Don’t get me wrong, having 1 child isn’t a walk in the park. The first year is difficult. The transition from independent adult to someone’s parent is huge. Someone relying on you for their whole survival 24/7 is the most demanding job in the world. Then you get the hang of things. “hey, it’s not so bad! The baby can’t even crawl or walk yet.” Cool. Go get dressed in the other room and come back to zero disasters. Maybe even start sleeping through the night again. Insert- Baby #2.
A few of the biggest struggles from going from 1 baby to 2:
- You may never be on time again: You think it takes forever to get out the door with 1 kid? Try 2. One of which probably just peed their pants and would prefer sandals despite the snowstorm. The other is probably screaming because they are late for a nap and more than likely need another diaper change. Don’t even get me started on car seats. I daydream of the day when my eldest can climb in my suburban on her own, get in her seat, and clip herself in.
- Someone is always sick: Literally. Never ending. Toddler comes home with runny nose and cough. Baby gets cold that lasts for approximately 1-2 weeks. You think you made it out unharmed as everyone is perky for a day or 2. Nope, mom and dad always get hit too. And honey, MOMS DON’T GET SICK DAYS.
- You’ll never sleep again: After weeks of nursing the new baby every 2-3 hours, they might start sleeping longer stretches. Or maybe not. Probably not in my case. I always say “I just don’t make lazy kids”. The months go on and perhaps they sleep through the night or only wake up seldomly. Insert- Toddler random night wakings. Reasons include: “I have to pee”, “I need more water” or easily mistaken for sweet, but trust me its far from it at 3:30AM after nursing the baby for 15 minutes, “sleep with me.”
- Good intentions to use hand-me-downs: Ha-Ha. If you get lucky enough to have your kids follow the same growth trajectory on the same season, then bravo to your planning. The rest of us, not so lucky. Also note, baby girls leggings are not very cute on my infant son’s chubby buns. Neutral colors really aren’t always neutral. Even if you don’t mind pocketless cheeks on your son in a black and white stripe, it’s rare they actually have the same build.
- Your house will never be clean again: Mine probably won’t anyway. As much as you can try to tidy up as you walk through every area, its nearly impossible to keep order. Exploring toddler and curious baby makes for a mess at every corner. Shout out to my Roomba and my dogs for doing the best clean up they can! Lets not forget the Joys…
- They start playing together: Once you see the love your first has for your new baby. Talk about heart melting. All your tired doubts come to a screeching halt. This is why you have more than one kid. It’s really a gift for them. BFFs. Teaching each other how to use items, play games, read books.
- How can you love another baby as much as you loved your first?: A thought many mothers and fathers may have. Is there enough room in my life? Wait until the day #2 arrives. HEART EXPLOSION. How on earth did we survive without the newest member of the crew?!
- They help take care of each other (and you): Maybe I’m nursing the baby and need a rag quickly. Toddler to the rescue. Baby starts crying in the carseat before we’re headed out the door. Toddler is on entertainment duty. She even makes sure he gets to try all her snacks. She even breaks them down to baby sized pieces for him.
- The world doesn’t revolve around just your 1 child: Sorry kid, you have to learn to wait, to share and to most importantly, love. The real learning begins at home. Home is where the heart is. Life isn’t fair. Let’s begin a big life lesson ASAP.
- Lifelong friends, Confidants, Family: I can only pray this will be true for my children as the mature. Life isn’t easy. It’s a rollercoaster of happiness and suffering. I’m grateful everyday that I gave them the gift of each other. No one will know them better. Know them for their whole lives. Understand what they’ve been through. The inner working of the family dynamic. This is priceless.
It may never seem like the right time to add more children to your family. One thing I know is, I’ll never regret having more children but, I may regret not having more. Life is short and you cannot please everyone. Live your best life. Find the beauty in every day. After 2 I say, the more the merrier!
What would you add to the list?