Becoming a Mother for the first time is monumentally life changing. Becoming a Mother to TWO children is another version of a drastic change. Transitioning from 1 to 2 Kids is certainly a lot easier in some aspects, compared to first becoming a Mum. But it also carries a range of changes that take some time to adjust and work through.
You will quickly learn pregnancies will rarely be the same. A huge difference of a second pregnancy is you don’t get the luxury of having days off when the morning (all day) sickness is too much, or the fatigue of doing nothing but creating a life inside you is overwhelming. Nope. You will still be another little human’s snack bitch. You will still be bending to their will and outrageous demands when you hand them their breakfast in the Paw Patrol bowl instead of the PJ Masks bowl they decided they wanted. It’s likely your little person is still going through their own transitions that require your care, time and precious minutes of sleep.
A really sweet part of the pregnancy is getting the soon-to-be older sibling aware of what’s happening, as they excitedly point to your tummy when someone asks where their new baby brother or sister is. It’s also fun to ask them for their name suggestions. In most cases, expect to be naming your future child something like Spider Man, Owelette or Mr Flower.
Ways To Prepare Your First Child for the Arrival of their Sibling
- Talk about the impending arrival frequently
- Buy a gift ‘from the baby’ for the sibling
- When the child is being taken to see you and the new baby, walk out of the room and meet your first child at the door, give them a big hug and then walk them in to introduce to the new baby
- Remind friends and relatives to make an effort to say a big bubbly hello to the older sibling first, before rushing in to coo over the baby
- Find ways to keep the older sibling involved (depending on their age), they could grab wipes for you, or sit next to you while you feed etc
Post Partum (AKA Zombie Mode)
Zombie mode is a solid 6+ weeks. It’s a fucking blur of boobs flopping about, endless nappies and days and nights merging together. Throw that in with still trying to maintain being a Mum to your older child, and shit gets hard. Whilst being a Mum the second time around is a little easier in the way of having a better idea of what is happening, it’s a whole new ball game figuring out how to be a Mum to TWO children. We have a much calmer approach to our newborns not sleeping or having trouble getting their wee little shits out. We aren’t trying to implement a military strict feeding routine like we did the first time (we’ve all done it!). Instead, we’re trying to work out what order to get the kids out of the car or the logistics of a trip to Kmart which most certainly can not be done with a pram. I have done the ol’ ‘push the pram and pull the trolley’ trick and it was not good, yet I refused help because I wanted to prove I could follow through with my stupid idea.
The older sibling is used to having their Mum’s attention all the time, and now they have to share it. We were their main source of entertainment and it’s impossible to keep up with how it used to be when a baby needs a feed every 2 hours. Sometimes (most of the time) this results in the older sibling acting out. When my second child was born, my first child would never be mean to her new little baby brother, but man, she would let rip if she asked her to do something like ‘please have a bath’ if she didn’t feel like it. And here comes your (least) favorite saying when you’re a Mum, but ‘it was only a phase’. It truly was. But ‘it’s a phase’ isn’t really that helpful. My husband would often take our daughter out and do fun Daddy-Daughter things together which helped but, since I was held hostage by my boobs by my newborn (he refused bottles), it was a long time before I could hang out with my little lady alone. I know that’s all she wanted and it broke my heart I couldn’t do that for her. I would say that’s the hardest thing about two kids!
It’s funny, if I just take one kid out with me, I wonder how I ever found it hard back to the days when I was only the parent of one child? It most definitely was hard, and at the time, I remember feeling the same level of overwhelm or struggle as I do when I have both kids. But I think my level of multitasking (emotionally, mentally and physically) increased dramatically once I got into the swing of things with two kids.
This probably isn’t that inspiring but the more kids we have, the more we just adapt. Shit is still REALLY hard, but as per usual, we just get on with it.