5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Having My Second Baby
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My boys are now 20 months and 6 months old. If you are bad a math like me, that means they are 14 months apart. And yes, we were trying for our second when David was only about 5 months old, and it happened very quickly!
I wrote a post about the 5 things I wish I knew before I had David last year and thought I’d do a follow up now that I have two kids.
Entering into the world of two kids is interesting. It’s much different than having your first baby, not in a bad or worse way, but more in a “things I thought mattered with my first don’t matter as much anymore”.
While I find that my friend group and peers seem to be having their babies relatively close together, keep in mind that my advice and experience is coming from my experience with 2 under 2. Any age gap has it’s perks and challenges though!
14 month old David + newborn Luke
20 month old David and 6 month old Luke // photos by Jordan Maunder
1. Your capacity will expand as your family does.
It’s sort of a miracle but it does. In the very real way that you felt you could not be busier with your first, you will feel the same way with your second. And you may be like me and think,”how on earth did I actually think that I didn’t have time for anything when it was just David.” So you will have more added to your plate, but you’ll find a way to get it done. Or not and that brings me to my next point.
2. You’ll adjust to a new level of acceptance.
I don’t take time to clean the house and cook dinner as much as I used to. And the keyword is don’t. I could at the sacrifice of sleep or spending time with friends, but I have to pick and choose what I spend my time on and an immaculate home is not high on my list. I’m thankful that Justin is great with leftovers and even frozen chicken + bagged rice for dinner some nights, as I know that isn’t a given in all families. So, I accept, without guilt, that my house isn’t organized or sparkling clean and dinner is sometimes an afterthought.
3. For the first time you’ll feel torn between two things you love equally.
When we first brought Luke home from the hospital, I believe it was the second night that I experienced the first twinge of being torn between the two boys. Justin was putting David to bed while I was feeding Luke and I remember wishing that I was putting David to bed too! It wasn’t that one situation was preferred, I just wanted to be in two places at once.
Now that Luke is 6 months old, Justin and I trade off certain activities and I really feel like I get to spend good, quality time with each boy. It took some time for this, and I remember specifically missing David in the beginning (he was my only one!) of Luke being around, but now we’ve settled into a great place with both boys.
I have special things that David and I do, and Luke and I have little games we play, and the same goes for Justin. This will continue to change over the years, of course, but I’m happy to have found this great place of balance for right now.
4. Things you majored on with your first may be very different with your second.
I was a pretty easy-going mom in some senses, but I was an uptight control freak about David’s naps. I wish I hadn’t been so focused on them as I felt that dominated so much of the first part of his life. The perk, however, is David was on a very predictable schedule and slept through the night at about 11 weeks old.
With Luke, I was forced to be more flexible because I had to be. And it’s been good for all parties involved. If David was craving some time out of the house, Luke would snooze in the Solly Wrap. If Luke needed a good, solid nap in his crib, David and I would hang around the house and wait for him to get up. It’s always changing based on what each boy needs at a certain time.
So naps aren’t a major priority around here like they were with David. And Luke did start sleeping through the night at about 15 weeks, but went through a rough stage of sleep regression shortly thereafter. Now, and for the past month or so, he’ll go to bed at 7 (as David does as well) and sleep until about 5/5:30a. But, he often just needs to be resettled and won’t get up for the day until about 6:15a.
5. Since you are already a mom, you will likely feel more confident about mothering the second time around.
With your first, at least in my situation, there is so much to learn and figure out while at the same time operating on little to no sleep while your hormones are completely jacked. Sounds like you are kind of set up for failure to begin with, doesn’t it?
So with your second, you are already into a motherhood groove — and things will continue to change as your kids age — but you may not have the same fears or feelings of being overwhelmed. I was much more confident, having had experience with David, going into mothering Luke. And their age gap never really scared me either. I only know what it’s like to have two boys 14 months apart, so I do my best in being a good mom to them.
So if you are pregnant with your second, hoping to get pregnant with your second, or just dreaming about having two children one day, I hope this is encouraging for you! You got this.