Becoming a mother changes your whole life, in ways you can’t even imagine before it happens. Becoming a mother the second time around is a little different.
You’ve been through pregnancy before, so you think you know what to expect. You sort of remember the do’s and don’ts of what you can eat, but maybe you have regular coffee now and then when you wouldn’t even think of it the first time.
You’ve been through the first few months of a baby’s life before, so you think you know what to expect. You know that a baby eats around the clock and you’ll be lucky to get a shower. What you don’t expect is that it’s not just you and a baby – it’s you, a baby and your older child.
I was 30 when I had my first child, and I had become set in my ways a bit. I had lived on my own for a while before I started dating my husband, and been in a few bad relationships. In a lot of ways I didn’t feel very “grown up.”
Within two years, I was married, moved to another state with my husband, bought a house and had a toddler and a baby. (Not quite in that order). I have to say, adjusting from an independent young woman to being a wife and mother was hard on me.
The first few weeks of your second child’s life is all about lack of sleep.
With your first child, you could nap when they napped. You may be able to do that with two, if the stars are aligned perfectly. My second child just turned one and I think I can count the number of family naps on both hands.
The first six months of your second child’s life is all about rearranging habits.
When I had my second baby, my first daughter was almost 2. I was just starting to feel like we were getting in a groove when baby number 2 came along and threw our daily schedules out the window.
Did I mention that sleep is a problem with 2 kids yet? We moved our older child to a toddler bed a few months before the baby arrived just like all the things we read suggested. She still had a hard time going to sleep and woke up in the middle of the night. There is nothing worse than finally getting the baby to sleep, just to have the toddler wake up 5 minutes later.
This is a completely unedited picture shortly after baby number 2 joined the family. We all look tired.
But you learn to make new habits that include the newest member of the family:
You learn which grocery stores have the largest carts.
You learn how to hold the baby and get your other child out of the car at the same time.
You learn what you can do with two kids, what you can’t do with two kids and what you’ll never do with two kids again. (Like letting your toddler sit in the middle of the cart with a dozen eggs…)
You learn that having one kid is a lot easier than you thought it was at the time.
And you learn that you’re a lot stronger than you thought you were and you can do more than you even guessed before.