Thoughts on Having a Second Kid


This week, I had a friend and her newborn daughter over for lunch. As I was cuddling the sweet little girl, my friend asked me, “How are you going to do all this with two of them?”

I guess I hadn’t really thought about it yet. And now it’s kinda all I can think about.

My plan for the first few weeks is to simply survive. Sleep as much as possible. (HAHAHAHA like I’ll get any sleep.) Try to pay attention to both kiddos in semi-equal amounts. Do laundry occasionally. Eat a lot of sandwiches and take out. That part I’m actually not too worried about. In the beginning, I have no expectations of myself besides keeping both of the kids alive. My husband will be home for around 2 weeks for paternity leave, and that will help immensely.

It’s when I have to go back to actually being productive that has me nervous. How long will it take us to settle into some semblance of a routine? I wish I could remember how long that took with Vicki, but, honestly, the beginning was such a fog that I don’t know. And while I am aware there will be good days and bad days, there are times where I already feel overwhelmed and I still have 4 months until my due date. (Cue panic attack that I have *only* 4 months until my due date.)

Strangely enough, I don’t feel bad about taking time away from Vicki when we have VonBoy. We have always planned to have multiple kids, so I think of the time Vicki was our only child as kind of a bonus for her. She’s very good around babies and loves to play with her baby dolls and point of pictures of babies, so hopefully we have minimal issues with the transition. I think she’ll be more of a “Mommy’s Helper” than a “Jealous Sibling”.

As I get bigger, I can’t move around as easily or play with her how I normally would. Today is the first day I really feel pregnant – big, awkward, unwieldy – and I felt bad about not being able to get down on the floor with her to play. I find myself preferring to sit on the couch and have Vicki bring toys over to me because it’s more comfortable and easier to get up from the couch. I get a little winded when I carry her up stairs. I know it’s only going to get more difficult. I’m crossing my fingers that spring gets here soon (as we have 10″ of snow outside) and we can go play outside and let her burn off her energy.

On a completely selfish note, we just got to the point where she has a reliable napping and sleeping schedule and I enjoy having a few hours in the afternoon and evenings to write, read, and do projects. I’m not looking forward to the complete lack of me-time and being back in a zombie state. Then I feel awful for even thinking that because I am so grateful and excited for VonBoy and I should just be all happy-puppy-rainbows over here. Which I am, 90% of the time. And the other 10% I think, “Oh, man, I really love sleep, giving it up again is going to blow.”

On the plus side, after I give birth, I can drink real coffee again. And beer. So that should help.

People with more than one kid – how rough is the transition? Is going from one to two more difficult than going from zero to one? Am I crazy for still thinking we want to have four kids when all is said and done?

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  • jldestefano

    To answer your questions: It’s harder than you expect, no, and probably. :-D
    But it’s worth it.

    • Anonymous

       Just knowing that going from one to two isn’t harder than zero to one is enough to make me feel better. :-)

      • Monica Ryman

        Oh that makes me feel better about even thinking about having a second child! Nice point!!!! I saw 2 newborns in the mall yesterday and now I’ve been thinking about having a second child.. I’m definitely NOT ready, as my first is only 7 months! But it’s in my mind. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

        • Anonymous

           At least you (probably) won’t have two newborns at once. I always thought it would be cool to have twins, now I have a healthy fear of it.

  • Kirsty Jolly

    Q: “People with more than one kid – how rough is the transition?”A: Really, I shouldn’t give you my opinion on this one! My daughter was 34 m when our (now) 4 month old was born and she went a little loopy. Mind you, she’s ALWAYS been the kid to refuse point blank to share at baby group and pay little attention to babies. And some friends of mine who have had baby crazy girls have said there were no transition problems at all. But, to cover your base, be prepared for (1) your oldest to wake up every time the baby wakes (2) to refuse all meals they previously liked (3) to react to every small change in their routine with a 30 minute tantrum and (4) to revert to an un-toilet trained, non sleeping mess. And hopefully you’ll be pretty pleased when none of this happens ;) (trust me, we had it B.A.D)

    Q: “Is going from one to two more difficult than going from zero to one?”
    A: For us, yes, it was really really tricky. But this was done to crazy 1st daughter and crazy baby blues this time round. What’s good about number 2 is you are more confident in your parenting skills and this feels fab :) (by confident though, I don’t mean, remembering what to do in each situation as it felt like I was a first time mum at times. I think what I mean is I feel I can handle each situation better and I knew each silly stage will pass…….)

    Q: Am I crazy for still thinking we want to have four kids when all is said and done?
    A: Nah. I’m with you on that one :)

    • Anonymous

       Oh, you poor, poor thing. I do like your prepare-for-the-worst & hope-for-the-best attitude. And the confidence should help me out, even if I still have no idea what I’m doing. Plus, if you still want 4 after your experience, I figure I can’t be that crazy. Or at least I’m not alone in my craziness. :-)

  • Jenn@ Life With The Lieutenant

    I don’t think it’s selfish at all to think about the impact that the newborn will have on your sleep schedule! Heck, it is ALL I can think about. And maybe that makes ME selfish. But I like to think that after being a zombie for far too long with my first, I can just recognize the VALUE of a good night’s rest and what it does for my mood and body and overall hygiene.
    I’m T minus 3 weeks until d-day. It is freaking. me. out.

    • Anonymous

       That makes perfect sense. I didn’t realize how much the lack of sleep affected me until I finally got enough sleep. And now I’m not thrilled about going back to not sleeping.

      3 weeks! Good luck! You can do it!!

  • Swintz

    Since you will be in a very similar situation as I was (the girls are 21 months apart) I will tell you how it worked for me.  The first 2-3 months were survival only.  Avery had no real schedule, Emilia was jealous and I was proud of myself if I got a shower and everyone fed during the day.  But then it got really easy.  Emilia took on the roll of the helpful big sister instead of the jealous big sister and Avery finally got something of a schedule which helped me make a schedule for our days. 

    Shortly after Avery got a schedule, Emilia stopped taking naps which was good and bad.  It was hard to not have a time when both of them slept, but it’s been nice to have our own special time together to do stuff. 

    As far as going from none to one and one to two, one to two was easier for me because I knew what to do already!  I had just done it 21 months ago so it was still pretty fresh.  You just have to get more creative with your time and you have to learn how to carry a 30lb toddler and a sleeping newborn at the same time.  Also if you plan on nursing, you will learn how to nurse on the go. :)   I used to only nurse Emilia while sitting on the couch.  I could nurse Avery anywhere and everywhere.  Walking through Target?  No biggie. ;)

    Good luck and know that there are plenty who have done it so it can’t be that bad.  Now if you have any advice on going from 2 to 3, let me know. :)