I anticipate that I’ll be writing a lot of posts on this topic. A lot.
If I even survive to tell the tale… gulp.
I get asked often how the transition from one to two kids compares to the transition from zero to one kid.
In a nutshell: it’s all difficult.
Welcoming Clara (our first baby) into our family was challenging because – hello, everything in my life changed! Everything. I became a stay at home mom, I had to make new mom friends and join new mom groups (which- even though I loved meeting new people – was also intimidating because I had very, very few mom friends at the time), Tim and I had to actually schedule date nights and find babysitters, I had to figure out breastfeeding and baby sleep schedules and navigate the world of baby products, and my social plans started involving a lot more coffee and a lot less tequila. Plus, a lot of my relationships changed, including my marriage. Then there were all of the physical changes with my body to adjust to… Basically nothing in my life went untouched.
Welcoming a second baby was hard, too, of course.
To start with, it was really challenging being pregnant with a very-young toddler, because I simply lacked energy. (I still feel guilty that I’ve spent half of Clara’s life pregnant and not operating at maximum-awesome-mom potential.)
Now it’s difficult because I have two young kids to take care of! I mean, that pretty much says it all, right? At any given moment I’m trying to breastfeed one while the other one is telling me she needs help going to the potty. Or breastfeeding one while the other one needs to be fed, too. Or breastfeeding one while one wants my attention for any number of reasons. It turns out it’s very difficult to multi-task while a child is attached to my boob.
(So far parenting two little ones under two has been manageable because Tim has been on paternity leave, but that all changes today, as he goes back to work. Gulp.)
Welcoming the second baby has definitely been easier in certain ways – thank goodness.
I was so laid back with Clara that I was convinced I couldn’t possibly be more laid back with a second kid, but I am! For instance, with Clara I used an app to remember when she last ate and slept… I haven’t used it all this time around. Maybe I will in the future when I want to start tracking naps, but for now, I’m technology free with this baby. Also, I knew what to expect for my c-section recovery and breastfeeding, so those processes seemed to go a lot smoother this time around. I spend a lot less time on Google (researching every little thing) and more time bouncing a crying baby while asking Clara to stop whining. I feel even more confident with baby Isabelle, and I’m grateful for that because I feel less emotionally exhausted by the newborn phase.
The thing that has made the biggest difference, though, are the mom-friends I now have in my life. When Clara arrived on the scene I had almost no friends with babies, but now I have relationships with dozens of moms! It makes a world of difference to be able to talk to women who understand the trials of motherhood – and who can celebrate small successes (She pooped in the potty! She slept 4 hours!), as well.
To answer the original question, about whether it’s harder to go from zero to one kid or one to two kids, my response is:
Going from one to two kids has been more challenging, but I feel like I have more resources this time around to tackle the difficulties. And going from zero to one kids was definitely more life changing.
Moms with more than one kid, what were your thoughts on going from one to two (kids)?