As we await the arrival of our 2nd child, only a few weeks away, I think about some of the worries I have for her. It’s funny how different they are from the ones at the end of my first pregnancy.
Although some of my fears at that time, may in fact occur, I’m no longer stressed about whether I’ll be able to breastfeed or calm my baby, or so many of those first time mom worries. I know I’ll be (at least a little) less frazzled and definitely more confident right from the beginning.
But there are different things that occupy my mind this time around. I want this baby to feel special and valued. This didn’t concern me with my first baby. It seems easy to do with one. But with two there is balances and trade-offs and everything isn’t new anymore. There are few firsts that haven’t been done before by your first.
I’m planning a meet-the-baby party to welcome our new baby into the world. I know many people don’t think it’s appropriate to have a baby shower for subsequent children, but I think every child deserves to his/her birth to be celebrated. I want my 2nd child to have reams of photos taken of her as a baby and not have 90% of them include her older sibling. I want her to have a baby book where her milestones are recorded just like her big brother. I worry with those last two that I may be setting myself up for failure. (Even in the pregnancy photo on this post my son is visible playing in the background).
I wonder whether I’ll be able to get quality time alone with both of my kids. I wondering whether I’ll be able to be able to balance their different needs without inappropriately prioritizing one over the other. Will my two kids get along?
I know there will be things I struggle with that I never even considered. I know some of the things I worry about now will end up as real difficulties. And some of these things won’t end up as an issue at all. And I know, like every parent, I’ll never run out of things to worry about.
What did you worry about while you were transitioning from one to two kids? How did it actually go? Do you have any advice?
I love this! Especially the part about celebrating every birth, regardless of birth order. And how we never run out of things to worry about. So true!
I had all the same worries, Dana! But, you just have to go with the flow and try your best. I have way more pics of my first child, very few of my second, and even less of my third *hanging head in shame*
One thing I recommend is spending at least 15 minutes alone each day with each child. I know 15 minutes sounds easy, but it’s not!
I too have less photos of my second child but the truth is I am trying to take less photos of both of them because, really, how many do we need? I have thousands of photos on my computer and there is no way I need all of them. Console yourself with taking photos you will treasure and not worry about capturing every. single. moment. I find in the age of digital photography many people are too busy “capturing” moments instead of living them.
As for making it work with two – it somehow manages to do so. In the beginning the baby will (hopefully) sleep and you can let some things slide while you spend time with Gordie to help him adjust. Read stories while nursing during the day (this is what I did) so that it isn’t “all about the baby”. A good piece of advice I received when my second child was born was that you don’t need to drop everything when the baby cries (depending on the reason of course) because (as I used to tell Moira) “babies cry, it’s just what they do” and so she didn’t get all anxious that what we were doing would end abruptly when her new sister started crying. The baby won’t remember being left for a minute to cry – the toddler will remember being left every time the baby cries.
Also, will Gordie be going to preschool next fall? That is a good way to give him something that is his own and give you quality time with the baby. (Actually, the preschool Moira goes to isn’t too far from you guys so send me an e-mail if you want information – it is a cooperative so the price is decent and they have a good play-based philosophy and the Jr. class teacher is amazing). Also, you need to remember that once the baby starts to be more aware she will also be interested in what her big brother is doing – so while you may worry that you should be spending quality time with you she might be trying to figure out how to get her big brother to herself. I’ve noticed this with F. The more people in the house the more people there are for #2 to love and the more love she will receive.
Playground Snoop says
We love taking pictures, but I definitely understand the need to live our life instead of just take pictures of it. Sometimes I have to stop myself from trying to review every where we go to. Sometimes it’s okay just to enjoy life.
I haven’t decided about preschool yet. I go back and forth all the time.
In my heart, I know it will all work out, and I think the new baby will be very lucky to have Gordie to her big brother. But I doubt I’ll ever stop worrying.
You won’t. Neither will I. I worry that I nag Moira too much about keeping her hands and kisses off her sister because sometimes it ends in wrestling matches. I’m learning to back-off and only intervene when necessary.