Some of the advice was helpful and some was … well … less so. I stopped counting the number of people who told me that two kids was “wayyyyyyy harder” or, “just wait ’til you have two”.
On one occasion I even had someone tell me that it was “hellish” and that while they really did love their second child, having two “sucked.” Way to freak a pregnant girl out, you guys.
So basically I spent the majority of my pregnancy in a state of resignation. I was resigned to the fact that I was knocked up and there was no going back (in the wise words of Rainn Wilson in the movie Juno, “That’s one doodle that can’t be undid home skillet”). I was also resigned to the fact that having two kids was going to be awful … hellish even.
I was resigned to the fact that I was going to probably be telling other people how much two kids sucked in a very short time. I spent most of my pregnancy feeling a lot more scared than excited.
And then it happened. One night in June, after 19 hours of labor, I became a mom of two. I anticipated that the chaos would begin almost immediately, but it didn’t. My 2-year-old was instantly smitten with her baby brother and still seems to carry little to no jealousy or animosity toward him in her little toddler heart. And baby brother, while not completely without his challenges, is a very sweet baby.
Have things gotten busier? Sure, that’s just the nature of the beast that is having more than one child. When one is content the other needs something and you definitely have to get creative to get tasks done.
Sometimes, I’m nursing while starting a load of laundry, or helping the toddler brush her teeth while she’s trying to use the potty — you get pretty good at multitasking. I can’t remember the last time I only did one thing at a time (as I type this, I have a sleeping baby in my lap and I’m snacking on carrot sticks).
It’s like a friend told me (she kindly waited until after I already had two children and could understand): “One kid is a hobby, two kids is a job.” That’s not to minimize the challenges that come with being a parent to one, because it’s definitely not a cake walk, but two is a whole new ball game for sure … not necessarily harder, just different.
There are times when I just want a moment of peace by myself to do nothing, but truth be told, it really isn’t that bad. Not nearly as bad as I imagined or was led to believe it would be. Some days one kid is sweet-as-pie and the other is a wreck; some days they’re both wrecks. But then again, there are days when both kids are magical and lovely and behave like little angels all day long and I feel like the luckiest mama in the world.
Having two kids is hard, but it’s not terrible — and not hellish (at least most days) as many might lead you to believe. And though some days are easier than others, overall I’m feeling pretty good about this mama-to-two-kids gig. And for those of you who are currently pregnant with your second and feeling scared? Don’t be. You’ve got this, Mama.