrowed brow who burrows into my neck when I hold her.