I just had my second baby. He’s generally laid back, happy, and in my completely unbiased opinion, is one of the top two cutest kids in existence. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with him, I knew I would have a lot to learn about being a mom of two! And I totally did/do, BUT, what I didn’t expect is how much having my second child would teach me about being a mom of one and motherhood in general!
1. I Was Momming at 100%…..even with “only one.”
Before, when I would see moms with more than one kid, I would think, “Wow. She must be so exhausted.” I automatically put her in the category of “Super Mom” just for getting out of the house, and I wondered how I would come up with the extra energy I needed for a second baby. Here’s the truth- she probably was exhausted. But as a mom of one little one, I was also legitimately exhausted. Because as a mom of one, I wasn’t keeping 50% of my energy and love in a secret reserve for the next kid. Now that I have two, I realize I hadn’t been holding any part of myself back as I mothered my only child. I was mom-tired then, and I’m mom-tired now. Being a Supermom isn’t a title to be reserved for those with x amount of children. Whether you have one kid or 12 kids, you love them with your whole self and your whole heart. Speaking of mom-tired…
2. My Daughter’s Bad Sleep Wasn’t My Fault
My first was a terrible sleeper. Unfortunately, that’s the trait most people want to ask you about. I don’t know how many times I was on the receiving end of this conversation: “Your baby doesn’t sleep through the night? Oh, here’s a list of books to read (like I could keep my eyes open long enough to read a book with chapters), and before you go, here’s a bunch of advice you didn’t ask for.” I tried ev-er-ree-thing. with my daughter to get her to sleep with the exception of cry-it-out. With all of the advice and answers everyone else had, I was convinced that I had somehow ruined her in regards to sleep. But guess what. I night time parented my son in exactly the same way, and at three months, he all ready sleeps better than my daughter did at one year. Every baby really is different. Her bad sleep wasn’t my fault. She just needed me a little bit more for a little bit longer, and I don’t regret the extra snuggles and time I shared with her. At all.
3. There’s No Such Thing as “Perfect Spacing”
After your first child is born, everyone has an opinion on when the ideal time is to have a second. The choice to have a second is huge in itself. (I always knew I wanted another baby, but if you’re a “One and done” kind of mom- that’s amazing, too!) If you get pregnant before your first baby turns two, then you may be compared to a Duggar, but once that second birthday hits, everybody wants to know what is taking so long. I read countless articles and opinions on what age is ideal for a sibling gap. We decided on right about 3.5 years for our family. I felt super confident that this gap would be perfect. Now that I’m on the other side, what I do know to be true is that adding another child was a BIG adjustment for all of us, (just like it would have been 2 years ago, or 2 years from now).
4. It’s All Going By Even Faster than I Thought
We know this. First time moms find this out quickly. I 100% knew that “babies don’t keep” going in to round two. The difference was, now I have an actual baby that I’m constantly comparing my oldest “baby” to. Suddenly my three year old seems giant. When I see her holding her baby brother she’s like this whole little grown up. The reality of how big she is is impossible to ignore when I see her with my son- an everyday reminder of how quickly time flies.
5. I Don’t Love My Children The Same
Before you think I’m completely terrible, let me clarify. I love my children equally. I love them completely and with my entire being. But I don’t love them the same. I love my daughter for the time we shared as a duo. I love her for love of making people happy. I love her desire to do good. I love that she’s smart, and fearless. I love her for all of the things that make her uniquely her, and because of that, my relationship with her is uniquely our own. I also love my son with my whole self. I loved him the moment I knew he existed. We’re still in the babymoon stages, and getting to know each other. I’m still learning all of the characteristics that are unique to him. He is not the same as his sister was. Our relationship is uniquely our own. I don’t love my children the same, and that’s okay.
As moms, we are constantly learning. We are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our families. The further and further I get into this gig, the more I realize that the mom who has all of the answers doesn’t exist. The more I read about parenting, the more I realize that the only expert on my children is me. Most of what I’ve learned and felt as a mom of two has been freeing. I’m raising two wonderful little people. It’s okay if I don’t have it all together all the time. What matters is that my two little monkeys are loved.
What has adding a new baby to your family taught you? Whether you have one kid or 12, I would love to hear your mama wisdom!