Five Truths Nobody Tells You About Having a Second Child
It's no secret that more than anything in the world, my husband and I want to expand our family by having another baby, but I have to admit that I'm terrified that if that happens, I won't be the mom my kids deserve me to be.
I only have one child, but I'm a full-time mom, a wife, and a full-time employee and I'm doing the best I can to be the best at all three, but there are days that I simply don't have one single ounce of strength left to get on the floor and play cars with my son at the end of the day. I was talking to my mom (who has seven kids) about this and she told me that having a second baby makes some things easier and other things harder and that it's a constant game of teeter-totter to find the right balance.
I appreciate my mom's honesty. But what is it like to have a toddler and a newborn?Everyone talks about the balancing act, but according to Pop Sugar contributor Lauren Turner, these are five truths that nobody tells you about having a second child.
Think you remember everything about when your first was a newborn? Probably not. I always joke and say that my son ate my brain. Kidding, not kidding. Apparently it doesn't get better. Lauren explains, "Don't be surprised if you and your partner look at each other with bewilderment when trying to remember what time you used to put your first to bed at night or how many ounces he would take from a bottle."
My son has been my world for two years and I can't imagine it'll be easy on him if we have a second child. I've wondered how consumed with guilt I'll feel if I have to find a way to give each child their own special time and Lauren echos my concerns, "You'll feel guilty for spending too much time with your newborn and not paying enough attention to your older child. And then you'll spend more time with your older child and feel terrible for neglecting your newborn."
Laundry is the bane of my existence. Next to handwashing teeny-tiny baby bottles and all their little parts, laundry is my most hated household chore. Our washing machine died the day before our son was born and my husband wanted to wait to buy a new one, saying we could get by for a week or so. Um, no. We went out and bought a new one the day after we came home from the hospital and I'm pretty sure that thing has been running continually since. It's hard to imagine having even more laundry to do than we currently have, but apparently having a second baby just makes the mounds grow even higher. Lauren says that having another baby actually doubles the amount of laundry and, "If you don't do at least one load of laundry every day, you are already behind."
Sure, every once in a while I have a clever idea that comes together, but basically, my life is a series on Pinterest fails. However, one of the few things I'm really good at is capturing photos of my son and so there are thousands of him. The other day as I was going through the albums on my laptop, I found myself wondering how many photos of baby number two I'd take and if I'd capture their first steps and fit feedings and such- just as I did for John. According to Lauren, "It's not so much been there, done that, but it just doesn't quite shake you to your core the way having a baby the first time can. This is not to say your hormones won't still be all over the place. It just means that instead of being on a loopy, upside-down roller coaster at Six Flags, they'll probably be riding something more like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland."
We live two hours from my parents and three hours from my in-laws and we have no family in town which means we can't just call up our parents or siblings and ask for help. And when it comes to asking friends for a hand, we struggle with guilt because we don't ever want anyone to think we're taking advantage of them and so we tend to do everything on our own. And yes, that's an us problem and apparently one we'll have to get over if we want to have another baby. Lauren days, "You now not only need someone to help you with your own recovery and with the tiny human, but you also need someone to entertain your older child and keep your house in order...Even if you think you've got it down, you'll be glad to have the extra hands."