Recently I decided to do a thing, and that thing was to have another baby. I know right. I’d always said, and I even posted here, about how much I was happy with just one child, but in a time of broodiness and false promises (from the toddler) I thought one more wouldn’t harm.
However, since I now have another member of the brood who likes to wipe their dirty hands all over my walls, I get questions from everyone constantly. What’s it like? What’s your age gap like? Do you wish you’d waited? Do you regret having another? WILL YOU HAVE ANOTHER?
The list is endless.
It has almost been a year since he was born and I feel like it’s about time to talk about it. Almost 2 years ago when I was considering it (can’t believe it has been that long) I was searching the internet every night until 3am looking for blog posts and mumsnet threads about it. I want to contribute something to that list as positively as I can.
So here goes, the bad things:
- I feel like I am never off my feet
- The sleep situation is quite hard
- It’s twice as hard when you’re not well, or when one/both of the kids aren’t
- It prolongs getting out of the house even more
- Oscar can be a bit rough and jealous
If you imagine whatever needs your child has now (for example, changing/making dinner etc), and then imagine having to make bottles every few hours on top of that, and then making a second type of dinner when they get to weaning age, and then being a “snack bitch” to the pair of them all day, you can imagine how little time you actually get to yourself. I try to keep my house relatively clean and have a list of things in my head that I like to do every day as part of my routine, but I can totally see why some people don’t. It’s the only five minutes you get.
Leaving the house can be a bit of a nightmare, or getting to appointments/playgroups, because the stress of a newborn doing an explosion just as you’re about to leave becomes a thing again – you’ve probably forgotten all about that at this point. Also two lots of coats/two lots of shoes – fun.
If they both wake up at the same time, or they are both ill at the same time, it is hell. I have so much love for any single parent who has had to deal with it alone.
and the good:
- I love to see them playing together, and it makes me feel like Oscar isn’t lonely – a sibling is a gift for life!
- Twice the number of nice things (kisses, cuddles, etc)
- You get to experience the milestones and firsts all over again.
- You have two different children with two different personalities and it’s so interesting to see the differences between them.
Although there can be more bad points here and there, the good parts definitely outweigh them overall.
It took a while to adjust to two but once I did it felt exactly the same if I am honest. You get used to the change and a good routine definitely helps. The only thing I wish I had done is waited slightly longer so I could’ve spent a bit more time with Oscar as a baby because he still was so young when I fell pregnant (18 months). I felt like a lot of his baby days were spent coming to appointments with me, or going to nursery so I could work to be entitled to maternity leave. It did make me feel really guilty at the time.
Some other questions I get asked frequently:
Is having a routine really that important? – Sadie
In my opinion it is, no matter how many kids you have. Having a routine helps the day go by quicker, it puts boundaries in place and saves me mentally at the end of the day when I put the kids to bed. Without our routine I don’t even know what I would do.
Is it possible to love your second child as much as your first? Rosie
Absolutely. I worried about this so much when I was pregnant. I couldn’t imagine having another child taking away my love for my first. You don’t look at them with separate kinds of love though, you just realise you love them both unconditionally. Loving another child doesn’t change your feelings for your first at all and vice versa.
Did your first child become jealous or harder to manage? – Kim
He definitely struggled. At first I thought he had coped really well but looking back I can see times where he desperately needed my attention and I just couldn’t give it to him. It’s hard when they fall over just as you’re feeding the baby, or other situations where it’s borderline impossible to see to them both.
We tried our hardest to focus more on our eldest though, as we knew the baby was happy once he was fed and changed. It’s a bit more difficult now they are older and they are both more aware though, and he’s starting to get jealous with toys now/taking them all off George as he’s crawling around. I’m guessing this is when the fun bits start.
What do you think is the ‘perfect’ age gap? – Caitylis
Honestly, I don’t think there is one. There are pros and cons to every age gap. I always say that I wish I had waited until Oscar went to school before we decided to have George, however I can’t imagine having to do the school run with a newborn. Our age gap is almost exactly 2 years – there are definitely some difficult aspects to it. For example, Oscar would wake George up from naps constantly (he still does) and that would drive me insane when I wanted a break. I have come to accept it now. Ha!
One of the struggles at the moment is that people are buying Oscar 3+ toys for Christmas and his birthday and I can’t let George anywhere near them so I feel like Oscar is missing out on playing with his own toys.
I definitely have never regret the decision to have another baby and George has fit straight into our lives just as I expected him to. I don’t think anyone is ever “ready” to have another and if you are considering another baby I would definitely push the “sooner rather than later” approach. It really isn’t as difficult as some people like to make you think!
(I’ll never have another one though…)