Monday, May 16, 2016

And Then There Were Two...

I have several friends who are pregnant with their second child, and I remember the fear well. 39 weeks pregnant with a 3 year old who seems like he's hopped up on meth all the time, I was completely terrified of having two children. I just didn't see how it was possible to love another baby like I did my first, I didn't know where I'd get the energy or the time, I didn't know how I would do any of it. Most people's comments were along of the lines of "oh just wait, it gets worse!"

Not. Helpful.

So, in the interest of keeping things real, here are some things I have learned by adding a second child to our family:

1. It's AWESOME. Yes, I said it. It is not a nightmare, not scary, and not overwhelming (most of the time). It honestly feels like it was always supposed to be this way, baby on my hip, and hand in hand with my toddler. Not to say that the first few months didn't have a learning curve, because they did.That's the case no matter what you do that's new and unfamiliar. But Hannah is 5 months old next week, and I can honestly say I don't know what I was so worried about. 

2. It is actually possible to love two children equally at the same time. You may laugh, but I was legitimately concerned that I would not love our new baby the same way I loved Dylan. Not a problem, mamas. Your heart is elastic, it expands :)

3. Once you get past the fragile newborn phase, watching the relationship develop between siblings is magical. For the first month or two, the relationship looks a lot like the baby is going to get punted across the room... you will hear yourself say things like, "Don't lick your sister!" "Don't pull her toes!" "Don't lay on her!". That will gradually decrease as the baby gets a little sturdier, and there's nothing better in this world than watching the baby laugh at his or her older sibling doing everything they can to get a giggle. 

4. The time management issue can be a problem, especially if your kids refuse to synchronize their nap schedule. For me, it was tough for a few months to get a shower, make a phone call, or do anything that required concentration. But, you get used to it. You make adjustments. I take a shower before I go to bed, while the kids are asleep and my husband is home. I do everything humanly possible to get them to nap together, so I can have an hour of quiet. Do what you can, and leave the rest!

5. It is more important now than ever for you to have some alone time, mama. Do whatever it takes to make it happen. Even if you have to sacrifice an hour of sleep, that hour spent going to the gym, reading a book, or sipping a glass of wine in silence will do wonders for your mental health. No one can be supermom without taking care of themselves. Have you ever heard the expression, "You can't pour out of an empty glass?" Take that to heart. You can't do what needs to be done for your family without filling up your own glass first. 

If you are expecting your second, I hope this gives you a little comfort. 5 months ago I wasn't sure I'd survive having 2 kids, and now I think that maybe having three wouldn't be so bad, that should tell you something!! 

(No pictures because my computer hates me. Do what you can, leave the rest!)

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