There’s a HUGE difference between when you have your first and when the second child comes along. With the first child, everything is planned…. You open all your gifts from the baby shower, put everything together, organize the nursery and you’re “completely prepared” for the birth of your first little bundle of joy.
After they’re born, you take the utmost care of this new tiny human. You don’t let people touch the baby without washing their hands or you have sanitizer in every bag to sanitize them. You document every first time experience (rolling over, standing, walking, talking, etc.). You take a million photos and have the BIGGEST bash ever for their first birthday with 100 adults, and 5 kids that are generally ALL older than your baby…. Lol. Because we all know the first birthday isn’t really a celebration of the baby’s first year, but rather yours, as parents, for surviving it!
You do ALL these things and more for the first baby…….
And then you get pregnant AGAIN! And boy do things change as soon as you’re pregnant. First, you’re more tired because if you were like me and your kids are close in age, the TODDLER is running you ragged. You forget to take your vitamins everyday because by the time you get the little one in the bed you’re exhausted and you end up passing out on the couch, in the kid’s room or wherever.
Fast forward to the “nesting” stage in your second pregnancy and while you have every intention to get the nursery ready, you end up starting projects and not finishing them because you’re either chasing the other kid or you’re just plain tired. Next thing you know your water breaks and you’re running around the house like a mad woman trying to pack for yourself, the toddler, and the new baby because you never got around to your hospital bag…. And yes this really happened to me!
The baby is born and you go back home and people come to visit…. You’re so exhausted you literally hand them the baby as soon as they walk in the door and retreat to another room to take a nap! Lol. You didn’t even care that they hadn’t washed their hands yet! Lol.
As the second child gets older, the older sibling tries to feed the baby their food. You don’t even fight him/her about it because you don’t have the energy and hey, eventually they’re gonna to eat table food anyways! Ha.
Everything you attempted to spare your oldest child from the second child experiences… They roll off the bed, fall down the steps, eat food off the floor, you name it, it happens to the second kid…. But you know what?! They’re tougher than your older child, they’re super self sufficient and generally learn to do everything faster. They’re not coddled and that’s probably better for them.
And if any of these things happened with your second child, guess what?! You’re STILL an amazing parent! Your children love you regardless and they wouldn’t trade you in for the world.
Yeah, the ride might’ve been bumpier with the second child, but hey when is life perfect? NEVER! And if anything you’ve taught them to be resilient earlier rather than later…. And in the long run they’ll appreciate it.
Heck, I know I did! I’m the youngest! And by the time I came along my mom practically was like you better learn how to use the potty because I’m not gonna keep changing diapers, pack your own lunch for school and get a job in high school because all my money went to your older siblings…. Lol. And while this might sound harsh, she didn’t totally say it that way. But, those lessons actually worked because I’ve always been super self sufficient. I’m resilient, I’ve always been able to take care of myself and when I went to college, I already knew how to wash my clothes… (I’ll save that story for another day, lol).
So, what’s the lesson today? Parenting is hard, there’s no right or wrong way of doing it! You can see that just between the differences in how you raise your first and second child. As long as you love your child, take care of their needs and they feel protected and supported by you, that’s all that matters…