Sometimes I speak to moms who have only one child, but hope to someday have another. And almost all of them share a concern – the same concern, in fact, that I had before my own second child arrived. And that concern is how you can possibly meet the needs of two kids at the same time.
If this is something that you’re worried about, I have good news for you. Second babies are almost always easier. But here’s the thing – it’s not necessarily because the babies themselves are somehow different, although they are. It’s not that second babies don’t need the same things that first babies do, because they generally do. Second babies are easier because, as parents, we have lightened the heck up. We have figured out that kids are resilient. We have discovered that this time is actually very short, and passes quickly. So we don’t agonize as much about every little thing, and we allow those subsequent children (and ourselves) more freedom.
The dangling upside-down used to freak me out
When Hannah was a baby I was super-careful about everything. What she ate and when was a major source of concern for me. Every word I spoke was measured and considered. And these aren’t bad things, but I’m not sure that it was as all-fired important as I thought it was. Hannah’s first birthday cake was sweetened with applesauce, for example. She didn’t like it, which isn’t that surprising, because it wasn’t that good. Did denying her actual sugar for an additional 6 months significantly benefit her? At the time I certainly thought so, but given the heaping helping of refined sugar Jacob got on his first birthday you can tell what I think in retrospect.
Jacob, playing in sand which is dirty and likely infested with germs
Expanding our family to include a second baby wasn’t a walk in the park, don’t get me wrong. I am much busier than I was with just one child. We introduced a whole new dynamic into our family, and it definitely took some adjusting. But the adjustment was different than with the first baby, and wasn’t about the baby at all. By the time Jacob arrived I knew babies, I had done babies, and I had confidence. Caring for him was easier from the get-go, and has mostly remained so. And I found the adjustment period shorter and smoother the second time, because I knew that the early days wouldn’t last forever.
Do you have more than one child? If so, did you also find that second baby easier? Or are you the exception to the general rule? Please share!