1. Time goes faster.
I was warned that time sped up when you have children, but I genuinely savored every single moment for the 23 months that Big Brother was my only child. Although I still appreciate every moment and try to fully experience it, I can’t believe how much the pace of life – and time in general – seems to have sped up.
2. Seeing your two little ones together is a new level of incredible life moment that you could never have anticipated.
Seeing the automatic adoration that your baby has for her older sibling is intensely amazing. I had no idea how beautifully and automatically this happened. Also, watching your older child fill the role of big brother or sister is awesome, too. My son takes so much pleasure in making my baby girl laugh, and when he has a tender moment with her – in a way that only a two year old can – it fills us with pure joy.
3. Part of your brain will be in a constant state of coordinating and scheduling.
When you are learning to get out of the house with two little ones, always leave yourself an extra half hour. Once you get it down, always leave yourself an extra 15 minutes.
4. You will feel guilty.
In the very beginning, my heart downright ached because I could not spend as much completely dedicated time with my son as I did before my daughter’s birth (even as I was truly loving every minute with my baby girl). After the post-birth hormones subsided, I began to naturally accept the new state of things, but after seven months of being a mama to two children, I still feel guilty at least a couple of times a day because I don’t have enough one on one time with each child. Even planning one on one activities with each child doesn’t feel like enough because I will always remember how it felt to give my son undivided attention 24 hours a day for 23 months. That said, there is a new beauty to spending time with two babies that absolutely fills you up with joy.
5. Everything seems easier the second time around.
It’s easier because you’ve probably already figured out your parenting philosophy and made decisions on big issues and found support groups and friends in the same situation. It’s also easier because you’ve done it before and you have an idea of what’s coming next and you have less time to overanalyze everything.
6. Everything will seem just as magical to you the second time around, but it may not to everyone else in your life.
I promise you that although you’ve seen all the “firsts” before, it is still downright incredible the second time, but no matter how much your family and friends love you and your little ones, everything your second child does will not receive as much attention as the first. This can be good and bad – less questions, less debate, less scrutiny, but you might also have an awareness that it’s just not the same for your second baby.
7. All of the cliches about growing a second heart for your second child are true.
I will tell you the honest truth: I wondered from the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test until the last moments of labor how I could possibly love another person as much as I love my son. For almost two years, the sun rose and set for him alone. My love for him was beyond definition, and I truly believed it would be impossible to love another child as much. I can’t tell you how wrong I was, and I think it is one of life’s most phenomenal surprises. You really do love your second baby with the same exact intensity AND you love them in an additional, very special way. Love really is a downright magical thing.
8. You can’t help but compare and contrast.
I hate measuring children according to any set standard – whether it be the growth chart at the pediatrician or the baby milestones that everyone looks for. I see my children as individuals and cherish every aspect of them. Still, you have many moments of deja vu with your second child, and you can’t help but remember how things were the same or different with the first. The wonderful thing is that these thoughts seem to naturally occur without judgment. Regardless of the path your child takes, you still think they are both the most miraculous children in the world.
9. Your older child will probably require a lot more of your energy than your baby.
This is particularly true if your first child is in the age range of two to three. I spent a lot of time wondering how I would be able to care for a baby again. The truth is that your new baby simply adjusts to your lifestyle and all that comes with it. It’s your older child who will have way more needs and emotions that will require your constant love, support, and attention.
10. Don’t be surprised if your firstborn becomes more attached to your partner.
If you are the primary caregiver, this one may be the hardest of all of the truths, but the reality is, your partner is most likely the one that can continue to give him more of the undivided attention that he experienced pre-new baby. Whether this is a brief phase of a lingering one, it’s okay. I had 23 months of my son being in a mama phase, so I’m happy to see my husband experience that very extra special obsession now.
11. Wear your baby, and learn how to nurse in it.
Overall, being a mama to two little ones is easier and more amazing and more intense than I ever could have imagined. It’s a beautiful road, and I feel blessed to be on this journey.
What truth can you share about having more than one child?