When I got pregnant with Penelope, so many crazy emotions went through me the entire 9 months of that pregnancy.
I cried about loving another child other than Sophia. I cried about not being able to give Sophia all my attention. I cried while everyone sang happy birthday to Sophia at her 2nd birthday. I cried listening to country songs. I cried at my best friend’s bridal shower. If I was alone there was a good chance I was crying about something. And that’s totally not me.
Then someone told me something: the best gift you can give your child is a sibling.
And I thought about it. I thought about my childhood with my siblings.
And just like that, all was good.
Well, Not all good. Those emotions…that's just the beginning. Penelope hadn't even arrived yet.
The first month was hard and things got harder when Sophia was out of school for holiday breaks. Breastfeeding a baby and having your other baby asking you for things every 5 seconds is not fun. You'll feel like you are literally being pulled in two opposite directions.
You start to realize that letting your newborn cry for a few extra minutes is a lot easier than dealing with a 2 year old's temper tantrum. If both kids are crying, deal with the toddler first. They will be the quick fix (food, drink, getting a book off a shelf, etc), while the newborn baby will need more time.
Your 1st child may do things to get your attention. They may revert back to some old habits or become more sensitive to things. They will start asking for things that the baby has. "Where are my smashed up avocados? Where is my bib? Where are my new shoes/hat/pants/shirt? Where is my bottle/boob/pacifier? Why don’t I wear diapers anymore?”
10 things you will experience with Baby #2:
1. You’ll wonder why you ever thought having one child was difficult. Going to the grocery store with one child will feel like a breeze. Getting one child in a car seat will feel like the easiest task in the world. Getting everyone ready to leave the house will take forever! Everything you did with your first, double it. Because you will be doing all those things with two humans…plus yourself, so make it three humans.
2. Laundry increase: the amount of dirty clothes that appear in the laundry basket is something sort of a magic trick. I don't know how, when, why, or where all these clothes come from, but I do know some are filled with dirt and paint and others are filled with baby poop, throw up, and sweet potato.
3. Disease control. Your first baby was sniffle and sneeze free for an entire year. Your second baby will most likely get whatever your preschooler brings home from school. Sophia was almost never sick. Penelope was in the hospital with RSV at day 10 of life.
4. The feeling of being outnumbered. Unless you have nanny on hand (let’s not kid ourselves), you’re going to think REAL hard about how to be two places at once. How do you feed the baby AND make a peanut butter sandwich for your toddler? How do you get baby to sleep with toddler trying to give them kisses every 18 seconds? You’ll figure it out.
5. You will dread the day your second baby becomes mobile. With you first, you encouraged and praised them when they started walking. With your second you will pray for inspector gadget arms when you have two running in opposite directions. Cherish those short few months when all baby does is sleep, eat, and poop. Cherish.Them.
6. Baby proofing the house will look like a joke. Your second baby isn't interested in those light sockets you forgot to cover; they're more interested in learning how to climb up the couch, belly flop to the ground, nearly knocking out their teeth....exactly how their sibling just showed them.
7. Wardrobe mishaps: First baby had a wardrobe that rivaled Rachel Zoe’s. Every outfit had matching accessories and shoes. You’re second child will probably be shoeless half the time, wearing the same 5 outfits that rotate out the laundry, because that’s the easiest solution on a busy morning.
8. Leaving the house: with your first child you packed up your whole house (felt like it) when you made a trip. With number two, you know you only need two things: diapers and wipes. You'll have a baby in one arm while holding your others child's hand. You want to carry an additional 10 lbs worth of stuff you don't need? Nope.
9. Fighting. Oh the joy of innocent sibling fighting. It’ll happen, probably sooner than expected.
10. Totally new things. You think you experienced it all with baby #1. Birthing horror stories, poop horror stories, laugh so hard you peed yourself stories.Then things happen with baby #2 and you'll think "Well that's a first..."
While the differences will be innumerable, some things will be exactly the same. Those "I don't want to be put down" moments when you think your arm will fall off at any moment. Those emotions when you feel like everything is a mess and you want to crawl in a hole and come out when your kids go to bed. That feeling of pure amazement when you look at your new baby. That feeling of uncontrollable love when you think your heart is literally bursting. All the feels. If you felt them with your first, they will come back. Double in size.
All children, no matter which numerical order they come in, are blessings.
They are all different and they are all the same.
Time goes by fast and you are now an old timer telling all those first time moms how fast it does.