6 things I wish I had known before having baby #2

Either you are pregnant with your second child, are planning on having a second child, or you have a second child and can relate to this. Today I am going to talk about what I wish I had known before I had my second child.

*disclaimer, this will not apply to everyone these are just my thoughts and experiences* *most of these are only relevant to younger kids*

1. The messes become messier- you must be thinking, duh. With two kids you probably would expect things to be messier. There’s two of them. Let me explain though.

•When you’re potty training your toddler and he has an accident on the floor, your second child will see a cool puddle and start to play in it! My advice for this: quickly remove baby and then tend to the toddler who just peed all over himself.

•When you have both kids eating in their high chairs one of them will always reach over to the other ones tray and start making a mess of the food. my advice: separate the high chairs!

•when you give the toddler a snack in the side by side double stroller more than likely their younger sibling will want some as well. They will grab the snack from your toddler and the snack will spill all over the floor. My advice: give toddler the snack out of the stroller.

2. The cries become louder. Yup. As expected. There’s not just one crying kid, there are two. They both cry at the same time. If one starts you can bet $5 they other will follow suit. If you don’t know what stress is you will after this happens. My advice: let them cry. Leave the room.

3. You can’t compare your youngest to your oldest. But you will anyways. You’ll remember everything that your oldest was doing at this time and wonder why your youngest isn’t doing it. My advice: every baby & child grows at their own rate and does things on their own timeline. They don’t care about keeping up with their sibling, neither should you.

4. There will be no quick trips ANYWHERE. Never again will you just go in for a candy bar at the gas station. Now you have TWO kids to get out of the car. You have to put both kids in the car, take them out, and then put them in, only to take them back out again!! How exhausting!!

5. Your heart will make room for two children. I have mentioned in a previous post the anxieties that can come from having a second child. One of those worries I had was am I going to love this second child as much as I did the first? Absolutely. Your heart will grow. My advice: relax. Breathe. Know that it’s okay to have this worry because you absolutely are not alone.

6. Your kids will love each other. BUT they will also fight. It will depend on how they’re feeling at the second. One minute they will be fighting over the cocomelon toy, and the next they will be hugging. My advice: watch them closely. Don’t leave them alone together. Encourage older sibling to help in the care of the younger one.

If you had your second child already I’d love to hear things you wish you had known or what you have figured out along the way! If you’re expecting I would be happy to listen to some of your worries.

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The Guilt of Self Care

As a mom we are always putting everyone else first, especially our children.

If you ask a mom why this is 9/10 times I hear, “I just don’t have the time. I’m always busy taking care of the kids, I get them up (or my friends with young children say they wake me up), I feed them breakfast, get ready for the day, play with them, do some learning, then it’s lunch time, nap time. By the time it’s nap time the house is destroyed so I need to clean it. So I spend nap time cleaning and when they wake up it’s pretty much a repeat of the morning.”

Something I always like to tell my friends is, “we make time for the things that are important to us.” But getting the kids taken care of is important isn’t it? Of course. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of you too. It’s important to take care of you. Not just because your kids deserve a mom who is not stressed out all the time, but because YOU as a person are important, you matter, and you deserve not to be stressed.

When I became a mom for the first time I believed I had to do everything. If someone offered help I would immediately say no, even if all I wanted to do was say yes. Why? Because I felt guilty. I didn’t believe that I should need help. I’m a mom now, I’m supposed to do everything. Something I’ve taken note of from my own mother who loved to do everything herself and not accept help from anyone.

I had bad postpartum depression. I wanted to run away. I wanted to cry every second of everyday. This little boy deserves better than me I thought. A lot of people reassured me though that it was okay to accept help and to take care of me. Many of these people were people who did not accept help or practice self care either. How can I listen to advice that no one else was following? Now having two kids though, I’ve learned to accept that help. I’ve learned that it is necessary to practice self care, even if it’s something small like watching “The Office” instead of “cocomelon”.

I have included a picture above that has some small things that take 5 minutes. So no, “I don’t have any time” excuses! To anyone reading this, I challenge you this. Do ONE thing this week for YOU. Even if it’s something small. Make sure to leave me a comment with what you did I’d love to hear! I will include some things I like to do below for myself to give you some ideas.

Things I do to practice self care:

1. Read a book, even if it’s just one chapter.

2. Go for a walk, sometimes I do this with the kids. Even though they’re with me, it’s still nice to get the fresh air.

3. Watch a show or movie I want to watch

4. Listen to music

5. Go to the mall. I often go with my friend Ashley and we bring both our kids. But they sit in the strollers and it’s nice to get out of the house.

6.take a shower-with the door closed. No kids.

7. Go to target- I love to aimlessly wander the aisles.

8. Get my favorite coffee from Starbucks

9. Order my favorite food

10. Take a nap. The kids are sleeping. The dirty house can wait

The Anxieties of Having a Second Child

I’ve always wanted to have more than one kid. After Noah turned one it was extremely rough for me. I loved the toddler that he was turning into, but I also missed the little baby he used to be. He needed me a little bit less. He was way too big for any of the clothes that fit him just a few months prior. He started walking, getting teeth, eating solid foods, and exploring the world on his own.When Noah was 13 months old I found out I was pregnant again. I was terrified. Mostly of my mom and stepdads response because I knew they weren’t fans of the kids dad. To add some chaos to my life a couple weeks later I ended up leaving their dad, packing everything I could fit in my tiny Ford Focus and made the move from New York where I had spent my entire life, to Virginia where my parents are. My pregnancy was rough, and not just because of the endless morning sickness and SPD. I was worried. Worried that I wouldn’t love her like I love Noah. Worried that she wouldn’t fit into our family. What if she didn’t sleep good either? What if it was too overwhelming with two kids? What would I do? I didn’t feel a connection with evren my whole pregnancy. As sad as it is to say. I ignored her presence as much as you can being pregnant. I wasn’t excited. I dreaded her being born. Friends and family who had multiple children assured me I would be fine. But I wasn’t sure. I was convinced that I would be one of the only moms who didn’t love her second born.
Eventually though I went into labor. It wasn’t very long, roughly 6 hours from beginning to end. I was super out of it when she was born, but when the nurse placed her on my chest I instantly fell in love. They soon after had to whisk her away because she had stopped breathing. Time stopped. I held my breath. I started to feel terrible about all the feelings I had during pregnancy. Maybe this was my fault. What if she dies? By the grace of God and the nurses who worked diligently she started breathing again and she was handed back to me.

I looked at her sweet face, and everything everyone else said to me during my pregnancy came true. She wasn’t a burden on my relationship that I had with my son. She helped it grow. I appreciated every moment with them both a little more. She made my family feel complete. She filled a hole in my heart that I never knew I had. I was right about one thing though. I did not love her like I loved my son. I loved her in a different way, but not in a bad way. I loved her for being her. She has a completely different personality than my son does. Noah was up multiple times a night and still is. Evren sleeps through the night. Noah is clingy, sweet, and cautious. Evren is adventurous, loud, and fiercely independent. Two different people, but both loved immensely.
So don’t worry, mama. It’ll be okay. Your first born may be jealous. You may feel guilty for not spending as much time with them. But it will be okay. You will get through this. You will adapt just how you did when you were scared to have your first. That didn’t turn out as bad as you thought or you wouldn’t be having your second! Take some deep breaths. Enjoy the second pregnancy. Spend as much time alone with your first born as you want. When your second born is here make sure you include your oldest in caring for their sibling. It helps them grow a bond and it makes your oldest feel helpful.Get a group of mom friends if you haven’t already. Lean on them. Ask for help when you need it. You don’t need to do this alone. Even single moms, ask for help from family. If you don’t have family ask from friends. It’s okay to do that. Accept help when it’s offered. Mostly importantly, enjoy those two beautiful children!