I am soon to become a Mum of two. My second baby is due in November and I already have my two-year-old daughter.
The decision to have another baby (fortunately) came relatively easy for us; we both enjoy our parenting role (most days) and we had always discussed having two kids (god willing). So given that we didn’t want a huge age gap, it seemed like the right time; and omitting the unnecessary details, the concept of baby number two became a reality!
After the initial excitement had settled, I had lots of thoughts and questions swirling around my head about what the future holds. Luckily it was all only briefly pondered on and they were fairly simple things... Will my toddler react well to the new baby? Will I ever be able to leave the house on time again? Will I ever get to wee in peace? I didn’t really dwell too much on these questions as the arrival was still so far away. And in my head, I would quickly answer yes to each of these in an attempt to remain positive.
But as I’ve entered the third trimester, my head has delved further into the 'what is life going to be like with two' file and as you’d expect, it’s a delightful yet scary file in equal measure! On one side, I have this blissful image of my daughter looking adoringly over the Moses basket at our new addition, feeling so much love and protection for her new sibling.
I then have the flip side, where she is completely put out by this tiny home invader and attempts to pick him or her up by the head and put them in a timeout like she does with her dolls!
My thoughts then wander to the sleep part, will I ever sleep again?
Will the new baby wake my daughter at night or vice versa? Will my daughter have dropped her day nap completely meaning that I will always have at least one tiny human to entertain? Then the soppier part of me worries that my daughter won’t understand that our love for her hasn’t been halved and that yes she is the big girl now but she will always be our baby girl! All of these thoughts swirling and that’s not even mentioning the ones I have on what regressions may rear their ugly head... sleep, toilet, behaviour regressions!!! Add pregnancy hormones (and a lack of alcohol) to that mix and it’s basically emotional Russian roulette on steroids!
In addition to the varying emotions and questions above, I’ve noticed that generally on social media, we are very good at focusing on the negative side of parenting. It’s understandable really given there are so many parent bloggers out there now giving everyone the true side to parenting and sharing their #honestparenting photos and stories. And while I love them, unfortunately, it also means that you can’t remain blissfully ignorant to the raw side of parenting anymore! It's right there on your news feed just begging to be clicked!
With so many people sharing the less glamorous side of their parenting journey, it becomes very easy to get caught up in all these negative stories and comments and believe that all these scenarios are waiting for you, but they will be twice as bad. As an example, I've read articles that claim having two children, is actually four times harder than having one, (who even knows how to calculate something like that??). And while this may be true (I’ll let you know in a few months), I can guarantee that worrying about it prior to it happening, won’t help!
So for now, at least, I’m going to let the honest parenting articles entertain me, I'm only going to visualise the blissful images of my children adoring each other and attempt to drown out those niggling negative thoughts of no sleep with non-alcoholic beer.
I mean the population keeps growing and people continue to have multiple offspring, so it must be worth it! They make it out the other side, so it can’t be that bad… right??!!