Having one child is not easy. A new baby changes everything about your life; all of a sudden there is a schedule to keep, so much baby crap to buy, and a human to grow and keep alive. Just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing down, you get preggo with Number Two. This is when you realize that one child is a breeze compared to having two crying Littles. Here is what I have learned:
- Screw the dishes. Nap during that rare and magical time twice a year that both kids are asleep at the very same time.
- I can accomplish a surprising number of tasks with my toes.
- My patience was something to be admired with one child. I could endure any tantrum, and calm any situation. With two? I have become a yeller. In all honesty, this is my biggest challenge right now.
- Co-sleeping isn’t so bad if it means I can get a few hours of sleep at night. (Full disclosure – I am a supporter of co-sleeping, as my parents co-slept with both my brother and I. The risk of smothering comes from really deep sleepers, going to bed intoxicated, or being obese, according to many pedi’s I’ve talked to about it.) I couldn’t for the life of me fall asleep with EB in bed when she was a baby; I am a light sleeper and she sleeps like a pancake (flip, flip, flip). I’m so pooped from waking up to feed Ans in the middle of the night that I am actually now comforted by Eebs sharing my pillow, breathing/snoring her little hot breaths into my hair.
- You will lose friends with the second kid. The non-parents will fade away, and it’s fully depressing.
- You will make great friends with other parents, and the conversations don’t always involve the kids. Having someone who understands what you’re going through is a great comfort. So is being able to meet between naps at the park in the middle of the day.
- Going to the splash pad, wading in a kiddie pool, or getting sprayed by a hose totally counts as a bath for the Littles when you have two kids. The first baby was probably too clean, and who has the time to get wet twice in a day? This logic is completely derailed if someone finds a mud puddle, however.
- The second kid is and will be remarkably tough. EB never had someone slap, hit, or pull her hair on a daily basis, much less get dragged around by the nearest limb. But I guess she’s going through boot camp now, because Ans just loves to pull on hair.
- Marriages either get stronger or show the cracks when you have the second child. I am happy to say Hubs and I fight less now. But I can very easily see how the strain of being a SAHM (mostly – I work from home though) can be pitted against the breadwinner in terms of who has the most stress and who needs a dang break, for crying out loud.
- Your body will bounce back. Now, in what shape is anyone’s guess. My stomach is trapezoidal and my boobs look like inflated/deflated ziplock bags, depending on how much milk is in there.
What lessons have you learned from having two (or more) kids? Add to this list in the comments below.