Any mama who has made the transition from one child to multiple is probably familiar with the false idea that you’ll be a pro by your second child. After all, you’ve already kept one child alive for however long. How hard could it be to do it with another one?
But confidence turns into chaos as you quickly figure out that parenting one child is nothing like parenting multiple children together. Having multiple little humans need you at once is an entirely different monster altogether. So while some things clicked as easily as they did before (ie: breastfeeding for me) other things definitely did not. And that, along with some pleasant surprises, is what I want to tackle today.
Baby # 2 Puts Your True Capabilities Into PerspectiveI remember when I finally felt like I got my groove with my first born. I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do. I was managing working full time while raising my baby boy all while making sure I made time for myself. I felt like superwoman and I thought it would be the same with baby # 2.
However, my experience with my second child has been much different. I have no interest in “doing it all.” In fact I’m much more concerned with setting boundaries in my life and prioritizing my family life and what works best for us. I realized that I am going to be pulled in at least two different directions at once with having two kids so I need to be able to feed out other sources of chaos in my life. I’ve learned to say no to people and step back from other obligations that didn’t need to be a priority and I wish I knew that this would be a necessary step earlier on.
You Should Probably Work On Potty Training Your Toddler NowSo, depending on the age difference between your first and second child your first may be too young to potty train or old enough to have already been using the potty for a while. But if you have a 2-3 age gap like I do, I’d advise you to start potty training shortly after you find out that you’re pregnant. I put forth some effort but never was consistent enough to see results. This left me in the position of having two diaper wearing children for the first few months of my daughter’s life and believe me it was hectic in here. The last thing you want when you’re early postpartum is having to change the diapers of a toddler who eats exactly what you eat while balancing constant diaper changes with a newborn. Trust me, start potty training as soon as you can. You’ll thank me later.
You’re Older Child Will Not Be As Much Help As You Think
My children are a little less than three years apart and I thought that this age gap was perfect. My older child was moderately independent and I was sure that he’d be a big help with baby #2. And while this was somewhat the case in certain situations I quickly found out that my older child had no interest in (nor was he obligated to be) mommy’s little helper. He was pretty disinterested for the first month, mainly wanting his mommy and daddy to himself. But when he finally warmed up to his new baby sister his new found interest in playing with her meant that it was too dangerous to leave him alone with her for fear he might accidentally hurt her.
Your Experience With Your Second May Be Completely Different From Your First
My babies are night and day. No exaggeration, their personalities are polar opposites. My son was the most smiley, happy go lucky baby ever and hardly ever cried. My daughter was extremely colicky for two months and is very fussy and clingy even now. My son loved being in his walker and my daughter doesn’t really care for her’s. My daughter has had a hard time teething when my son just popped up one day with a mouthful of teeth. The list goes on.
The most important thing when having two children is being adaptable and not expecting to be able to parent both children the same. Each of my babies needs a different type of mommy and I have to be adaptable in order to be that for them.
People’s Opinions Will Not Phase You Nearly As Much
Girl, if I don’t give a f#%*k was a person she would definitely be me. I kid you not, just about everything I was terrified about as a first time mom barely phases me now. Breastfeeding in public? I’ll do it without hesitation. Feeling like people will judge me for giving my child screen time? I could care less. Feeling guilty that my child hasn’t had the most nutritional meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I’m patting myself on the back for cooking at all.
Motherhood is straight up chaos! I know that full well now. More importantly I know that the only people that are judging you when you’re doing your best either don’t have any children yet or are overcompensating for where their lacking in their parenting. Either way this new found freedom in caring a lot less about what people think of me as a mother is liberating!
Your Heart Is Big Enough To Love Another Little One
I’m sure this thought crosses every mom’s mind when she finds out she’s having another child. “But how will I love them as much as insert your first born’s name here ?” I was there too. I mean throughout the nine months you obviously start to fall in love with the bundle of joy that you’re carrying but meeting them face to face is another story entirely. But trust me when I say that the same otherworldly love that gripped your heart the first time you laid eyes on your first born baby will grip you once again for your second. And as time goes on and you get to know your new baby more, the love just grows until you don’t know how you ever did life without them.