Welcome to my new guest post series, Ponderings on Two, where I ask a different blogger and parent of more than one child, to share their experience of having a second child. This week, we hear from Stacy, who writes the blog, Mom of Two.
Tell me a bit about yourself, your family and your blog.
I’m Stacy. I’m a happily married (sometimes) mom of two to my 2 year old daughter, Sophie (two) and my 8 month old son, Samuel. I blog about being a mom of two (three if you count our recent fur baby) and all about the amazing highs and the crappy lows that this brings.
What age gap did you have between your first and second children? What’s their relationship like?
We had originally planned on an 18 month age gap between our children but unfortunately things didn’t go to plan and we ended up with a 22 month gap. This turned out to be a good thing as in my early pregnancy my daughter still insisted on being picked up whenever she could get away with it and I couldn’t imagine doing it when heavily pregnant!
I’m glad Sophie was that little bit older as she understood immediately that Samuel was “Mommy’s baby” and that he was here to stay. She kept telling everyone who came to visit that they needed to give him back to Mommy! She’s so sweet with him and will give him his favourite toy when he cries and asks for cuddles and to hold him. This doesn’t last very long though as she quickly tells me she’s “too little” when he starts squirming!
What was the hardest thing about having a second child?
The hardest (and possibly the saddest) thing about having a second child, at least with a gap this close, is that you simply don’t get the same level of one on one time as you did with your first. Breastfeeding is so much harder because your oldest is demanding your attention and you have less patience in those early days because the sleep deprivation makes you really grumpy. If, like me, you’re unlucky enough to have a toddler that no longer naps then you can’t even sleep when they are sleeping as when the baby sleeps you’ll be spending time entertaining and educating your first born.
What was the best thing about having a second child?
The best thing without a doubt is seeing them grow up and form a beautiful bond. Samuel’s eyes light up the second he sees his big sister and the first thing Sophie asks when she wakes up in the morning is “wheres Sammy?”. She makes him laugh just by looking at him and its these moments where your heart just melts and you see nothing other than those two smiling faces, that you know the whole thing is totally worth it.
Were there any products that made life with an older sibling and a newborn easier?
The TV. And snacks. For the toddler, not me! When I desperately needed 5 minutes to either feed Samuel or just sit and calm down without another human attached to me, I could always count on the TV and a snack to keep Sophie quiet while I took a deep breath and reset myself before I shouted for no reason other than I was tired.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone expecting their second baby?
There is no need to be worried. Worried that you won’t love your second child as much, worried that your first is going to hate you for turning their world upside down, worried that you wont be able to cope…any of those fears and worries that niggle away at you during pregnancy, where you wonder if you’re doing the right thing even though it’s too late to change it, they all disappear. Some of them might last a little bit after the birth but they all eventually disappear. You are giving your child a best friend and a partner in crime and you will love them both more than life itself. You are a Mom. You’ve got this.
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