Having a baby is one of the biggest decisions someone will make in their lifetime. It’s a decision that not only involves the parents, but will also involve the life of their soon-to-be baby. Almost everything in their life will be different once that baby arrives. Instead of picking up and going whenever, they also have to take into consideration the baby’s schedule. If someone used to ride their bike or walk everywhere, they might want to consider other transportation since they will have a baby tagging along. It might take a woman nine months to grow a baby, but it also takes a person or couple just as long to prepare emotionally. And then when that baby grows up, sometimes people decide to do it all over again.
Some people will say that having their first baby will be the biggest life adjustment. I respectfully disagree. I believe that the biggest adjustment comes when the second baby arrives. There are many other people that hold a similar belief, which is why more and more Americans are choosing to have just one child. Roughly 23 percent of American families have one child. That number increases as a city’s population does such as New York City, which now tops 30 percent. Not since the Great Depression has the country had so many only children. What’s so hard about adding a second child? Is it really so different from having one child? To sum that question up — yes, it is definitely different. To get into the details, here are 15 Ways Life Seriously Changes With Baby #2.
15 Bye Bye Down Time
The amount of down time you have when you have no children depends. It depends on how much you work or what extra-curricular activities you attend. Although as a mother of two, I would choose to argue that extra-curricular activities are a choice that you can do in your down time. But I digress. When you have two children, the little downtime you have with one child is now practically non-existent. With one child you might be able to catch up on television or clean when your child naps. When they go to bed at night you could catch up with your spouse. Once you have two children, you don’t get those luxuries anymore. Your children will not be on the same schedule at first, so you will always have a child with you. And if you remember correctly from your first child, there is no putting a newborn to bed and doing your own thing.
14 Even Less Hours Of Sleep
Oh, sleep. I had two children in 15 months, so I know a lot about not sleeping. When I was pregnant with my second child, I would put my first down for a nap and be able to also get a little snooze in. He was just old enough that when I put him down to sleep, he pretty much stayed asleep. I could choose to go to bed for the night if I wanted. As soon as baby number two entered the picture, that all changed. Now my second baby was especially clingy, but most newborns don’t sleep. I clearly remember going for days without sleeping for more than a two hour stretch at a time. If one child went to sleep, I would want to spend one on one time with the other child and vice versa. If you thought it was hard to sleep with one child, try having two.
13 New Meaning To Pure Exhaustion
I just had a talk with my husband about how exhausted we thought we were before kids. Or even how exhausted we thought we were when we had one child. You will be times more exhausted with two babies than you will with one baby. Luckily, our body will adapt to these new changes. You felt exhausted when you had no kids, but somehow your body adjusted to a new level of exhaustion when your first baby arrived. And as exhausted as you thought you were with your first baby, you will adjust to being even more exhausted with your second. For example, I used to sleep 8-10 hours a night before I had kids. I would even get the occasional nap in on the weekend, and I felt exhausted sometimes. Now that I have two kids, I sleep less than 8 hours a night but I can’t nap or else I won’t be able to sleep that night. My body has adjusted to my new normal.
12 Master Multi-Tasking
You know when you updated your resume when you were fresh out of college and you wrote that you had the ability to multi-task. Yea, that was cute. Your fresh-out-of-college ability to multi-task has nothing on mom-of-two-kids-under-two’s ability to multi-task. They feed a snack to one baby while getting the other child dressed, all while making a grocery list. Now that my life with two kids has settled down a bit, I wonder why I didn’t get more done when I just had one child or why I complained at all. And that’s not a diss to moms of one child — believe me I was a mom of just one child at one point. It’s just a fact that you need to multi-task more once you have two children. Multi-tasking will start to become your new normal when you have two kids.
11 Understand What ‘Go With The Flow’ Really Means
I am a type-A, OCD, to-do list making person. I’m not so bad that I can’t go with the flow, but I prefer to know what’s going on and I live by my lists — hand written obviously because I need to be able to cross things off the list. When I had one baby, it was a little difficult to know when they were going to need to eat or sleep. It made going out a lot more difficult. Once the first one got more on a schedule, I could easily plan around it. Occasionally things wouldn’t happen the way I planned. When I had two kids, I gave up my strict plan altogether. When it’s grocery shopping day and one of the kids wakes up sick and the other is just feeling like a know-it-all two year old, we save grocery shopping for the next day. Going with the flow is much more important when you have to worry about two kids’ schedules.
10 Increase The Marriage Effort
It’s always extremely important to put a ton of effort into your marriage or relationship if you want it to work. When you have one kid, you have to try even harder. You don’t just get to go on a date whenever you want anymore and you have to wait until they’re asleep to have an intelligent conversation with your partner. When you have two kids, well all bets are off. Conversation, dates, and sex all work around not one little person’s schedule, but two. You don’t really have any time without kids to do any of that stuff. For this reason, it makes it more important for you and your partner to put aside time for just the two of you, and stick to it. Making your relationship a priority is important because it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to find time to squeeze each other in.
9 Learning Defensive Strategies
When you have one child, you can handle them with basic man to man defense. It’s pretty simple and most people can handle it. The strategy is simple. There is one man on one man. You don’t have to worry about watching someone else, too. They move, you move faster. They try to get past you and you anticipate their move and catch them. When you have two children everything changes. You now have to work in zones — and there are always two tiny humans in your zone and one of you. One of the children will distract you by emptying out the trash. While you’re doing that, the other one decides to dump out the milk all over the floor and there’s nothing you can do. Sometimes you can anticipate their move and be proactive. But most of the time, you’re out of luck. Sorry, not sorry — that’s just the way it is.
8 Nailing The Mom And Baby Wardrobe
With first children, you usually try to get them the cutest clothes and make sure they’re always on fleek. I think I said that right. Let’s not mention the fact that they are probably going to throw up or poop on their outfit. Occasionally you even have time to make yourself presentable if your little one is being nice. Everyone looks cute, most of the time. When you have two children, all bets are off. The odds of you getting one of the three of you out the door looking super cute is decently high. However, the chances of you getting two of three of you looking cute is slim to none. You might get the first one cute. But when you get the second one to look decent, the first one decides to poop on his outfit. Then by the time you change the first one again you’re too tired to do anything about yourself.
7 Incessant Photo Documentation
I didn’t think this would be true for me but it totally was. With my first child I took so many pictures all the time. I had albums for each age range and my son even had his own hashtag. I shared at least one photo a day on social media but I probably took at least five pictures a day. But with your second child, you just don’t have the time. I started out taking pictures when my second was first born. We had hospital pictures, pictures of the first time the siblings met, and pictures when we brought her home. But that went downhill pretty quickly. I honestly don’t know where my phone or my camera is half the day so I couldn’t capture any cute moments even if I thought about it. It’s usually because my kids are hiding my stuff. Although I really like looking back on pictures, I am finding it nice to be part of the moments instead of just capturing the moments.
6 Reducing The Amount Of Travel
Before you have kids, you can pick up and leave whenever you want. If you get home late from work and don’t feel like cooking you can quickly run out and pick something up. When someone calls and says that everyone is going to a movie right now you can quickly get ready and meet everyone. When you have one baby, that changes a little. I mean it’s not appropriate to bring a child to a movie when it’s hours after their bedtime. It changes completely with two children. When you’re tired and don’t feel like cooking, you still end up cooking. With the amount of time to get two kids ready and in their carseats and the effort it takes to keep two kids happy and fed at a restaurant, it’s still easier to just cook a meal at home. There is no such thing as a quick errand. Instead of running out to pick up little things, you will want to make one stop and pick up all the items on your list.
5 Lowering Standards Of Cleanliness
With your first baby, you probably changed your baby every time they got a little spit up on their onesie — and changed your clothes after they got spit up on you. I also kept wipes handy and wiped my first child’s face and hands whenever they got dirty. It really didn’t take that much extra effort and I didn’t want anyone thinking my baby smelled gross. With your second baby, you don’t seem to care about that as much. There’s no use changing their outfit when they’re just going to get more food and spit up on it. That just means more laundry. I will also admit that I wouldn’t always change my outfit if I was running out real quick. You now have another little person to worry about, and it’s crazy how much time they require. A simple outfit change is not always as simple as it seems.
4 Harder To Stick To Only Healthy Food
With one child, it’s easy to say that you are going to make sure they only eat healthy foods. Maybe you want to make all their own baby food or make sure they never have any junk food. While it still takes effort to make their own food and get only whole food options for you baby, it’s definitely doable. When you have two children, this gets a lot harder. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but you have to plan a lot better. Luckily my second baby didn’t like being fed, so we moved to baby led weaning and it was super easy. Now that they’re both running around, it’s a different story. I make homemade fruit gummies and always carry fresh fruits and vegetables. But when you’re trying to make dinner and both kids are being crazy because their hungry right this minute, it’s easy to grab the first thing I see so they will calm down for five minutes so you can finish dinner.
3 Never Will I Ever
This one is my favorite. I don’t normally use the words always or never because there is usually an exception, but I would be willing to say that every mom has done this. There is always something that a mom says they will never do. They will never feed their kid junk food. They will never let their child get in bed with them. My “never” was that I would never put my kids in the car to calm them down or make them fall asleep. I was certain that it would just create bad habits. With one child, it’s possible that mother’s follow through on their “never” statements. With a second, it’s pretty likely that they will break it. I will admit that I broke down and drove around my kids to make them fall asleep. I only ended up doing it that one time and it turns out it didn’t create any bad habits. I was even able to swing by Starbucks’ drive through so it was a win for everyone.
2 Learn To Pick Your Battles
I am a firm believer that picking your battles is important with even one child, but it’s a necessity with two children. By picking your battles I mean that you need to decide when you are really going to put your foot down. Is it important to put down your foot because you child took all the books off the shelf? Maybe it’s okay to let your child watch television in the middle of the day just this one time. If you pick every single battle, you will be battling all day long. It won’t be fun for you or for your little ones. Every family has their own sets of rules, so it’s important that you know what is or is not appropriate in your household. It’s also important to make sure you understand how your child responds to discipline. Each family is different, but you know your family best.
1 Bright Side… Love Will Multiply
Having a second child is definitely a scary time in a person’s life. One of the scariest things for me was the thought that I might not love my second child as much as I loved my first. Would I be able to bond with my new baby in the same way I did my first? I guess the most simple answer is to say that it won’t be the same. It will be completely different. You will love them just as much, but your bond will be different. You will care about them as much as you can. I was also scared that I would love my first child less if I had to share my love — and scared my first child would feel left out. Someone once told me that love doesn’t divide, it multiplies. While it might not seem like you can hold any more love in you heart, you absolutely can — and you will.
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