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Going from One to Two Kids, 4 Things that Surprised Me

Going from One to Two Kids, 4 Things That Surprised Me

I remember being terrified about going from one to two kids. Having to balance more than one small child scared me more than thinking about going through childbirth for the first time. How the heck was I going to handle two when I can barely handle one? Not just two – but a toddler and a newborn. 

After my first, I remember saying, “This was going to be my last.” It was all hard. I struggled with the sleep deprivation, the witching hours, the latching difficulties, and just adjusting to it all. There were many 4 am breakdowns with my first. I didn’t know anything about wake windows in the beginning and I always felt like I was doing something wrong.

He finally began sleeping through the night more consistently around 1 year. At last, I started to feel more rested. Of course, this is when I started to think about giving him a sibling. If I was going to do it, I better do it now. Life is already chaotic, so why not just double down? Now here we are with two. 

Here are 4 things that surprised me on going from one to two kids:

4 Things That Surprised Going from One to Two Kids

You love them both the same amount 

Throughout pregnancy with my second, I remember thinking, how could I possibly love someone more than I love my current child? I never felt super connected to my kids during pregnancy. I am not one of those people who enjoyed being pregnant. Instead, I tried to keep myself busy so I didn’t have to think about it.

I had two years of one-on-one time with my first. We had our daily routines in place, and I got to know his big, adventurous personality. I was worried that I somehow wouldn’t feel the same way. Then the second one came and I became equally as obsessed. I was surprised by how quickly I felt that connection once he was born. I am 1 of 3 siblings and I never understood when my parents told us they loved us all the same. Now I do. 

The newborn stage was easier the second time around

The first time around with a newborn was beyond hard. There is nothing you can do to truly prepare for the mental and physical toll of being a first-time parent. With the second, you are a pro. I was surprised by how much easier it was to adjust to the sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Don’t get me wrong, it was still hard but there was less of a learning curve.

I was already educated on nap schedules, nursing, sleep training, and soothing colic. I stocked up on my favorite leak-proof diapers and nursing bras. Having more experience under my belt made it seem less overwhelming, and more seamless.

Now balancing two at the same time is another story.

Having more confidence

When my second one arrived, I surprisingly felt more confident. I didn’t have the same feelings of failure even during the challenging times. The crying, and witching hours, while still not fun, didn’t affect me the same. Overall, I was calmer. I knew that this would pass and it wasn’t a result of something I was doing wrong.

You can still do activities together that everyone enjoys 

I had this notion that my husband and I would have to each take a child for the foreseeable future. Honestly, that is what we did a lot at the beginning. Slowly, I started to build up my confidence in managing them both by myself.

Despite the age difference, I was surprised to find we could still do things together that made everyone happy. This includes playing in the playroom together, going for walks in the double stroller, or even swimming in the pool. Not everything had to be a separate one-on-one activity.

Takeaways on Going From One to Two Kids

With each child, there was an adjustment period. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease and confidence I had when baby number two arrived. It was still tiring, and hard but felt like an easier transition. Having experience certainly helps. Even with the age difference, I learned you can do things together that make everyone happy. Yes, there is twice the chaos at times but also a lot of love. Lastly, I was surprised by this love that you have for each of them from day 1.

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