Our boys are seven and four. We’re in a different stage of parenting that doesn’t involve diapers, bottles, and nap-time schedules. Looking back, here are a few things that surprised me when we decided to have another kid.
Lessons from having 2 kids
- No Breaks. The number one thing that surprised both of us was how “on” we’d have to be. There was no more mailing it in and letting the other parent take over. For example, our oldest couldn’t take a bath alone and somebody had to be with the baby. I’d say this “on” feeling lasted the entire first year.
- Birth might be different. My first labor totally sucked. There were no magic moments, and I didn’t even want to hold him when he was born because I was so exhausted. When it was time to deliver our second, I sobbed on the way to the hospital. I was hoping he’d somehow magically appear in his crib. But, I knew what I wanted this time, “Hi, I’m Brittney and I’d like the epidural as soon as possible.” It went much better and I actually wanted to hold my second kid when he was born.
- Confidence. The routine baby things came easier the second time because I’d had a lot of practice. I also knew what to expect at certain ages. Plus, all the baby gear was already put together so that helped!
- No Confidence. As soon as I felt like I had it together, the second kid would throw me for a loop. Over time, I realized this was pretty normal. No matter how old they were or what they were going through, there would be times where I’d feel absolutely zero confidence in my mom skills – and that was okay.
- What about the other kid? They’ll be fine. One of the best things to happen to our straight-laced oldest kid was his completely obnoxious little brother.
- They’ll be different kids. I know that sounds ridiculous. We have two boys and I just assumed they’d be similar. Nope. They’re totally different humans and what worked for the first, didn’t always work for the second.
- Stuff. I thought they could share clothes but they were born in different seasons. I didn’t think I’d need another stroller but I did (buy a double from day one). The second kid hated the bouncy seat so I bought a different one. Pretty soon, our basement looked like a used-stuff baby store. My advice? If one kid didn’t wear it or you didn’t like it, get rid of it right away.
- You’ll treat them differently. And, that’s okay. Our first? He got way more books than our second. Kid two got to eat way more dessert at a much earlier age. Kid one was more hesitant to try new things (because we hovered a lot). Our second jumps in head first, backward, with his eyes closed. Neither of them are worse for the wear – they just need us to love them.