Having a second child is a huge cause for celebration, but there are also fears. How will you manage two children? Will my older child hate their new sibling? It’s a decision that changes your entire family dynamic and it’s natural to have fears about how those changes will affect everyone but it’s OK. There are also lessons that only this experience can teach you.
Lesson #1: You Learn Your Children Can Survive Waiting
Now that there are two, your time is split. Before when you only had one, you could focus all your energy on them and help them or play with them whenever you wanted to. But with two, it’s gets trickier. You need to convey to your oldest that you are busy with the baby but you need to do it in a way that doesn’t raise resentment between siblings. I found that asking your older child to help in as many ways as they can lessens the resentment and makes them feel like a member of the family. From getting diapers to distracting the baby by showing off their toys, any little bit can help both of you. Your children will also amaze you with what they can come up with when they are left alone for a few minutes. They do find ways to entertain themselves.
Lesson #2: You Will Learn to Plan Your Time
I’m sorry to break the news to you, but if you are a planner you will need to embrace that there will be chaos for a while. A simple trip to the grocery store can become an overwhelming endeavor with two or more children to bring along. Also, with one child, it’s much easier to get breaks and time to yourself than with multiple kids. The best advice is to plan ahead. Schedule some time to yourself. Even a ½ hour trip by yourself to Target can make all the difference. It gives you time to clear your head and get your thoughts in order. Very important those first few sleep deprived months.
Lesson #3: It’s OK to Have Bad Days
Pinterest is a wonderful website that can entertain and distract us for hours. It can also make us feel like the worst mothers on the planet because we can’t DIY educational games for our toddler out of Elmers glue and popsicle sticks while feeding a newborn one handed with our perfect, perky boobs. Accept this now: you can’t do everything and you are not perfect. I promise you that’s a good thing. Think about your parents, do you love them because they are perfect? Kids needs are much more simple then you think; food, shelter, warmth and most of all….love. If your kids know you love them, then you can forgive yourself for making peanut butter and jelly 4 days in a row and only washing enough dishes to get through the next meal. You’re human and you are raising very tiny humans. A little dust is forgivable.
The moral of this story is that it’s OK to be happy, sad, scared and underprepared all at the same time at the thought of having another baby. You are a mother and you are doing your best. Just say that to yourself whenever you reach a pause and know that you are getting double the love and cuddles.
About the blogger: Jessica Churchill is a wife, mother of 2 boys and a spare time blogger. She lives in southern Connecticut with her family and enjoys summer days, Sunday night HBO and getting five minutes to drink a cup of coffee. She’s embraced that she will never be June Clever since she drinks, swears and loves dirty jokes. She blogs at www.domesticatedwildchild.com.
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