Oh Hi! Did you just have your second kid? Or maybe you are thinking of having one. I did, about 2 years ago and I’m still standing to tell the story! No, like literally, I’m standing.
Here are 10 things no one will tell you about having your second child.
- No lady, you will not be spouting an extra pair of hands – Yes dear woman it is true….you may have just birthed another little thing that’s going to turn your world upside down. Your body though expects you to cope with the same two hands and maybe once in a while use your legs maybe. So make sure you enlist the help of everyone you can count on for that time.
- Your first child needed you less than you imagined – You know that little first born child that you couldn’t leave for a few hours without being wracked with mom guilt? It seems that might have been a little misplaced, that child can do just fine with other caretakers. The 3 days in the hospital my son would visit me twice a day and even then he was more interested in the new arrival or the hospital cafeteria than me. He even learnt to sleep without us during this time. Waaah! I missed him though! That said, I’ve left my first born to be sat by the television while I put the baby to sleep, especially on days when said baby took more than 45 mins to sleep. Fortunately this habit was easier to break later once I could engage the together.
- Mom brain is short-lived – Second time around while some things came naturally, others I couldn’t remember for the life of me, and it had been only a couple of years. I could nappy like a pro but couldn’t for the life of me remember the feed, burp, sleep pattern. Swaddling seemed like a mess I couldn’t sort, solid food transition was just beyond me. So it was like being a new mom all over again. I even resorted to nursing the baby to sleep in an attempt to get him to sleep faster for naps so I could return to my older child, a step I would come to regret later, read blog on how we weaned at 2 years of age, but that’s ok too, you can fix it later.
- Every child is unique – cannot be truer than with your two children. Take for instance, kid 1 nursed for hours during every feed, he only came off the breast for half hour at a time. Kid 2 was never at breast for more than 15 minutes. Kid 1 loved his bath since birth, kid 2 cried even before we entered till the time we came out. Kid 1 never climbed a chair till he was two, kid 2 was climbing windows by one. Kid 1 was a social animal, kid 2 was stuck on me till he turned 26 months. You get the drift.
- One child’s toy is another’s choking hazard – my whole house was one big choking hazard for baby. I remember carefully baby proofing the house for my first born, but for baby 2 I had to grow an extra pair of eyes. Who the hell knew that the wheels of hotwheels cars could come off in a baby’s mouth!!!???!! I have also had him cough up seeds that he’d put in his nose (this is not a joke, I was almost in tears that day thinking how that could’ve turned out.)
- You will fear your children’s love for each other – I once walked out of the kitchen to see my nearly 4 year old stuffing his 10 month old brother with parle G biscuits. I was gone for 3 seconds to pick up my tea cup. ‘But Amma, he wanted my biscuits, you told me to share!’ Suffice to say I never tried to have hot tea for a year after that.
- They are a gang from birth – No matter what the situation, please know your children will always gang up against you! Forever.
- You will be raising a fight club at home – No matter how many of each thing you buy, or if you pick same colours of everything, or you always remember to make doubles of any food, they will find a reason to fight. They will also make up in the best ways possible and you will always be the outsider no matter how fair you play. Thats just like it should be.
- You will save – a ton of money on used clothes and also milking your investment in things like baby carriers, cots, playards, prams etc. Not to mention efforts gone into picking schools and classes for kid 1.
- There is no love like sibling love – Kid 2 will say his best friend is kid 1, kid 1 will everyday bring an extra chocolate from school for sibling (which you will soon start dreading), they will read together, they will ignore you as they play / watch / eat together, and you will secretly start planning child 3, knowing all the while that its not going to happen because of points 1 – 8 but still shedding tears of happy thoughts. Your heart will be brimming over, knowing you’ll not trade points 1-8 for anything in the world if it meant you could for 5 seconds in the day look on two little heads huddled together!
Like everything else with parenting, having 2 children is not for everyone. It’s tough, just like having your first child is, but it’s also rewarding to see a relationship bloom between siblings.
It’s no fun dealing with double tantrums, school events plus a napping infant. PTA meetings with a cranky toddler. Multiple bathroom runs, sick days that go on loop, regular night wakings, are days you want to write your resignation letter. Then out of the blue they’ll both hug you. Or you will wake up to both of them playing a game of tents on the bed and you’ll catch yourself smiling, and you’ll know you will do it all over again.