It’s Easier the 2nd Time
Other mom’s always told me that things are easier with the second child. Makes sense. Because you already know everything from the first. What kinds of poops are normal, when to worry about a fever, what foods to start feeding, how to nurse etc With my daughter, I reacted to everything. She cried for a second, I’d respond a second later. I read tons of baby books, went online to research like a maniac about all the things I could do to give my daughter the best possible start. Breast fed as long as I could, organic homemade food, no sweets, taught her sign language, Mozart playing all the time, piano lessons, vacuumed everyday, organic clothes- the list freaking goes on. I did a lot so she would benefit. Took care of her so precisely because that’s usually what first time parents do- do things so meticulously for your precious first baby.
After hearing these mothers who said it was easier with the second, I relaxed a bit, thinking that it wasn’t going to be as hard, or emotionally and physically draining as the first, because I already know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. It wasn’t going to be a whole new learning process.
LIES! All lies!
It doesn’t get easier with the second- actually it gets harder. Because now you have a newborn who needs constant attention (boob feeding, diapers, skin time, more diapers, more boob feedings) but you also have the toddler- who is also in need of constant attention (love me, pay attention to me, look at me, let me hold the baby, is this a power socket?…) hahaha?
Dear God, what the hell have I done. It’s like in these last 3 years since my daughter was born, my mind suddenly forgot the every hour breast feedings, the never ending epic diapers, the constant worry about if he’s breathing, if he’s okay when he’s gassy… NOW on top of that, picture a toddler bouncing around, trying to kiss the baby, hold him, anxious about getting the kind of attention she’s used to. To top it off, my anxiety of getting him circumcised, the lack of sleep, and of course that toddler bouncing around- ignoring what I ask her to do, testing the limits of discipline, pushing all the patient buttons I have. Argh, who are these people saying it’s easier the second time? What kind of children are these women popping out that they think this is easier the second time around? Because I’m not seeing it, it’s harder then when it was just my daughter. Dear God, so much harder. I feel like I’m stretched thin, so is my mind, body and nipples; all of it just wilting away wondering why is this not easier. Sometimes I find myself curled in the corner facing the wall saying to myself ‘they said it was easier, they said it was easier’….hahaha?
The truth is, it’s not easier when you have a second kid, it only gets harder, more complicated; and more stressful. I’m having to rely on my support system greatly. Things like home cook food for my daughter flew out the window because I’m so tired. Now if she skips dinner and wants a cupcake, after explaining to her why she needs to eat dinner; after she’s thrown a tantrum waking up her baby brother, I give her the damn cup cake. “Put away your toys” has become just please move the toys to a corner so I can walk. All the things I worked so hard to do with my first, literally went out the door. I imagine as my second child grows up, and he becomes a bit more independent it will get easier, but until they both get into school, this is going to be my life, a whole lot of crazy.
My vacuuming the floor every second day, turned into whenever possible. My home cooked meals became semi home cooked with things thrown into a pot and left to cook itself. My freshly folded laundry is now live out of the basket of clean clothes tossed in it. My me time has become play with my daughter while breast feeding my son time. I can’t tell you what’s happening to my mental well being because I haven’t had the time to think about if I’m mental or not. And this is only 22 days in since I gave birth….
So listen up second time preggo’s, it doesn’t get easier, it gets harder. REAL HARD. But somehow you will get through it, somehow you will keep your sanity. The moment your kids fall asleep, you will gaze upon them with loving eyes and realize that yes this is hard, real hard, super horribly hard, but wow; you made these wonderful little human beings. And they are a piece of you, the best piece of you.
So stay strong! And the next time you hear someone telling you it’s easier the second time around, shake that person and scream LIES!!!! But you’re ready for it. And one day, 3 or 4 years down the road, you will forget all the trouble of raising 2 kids, and stupidly think you want a 3rd or 4th….until that time, enjoy these moments now. As hard as it is, you’ll miss them when they grow up and no longer need your constant care.
And it’s not so bad, especially when my daughter cuddles me and tells me she loves mama; or when my son looks at me. I think to myself, nope, this isn’t too bad at all.