There’s no denying that being a parent is hard work. Yes, it is the most rewarding job you will ever have, but let’s admit it – raising tiny humans is down right exhausting. Having a baby rocked my world. I remember the sleepless nights, the countless feedings, recording all the milestones and trying to follow all the “manuals” on parenting. When child #2 came along, it took things to a whole new level. Everything is different the second time around.
#1: When your baby is screaming because their pacifier fell on the floor, your ultimate goal is to make the noise stop as quickly as possible. With child #1, every pacifier had to be washed in scalding hot water, steamed in the microwave and sanitized. With child #2, I feel like I’m winning if I apply the five-second rule and wipe the pacifier off on my shirt. On second thought, it may be better off coming straight from the floor. I’m not even sure when the last time was that I changed my shirt.
#2: All of a sudden, child #1 seems HUGE! How did this happen? She looked so small the night before I delivered her sister, but now I swear her head weighs more than a 10 pound bowling ball.
#3: You pick your battles. You used to get child #1 dressed for school every morning in perfectly matched outfits. But now while you are tending to an early morning feeding, daddy is letting child #1 pick out her clothes. When she comes running in the room to tell you goodbye before school, she’s wearing a purple tutu with black and white polka dot leggings, a blue headband and cowgirl boots. But she is so proud and you are too sleep deprived to move, so you send her off to school looking Punky Brewster.
#4: All plans of getting child #2 on a schedule go out the window. With child #1, we were so strict about keeping her on the eat-play-sleep schedule. But with child #2 I am just in survival mode. Screw babywise. I’m following mommywise and doing whatever it takes to get some sleep. Child #1 was a perfect sleeper and was sleeping through the night in her own crib by 7 weeks old. Child #2 will only sleep when she is curled up on my chest. So for the sake of my sanity and sleep, I let her. gasp! I mean, she will move off my chest and into her bed eventually, right?!
#5: I haven’t seen my husband since we left the hospital. Don’t worry; he hasn’t abandoned us. But when you have two kids you have to divide and conquer. As the food source, I am always with the child #2 while Daddy takes care of child #1.
#6: You learn to multitask even better than you ever could before. The other day I was nursing child #2 when child #1 decided to do a #2 in the potty and needed my help. I never thought it was possible to hold a nursing baby with one hand and wipe your kid’s butt with the other. Turns out I was wrong. The struggle is real.
#7: The rules you followed parenting child #1 become mere suggestions with child #2. Last week I flew to South Carolina with a seven-week-old baby strapped to me. For the first six months of her life, I wouldn’t dare take child #1 to the grocery store, let alone the airport. But with child #2, I am learning that life must go on. Besides, exposure to all those germs helps build her immune system. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. Disclaimer: she did have her shots a few days prior.
#8: Anytime you leave the house with two kids you look like you’re loading up the car for a month long vacation, when in reality those six trips you made to the car are just in preparation for a trip to Target.
#9: You have to learn to let the little things go. I’m talking to you, Pinterest Mom! With child #1, every project was a well-planned Pinterest challenge that took six trips to Hobby Lobby and twelve pounds of glitter. Now I’m perfectly ok with cutting corners and letting things go in the interest of my sanity.
#10: Just when you thought you couldn’t have any greater love than you do for child #1, you learn that your heart can double in size. And when you are exhausted beyond comprehension, seeing your two children smiling at each other will fill your heart with so much joy that you’ll feel like you can run a marathon…or at least make the journey to the coffee pot with both eyes open.