You're faced with raising two kids under 4 completely alone
It feels hard right now. It feels so, so much harder than you imagined. You always imagined having babies, even as a young teen, caring for your friends' siblings day and night and lighting up whenever a toddler ran over for a cuddle. Your focus was clear. The first year with baby number one was hard. you spent most of it crying, in old clothes, unwashed and unkempt - at least that's how you remember it. When you fell pregnant with number two, you felt confident it would be fine, because the first experience had strengthened you and you were ready for anything. You were ready for the colic, the sleepless nights, the problems breastfeeding, the physical torture on your lower back, the aches and pains, the loneliness on maternity leave. You felt like you had learned how to master it all and you were so ready and so excited.
You were ready for the baby, but what you weren't ready for was to do it alone. And yet there you are now, baby number two less than a month old, and you're faced with raising two kids under 4 completely alone. Completely. And. Utterly. Alone. The idea terrifies you. You have full blown panic attacks where you can't breathe through the tears, where you're suffocating in your fear. You go to sleep dreading waking up the next day and having to do it again. You try to hide your terror from your children and that becomes a full time job in itself. It's so much more than colic and sleepless nights and judgey mums at bounce and rhyme. It's so much more than bottle or breast, baby led or puree, co-sleep or crib. It's making all those decisions on your own, with nobody to google the dangers of cotbeds at 1am with, with nobody to argue about the most cost-effective pram system with, with nobody to take the baby whenever you need to have one-on-one time with the first child, to remind her that she is just as special, with nobody to bring home the wine for you after a hard day.
I'm here to tell you that you're going to make it. Future you is okay, you're doing so well. You no longer look into the future and feel like you can't breathe. You no longer want to sleep all day and you no longer wear clothes you feel crap in. The second baby turns out to be an amazing sleeper, and you master a great routine with both kids quickly. They are fine, they're full of mad love for each other and for you, and they amaze you every day with how brave and brilliant they are. You have built a support network around you that helps you through the hard days. You were and still are an incredible role model for them in a world that is damn difficult for minority women to find their place in. I'm proud of you and all you have achieved, but you still have work to do. And I have no doubt that you'll do it.