My daughter just finished her first week of preschool. She is loving it, and my son and I are enjoying having 3 1/2 hours to ourselves every morning.
And now I am remembering, and looking back to when my daughter was a toddler, and asking myself, “How in the world did I ever think that having one kid was so hard?!”
It’s amazing how perspective changes everything huh?
I remember when it was just my daughter and I, before my son was born, thinking that everything from running errands, to making dinner, to keeping the house clean were enormous tasks. I wondered how I would ever handle two kids at once.
And then my son was born, and it was definitely a hard transition, but eventually I learned how to juggle two kids and still get stuff done. Sometimes.
But, being a one-child parent for a few hours every morning has given me new appreciation for how much harder two kids really are.
Here are a few reasons that one child is so much easier than two:
1. Getting out the door to run errands is not a struggle, and takes much less time, because all I have to do is get him ready. I don’t have one kid stripping all their clothes off while I’m trying to put shoes on the other.
2. Running errands is a breeze. Only one child to strap in and out of a carseat, carry through the parking lot, sit in the cart, or make sure they’re not running off across the store. And my son behaves better than when my daughter is around because I can give him my full attention, and he’s not being egged on by his sister.
3. The house stays cleaner. The mornings that we stay home and don’t go anywhere, the house doesn’t look like a disaster zone by lunch time the way it does when both kids are home. Somehow two kids make more than double the amount of mess that one makes.
4. I can get so much more done when I don’t have to stop every two minutes and break up a fight, get one or the other a drink or a snack, or clean up after I thought they were playing nicely in the other room, only to find they were “painting” the wall with diaper rash cream. The interruptions of one child are minor compared with two.
5. My son enjoys playing by himself, the way that he wants to play, without someone stealing his trains, knocking over his towers, or ordering him to wear a princess dress, walk down the aisle, and dance with his princess. Once I get him started on something, he is happy and content to play with it for much longer than I realized he would be.
So, not to make all the one-child parents out there feel bad when they think that things with their kid are hard, but more as an encouragement to enjoy those moments and the time when you only have one kiddo to worry about. Because once you add more kids to the mix, the level of difficulty is multiplied by much more than two.
But so is the joy.
While I’m enjoying my one-hild mornings for now, I wouldn’t trade my two awesome, adorable, fun and amazing kids for anything!
What’s the hardest thing about having more than one kid for you and your family?