Author Topic: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?  (Read 11229 times)

Meggslynn

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Our son is three now and we are finally both on the second child wagon.

We have been hesitant to have another as my son has health issues but they are mostly straightened out now. And, I struggled with PPD and post natal insomnia the first time. I feel like I have learnt so much from our son that there is a lot I could do to help prevent that from happening again so I guess we feel ready now.

I would like to hear of your experiences going from 1 to 2. Was it harder or easier than you expected? What were the pro's and what are the con's?


Thanks in advance :)

StockBeard

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 10:30:16 AM »
For me, it was harder than expected (got our second one when the first one was 3.5, so roughly same scenario as you). I thought that because we had gone through the first one, I knew everything already, so there would be no surprise.

And, that was in general true, except for the important point that it was not the two of us expecting the newborn, but three of us.
when you have one, and your significant other is getting tired, it is easy to switch places and take care of the kid for a few hours, so your husband/wife can have time for themselves.
Once a second one is here, this doesn't happen nearly as often. You're switching, not to get time on your own, but to spend time with the other kid.

My free time, which I thought was already limited, has sunk to an all time low. This is also really tough on my wife who's the one spending most of the time with the kids ( she's a stay-at-home mom). In our case, our families are extremely far so we can't get any support from the grandparents, I would expect family support to be of extreme importance here.

Other than that, things are easier, as you already "know" most of the stuff. So it's not all as bad as I might make it sound :)

BananaPants

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 10:41:07 AM »
Going from 1 to 2 was much easier for us than going from 0 to 1.  We're much more confident and relaxed parents with our second than we were with our first.  We had almost everything we needed in terms of stuff (clothing, gear, etc. - we did not find out the sex of either baby prior to delivery so everything we have for a newborn is gender neutral).  Our girls are 2 years, 10 months apart and our older daughter can't really remember what life was life before her sister arrived.  They're self-proclaimed "best friends" and it's incredible to see our children growing up together. 

I was quite anxious prior to our second child's arrival, wondering if I could really love two kids the way I loved one.  But love doesn't divide, it multiplies.  :)   It's really like she's always been a part of our family, just like our older child. 

Financially speaking the big hit came from child care costs - as a two income family, we were spending more on daycare tuition than on our mortgage.  My husband lost his job when the little one was 10 months old and he's been a SAHD since then, because we couldn't afford full time child care for two kids on one income.  He's looking to go back to work in the fall when our older child is in kindergarten and we'd only have to pay for full time daycare for one of the kids.  We weren't expecting the financial hit from childcare to be as big as it was.

Our little one is almost 2 now and we're pondering going for a third, but with longer spacing than between our first two (ideally 3-3.5 years). The little one had a significant gross motor delay and I have difficult pregnancies (severe nausea and a history of preeclampsia/pregnancy-induced hypertension), so we want her to be more fully caught up on motor skills and needing less physical help with mobility before we make the decision.   

merci001

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 11:08:09 AM »
Going from 0 to 1 was easier for me than going from 1 to 2. I'm single and adopted both my kids as a single. Most of my friends are married and we all have two kids. We all refer to our "2nd child syndrome" :)  We all had easy first children, with our second children being more "spirited!"  My finances took a big hit with adding #2 and I think most parents would agree that adding a second increases the financial piece exponentially.  I feel very lucky in that I have a stable job and love my job. I also earn a decent income, but less than 6 figures, and I do watch the budget closely.  And I still for afterschool care for my youngest. My girls are 11 and 14 now and I sometimes look back and wonder how I managed through those early years!  My kids are fun and funny. I've enjoyed each stage as much, if not more, than the last. Of course, being siblings, they do fight, but  overall they get along pretty well; although their personalities and interests are very different.  I have a great support network of family and friends-important whether single or not, IMHO. My girls have great male role models in the form of family and friends and we get together with family and friends often. Of course, there are days I want to pull my hair out and honestly, every day bring some chaos. I definitely have my "calgon, take me away, moments."  Still, I wouldn't trade it for a minute and I love our little family!

nobody123

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 11:11:24 AM »
Personally, it was much more difficult going from 1 to 2 from a lifestyle perspective.  From an adult point of view, we had finally returned to "normal" without having to worry about a diaper bag, naps, etc., and then we started all over again.  However, we also moved while my wife was pregnant, she became a SAHM, the older kid started preschool, etc., so there were a lot of changes going on in our lives.  Without the novelty of it being our first child, there were less offers of help, too.  And because it was a second child, there wasn't the option of just skipping a meal because we were too tired to cook, because the older child still needed to be fed.  And that little guy definitely was jealous of the new baby for a while, which caused some regression in his behavior for a couple of months.

As far as caring for the baby, it was easier because you didn't worry about every little thing like you did the first time around.  Plus, we had saved most of the child care stuff (high chair, crib, stroller, etc.) so we didn't have the expense of that.




StockBeard

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 11:15:08 AM »
  And that little guy definitely was jealous of the new baby for a while, which caused some regression in his behavior for a couple of months.
Ha, I'm sure many of us can relate to that. Ours is 4 year old now, and now that his little sister is 6month old, he has a new passion for baby toys he used to play with when he was a toddler. Clearly a "these are my toys, not my sister's" kind of reaction. It's funny but also annoying. We told him we are ok with him playing with his baby toys again, but we wouldn't be buying him any new toys, and instead the new toys would go to his sister moving forward. That seemed to have worked :)

nobody123

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 11:47:44 AM »
  And that little guy definitely was jealous of the new baby for a while, which caused some regression in his behavior for a couple of months.
Ha, I'm sure many of us can relate to that. Ours is 4 year old now, and now that his little sister is 6month old, he has a new passion for baby toys he used to play with when he was a toddler. Clearly a "these are my toys, not my sister's" kind of reaction. It's funny but also annoying. We told him we are ok with him playing with his baby toys again, but we wouldn't be buying him any new toys, and instead the new toys would go to his sister moving forward. That seemed to have worked :)

Our younger son wants to play with his big brother's toys almost exclusively.  We played Battleship as a family last night, me and the 2YO. vs. DW and the 6YO.  The 2YO asked if we could play while we were finishing up dinner.  2YO has pretty much had zero interest in any baby / toddler toys as soon as he could crawl over to his brother and grab whatever 'big kid' toy he was playing with.  For the most part, they play well together.  We did have a little pushback from both of them when we started selling and donating some of the infant toys, but it passed pretty quickly.

Mostly the jealousy from the older one related to having to share the attention.  It took him about a year to accept the fact that he wasn't alone at the center of our universe.  Once the baby could actually play with him, his attitude shifted.

zippy

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2015, 11:48:54 AM »
I think going from 1 to 2 is harder. Going from 0 to 1 was hard, and threw everything for a loop, but it was just me and my husband that were affected and we could talk about everything and sort it out in about 2 weeks - that was when we felt like we were getting to our new "normal".

When our second was born, our older one was 2.5. Like a previous poster said, we also have no family near us for help, and most of our friends live about 30 min. away. I think the thing that was actually hardest for us was dealing with how it changed our family dynamic. I stay at home with the kids while my husband works, so I spent every single day with our oldest. It was very very tough for me to lose that one on one time with her. When we got back from the hospital, she seemed like a giant, and seemed to have gotten so much older than when we left her (it had only been 2 days!). Those feelings of loss have started to dissipate now that we're getting another new "normal", and the baby is starting to really be a part of playing and interacting.

But, now that that is starting to settle, I'm struggling with the logistics of having two kids! Some days are so much fun and are so smooth, and sometimes I'm constantly having to make the choice of who needs me more between two crying, very upset kids! It's tough! And the baby really doesn't nap well in the stroller or the ergo, so it feels like we can't go do anything outside which isn't so fair to our 3 year old. It stinks when it feels like either way, someone is going to always have to lose out. Our daughter is exceptionally understanding, and loves her brother like crazy, so that definitely helps though.

The last thing is similar to what another poster said - my free time is GONE! By the time I finish reading to my daughter at bedtime, my son usually wakes up (he won't take a bottle!), and when I'm done there, it's practically time to sleep because our son still wakes up so much. So there's very little time that I get to spend with my husband, just us alone. Which was very hard in the beginning when we were both so emotional about the changes, but couldn't really talk much while our daughter was awake (talking about the changes with her was very helpful for her, but seeing her mother a blubbering mess would be very scary to a 3 year old!), so everything had to wait until night, and by then we were exhausted!

So I'd say the first few months of 1 to 2 is exceptionally hard - harder than 0 to 1 (for us, anyway).

frugal rph

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2015, 12:44:58 PM »
I think going from 1 to 2 is harder if your kids are fewer than 4 to 5 years apart.  I had my first child with my husband 7 years ago and just had our second child 2 months ago.  I am pretty much a single mom this time around since the husband and I have separated and he moved about 12 hours away when I was 4 months pregnant.  So far, it is easier this time around because my son is in school during the week and I get 1 on 1 time with my daughter.  I am more confident with the second child, and I don't feel like everything has to be perfect.  As long as we all have clean clothes, food to eat, and get enough sleep, I am happy.  When I had my son, it seemed like it was so much harder just to get the basics done.  I also would feel guilty using naptime to watch tv or read a book.  I don't think I would survive if my son were 2 or 3 years old, though.  I'd probably have to move closer to my parents, who are currently about 10 hours away.


Meggslynn

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2015, 02:20:29 PM »
Thanks for all the input so far!

Keep it coming :)

TrMama

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2015, 02:35:25 PM »
Going from 0 to 1 was way harder for me. However, if you asked my DH, he'd probably say going from 1 to 2 was harder. So it may depend on your perspective ;)

When I had my first I was super naive, so the learning curve was very steep and unforgiving. I had my second when my oldest was 24mo. Frankly, it was easier emotionally because I had more of a clue. I didn't need to research anything, I could just go with whatever worked best for us the first time. We didn't waste any time experimenting. Physically, parenting two tiny people was very hard. I remember a lot of time spent with two crying babies on my lap.

justajane

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2015, 02:42:00 PM »
I can tell you what it was like for us, but every situation and family is different.

0 to 1 is hard, because life as you knew it is over. You also realize that life will never be the same. You are a parent now.

1 to 2 is hard, because you have to juggle the disparate needs of two tiny humans instead of just one.

For me, 1 to 2 was harder, because mine were two years apart and #1 still wasn't sleeping through the night consistently. I can honestly say that having 2 was more than 2X as much work as having just 1. But some parents don't have that experience.

You didn't ask about going from 2 to 3, but I've done that too. I desperately wanted it to be easier, but it hasn't been. It's harder in different ways, even though my 2nd was already 4 when the 3rd was born. Adding another kid to the family is hard no matter when you do it, but eventually you forget what life was like before when it was "easier." And you can't imagine life without the new one.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2015, 03:21:20 PM »
Sports analogies coming and its based on a couple, not single:

Zero - one: not that hard but because it is first and for most it means double coverage. #1 is basically an accessory for the first year.

one - two:  very hard. Man coverage and both #1 and #2 need significant but different attention.

Two - three:  easier even though it is now zone coverage, but you have a free safety over top because #1 is old enough to occupy #2 when #3 is getting its needs met. 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2015, 03:48:26 PM »
I found that it was my SECOND child who was basically an accessory for the first year. The first kid, you're always worrying over. The second, you just pop in a baby carrier and get on with your day!

But my second child was a good sleeper and my kids are only 16 months apart, so regular naps were happening at my house. Key to survival!

Cassie

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2015, 04:36:35 PM »
I think how hard it is depends partly on how close the kids are. My 2nd was born when my first was 4 so no big deal. My 3rd was born when my 2nd was 2 years-9 months so much harder as was the fact that as someone described above I had preclampsia, etc & was sick much of the 3rd pregnancy.  Also my first child was the toughest baby-my middle one the easiest.

LiveLean

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2015, 05:08:06 PM »
Before our second one was born, a friend made a sports analogy that has proven accurate.

When you have one child, you can double team him/her. With the second child, you have to play man-to-man defense. If you have a third or more, then you have to fall back into zone defense and hope you can keep everything covered.

This might be why both the friend that made this recommendation and my wife and I have each settled on two children.

h2ogal

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2015, 05:37:10 PM »
With 2 pre-schoolers its exponentially harder and more exhausting. 
 - With 1 you can nap when they nap.  With 2 they never nap at the same time (or so it seemed).   
 - They fight, they make each other cry, they steal each other's toys. 
 - They will also gang up on you, egg each other on, and you will never be able to figure out which one really "did it".

We have 3.  There were 2.5 years between the first 2.  Yes, there were times when I seriously felt that being committed to an institution would be a wonderful rest.   Then 10 years later #3 arrived. 

#3 was so easy!  With 2 adults, a 12 year old and a 10 year old, we had him surrounded and out numbered! 

They are all grown up now, and our nest is (usually) empty.  Having a big family is wonderful.  They grow up and become best friends, bail each other out, work together to plan your 25th wedding anniversary party!   Holidays and vacations are much more fun.  (And much more dramatic, at times, haha).
   

BlackIronStubble

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2015, 06:01:46 PM »
Quote
one - two:  very hard. Man coverage and both #1 and #2 need significant but different attention.

+1 on this.  I had #2 when #1 was about two years old.  With only one, you outnumber them.  I would still have that second kid, but you go from being an adult-lifestyle-centered family that happens to have kids to a kid-lifestyle-centered family that happens to have adults.  With one kid, you have time and parentpower to do appropriate attention, plus your own lives, and recover when kid happens (and kid always happens).  Kid number two takes all the slack out of the system.  There is no safety margin.  You will be exhausted.   

That said, my youngest is entering those golden years of 5-11 when they are reasonable, logicalish little people who can be trusted, mostly, not to destroy things at random, and my oldest is still there as well.  It's pretty nice.  But it was a hard slog to get here.  I understand that 12+ has some challenges in store as well. 

Merrie

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2015, 06:51:05 PM »
Ours are a bit over 2.5 years apart, so the little one is almost 15 months old and the big one will turn 4 in June. The first year was a crucible, juggling the different needs of the two of them. Most of our friends are on childbearing schedules that lag ours a bit, and so most of them are still going through that crucible of having two small ones where the younger one isn't yet walking or sleeping well. It's pretty insane for everyone. I feel like we are just starting to come out of the woods. I still think I want to go for a third, but I think I'll go for a larger gap this time, 4 years seems better than 2 1/2 or 3.

Potty train the first one well in advance of the second one being born if at all possible. We were lazy. Our daughter just needed a push and then she learned pretty fast; I think she would have learned a lot sooner if we had realized that and given her that push earlier. Having one kid who has to go THIS SECOND and one who is in arms is way worse than potty training one while pregnant.

It's definitely hard to get personal free time or "us" time. Usually we are doing a man-to-man. It's practically impossible to get overlapping naps and have zero kids active. If we're lucky, the little one naps while the big one is at preschool and we're both home, or we can pawn one or both off on grandparents. Otherwise we have very little kid-free time except after bedtime. We take turns getting up with them. I felt less bad about gadding off to do my thing and sticking my husband with the kid when we had just one; now I don't get out much, and he gets out even less than I do. We host friends a lot so that we can have adult time after the kids are in bed.

It's a big adjustment. One kid fits in okay around the edges of adult life and kind of makes their own spot. Two at different stages make a lot more of the focus on them. But life is just different... it's not over. And they aren't tiny forever.

Meggslynn

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2015, 08:25:51 AM »
Thank you for all your input so far!

I think by the time #2 comes along our son will be 4.5(ish) so we will have that on our side and they fact that he has been potty trained since he was 2.  I am so glad we waited as the third year is proving to be quite challenging for us and I can't imagine having a baby as well.

I do worry about time alone, time with my husband and time to workout .....

My parents are a hour away and not that good of health. My sisters are both 25-30 minutes away but I don't know if they would be as eager to watch two kids as they are with one. His family is in another province. I think we need to find a really good babysitter!!







cerebus

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2015, 08:34:49 AM »
For us, 0-1 I can hardly even remember how it was. 1-2 was quite easy except he had some health issues. 2-3 was a major shock to the system though. Man something about that third child - we couldn't handle it again.

Homey The Clown

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2015, 08:49:54 AM »
With 2 pre-schoolers its exponentially harder and more exhausting. 
 - With 1 you can nap when they nap.  With 2 they never nap at the same time (or so it seemed).   
 - They fight, they make each other cry, they steal each other's toys. 
 - They will also gang up on you, egg each other on, and you will never be able to figure out which one really "did it".

We have 3.  There were 2.5 years between the first 2.  Yes, there were times when I seriously felt that being committed to an institution would be a wonderful rest.   Then 10 years later #3 arrived. 

This is our experience almost exactly. Ours are almost exactly 2.5 years apart. Our first (DS) stopped napping shortly after DD was born. To get a little break we started letting him watch Sesame Street during DD's nap times. Sundays during her nap he watches a movie (they are now 28 months and almost 5). They are both in preschool (ok 28 months is not really preschool), but will be home from mid June to mid August (I teach community college and will be SAHD during the summer). That will be interesting. We kept her home until she was 20 months because she wouldn't take naps in the morning at day care. That was very challenging for both my wife and me with juggling schedules.

All that said, we'd do it again in a heartbeat. Our daughter idolizes her "bubba" and he loves having an acolyte. As much as they push each others buttons, they truly love each other. They share a bedroom (highly, highly recommended) and last night when we peeked in they were both asleep in bubba's bed. He watches out for her when they are playing and she wants to do everything he does. Even though playing nicely together devolves into screaming after about 10 minutes, we wouldn't have any other way. Hopefully it will get better as they get older. I will say that we were lucky not to have the jealousy issue. He was excited about her arrival the whole time. The Thomas the Train engine she got him as a present when she was didn't hurt.

Another advantage of having 2 is that we don't push the "playdate" thing. Because the kids have each other, we don't worry about it too much. Before we had DD, we ran into friends with a college aged "only" and asked them how they liked it. They said it was great, more affordable to do the many adventures they shared. His take, though, was that it would have been nice to have someone close to his own age on those adventures.

That's where we are now. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are not only brother and sister, but best friends. I know it's luck that this happened (I think the shared b/r has helped), but I can't wait to watch them grow up together even more.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2015, 11:10:47 AM »
You know...it will just depend on your second and the family dynamic.

For me, having kid#2 was like getting punched in the face by a burly Romanian wrestler every hour on the hour for nearly 3 years. But I wouldn't trade my son for anything.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 11:15:22 AM by Erica/NWEdible »

Meggslynn

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2015, 02:25:00 PM »
You know...it will just depend on your second and the family dynamic.

For me, having kid#2 was like getting punched in the face by a burly Romanian wrestler every hour on the hour for nearly 3 years. But I wouldn't trade my son for anything.

Wow! Really?!

Can I ask .... How close are your kids in age?

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2015, 04:23:12 PM »
You know...it will just depend on your second and the family dynamic.

For me, having kid#2 was like getting punched in the face by a burly Romanian wrestler every hour on the hour for nearly 3 years. But I wouldn't trade my son for anything.

Wow! Really?!

Can I ask .... How close are your kids in age?

Not very. 6.5 years apart, and very different in personality. Daughter's all sensitive and rational - made me think I knew what I was doing as a parent. Had all that love and logic shit down. She was just easy, but because she was my only I thought it was that I was a good parent that made her an easy kid. Nope, turns out it was just that she was easy.

Son, 6.5 years later, came in like a hurricane bred to a honey badger who didn't give a shit. All my "great parenting" skills were useless when confronted with this tiny ball of passionate, determined energy. The tricks, the discipline strategies - all totally useless. The key thing is, my son didn't sleep. Like, at all. 45 minutes to 1.5 hours at a stretch max for the first 2 years, then in gradually got better. Sleep dep + (or maybe causing?) some late-diagnosed PPD - it was all a big mess. But the point is, even though it sucked balls, it was worth it. He's awesome. I'm disproportionately older and fatter and a little beat-down, but it was worth it, and I am absolutely better for having him in my life.

aimz28

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2015, 06:05:24 PM »
My son is 14 months and we are planning on having #2 next year. I'm excited for him to be a brother, but I'm also terrified to start all over! I know I will love the next one just as much, but I am going to miss the one-on-one time with my little guy and sleep deprivation is no joke. The first time around I had so much fear of the unknown that it was hard to get excited during my pregnancy. Now I know how awesome it is to be a parent, but I also know how much work it is...we'll see how it goes!

okits

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2015, 12:05:58 AM »
I have to say, this thread has been informative... And terrifying. Makes me wonder if I should give new consideration to the "one and done" argument. :O

justajane

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2015, 06:15:34 AM »
I have to say, this thread has been informative... And terrifying. Makes me wonder if I should give new consideration to the "one and done" argument. :O

Don't let it scare you too much. :) But I will say that if the honest thoughts of people scare you enough to consider stopping, that might be a sign that you don't actually deep down want a second. Ultimately, for those of us who wanted a second (....or third), I imagine the desire to have another child overrode the knowledge of the likely difficulties and struggles involved.

And all of this is temporary. Kids are not little for long, and then they turn into these amazing people that you can interact with (semi)rationally. Of course, I don't have adult kids yet. I'm not sure why my mom thought it was appropriate to tell me this, but she once said, "Adults kids can break your heart." She has a terrible relationship with my sister, so I guess that was where it was coming from.

For me, I did the "dining room table" experiment. I asked myself - how many people do I imagine around that table in the future? Two was a no brainer for my husband and me, but it took us two years to decide to try for that third. And for me, it boiled down to the fact that I couldn't shake that hypothetical third child sitting at dinner with us. Maybe it's because I was a third child. I don't know, but we decided to blow up our lives and make them oh-so-much-more-difficult, because of that damned dining room chair. He's 11 months old and still majorly kicking my ass, but I can't say I regret his existence or my choice. A lot of good things in life are not easy.   

Edited to add that none of this was meant to be a lecture to convince okits to have another. "One and done" is awesome too. It's such a deeply personal decision.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 06:17:42 AM by justajane »

BananaPants

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2015, 09:30:21 AM »
For me, I did the "dining room table" experiment. I asked myself - how many people do I imagine around that table in the future? Two was a no brainer for my husband and me, but it took us two years to decide to try for that third. And for me, it boiled down to the fact that I couldn't shake that hypothetical third child sitting at dinner with us. Maybe it's because I was a third child. I don't know, but we decided to blow up our lives and make them oh-so-much-more-difficult, because of that damned dining room chair. He's 11 months old and still majorly kicking my ass, but I can't say I regret his existence or my choice. A lot of good things in life are not easy.   

We did the same.  While we would be totally fine if two is what we end up with, I feel like someone is still missing.  We imagine forward 10, 20, 30 years and there are three.   Mr. BP and I are both from two-child families and both of us wanted more siblings, so maybe that plays a role.  Our first was (and still is) a very easy kid by all accounts.  Our second has given us more of a run for our money and that's part of why we'd like a bigger age gap before the hypothetical third baby, but we still would like a third if we can find a way to afford it.

We have friends and relatives who had three kids in LESS than 3 years.  Seriously, sub-36 month spacing from oldest to youngest, no twins in the mix.  I could not have handled that, but there's something to be said for getting the childbearing and baby years out of the way fast.  For us if we have a third, our oldest will be 6+ years old and by the time all is said and done we'll have changed diapers and had a stroller in the trunk of the car for basically a decade.   


mm1970

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2015, 05:24:41 PM »
Going from 1 to 2 was hard for me.  In part, my age (42 when #2 was born), in part, the spacing - they are 6 years apart, and I'd forgotten a lot of stuff.

I thought things would be easier, and they weren't.  The lack of sleep was brutal.  The breastfeeding was even harder (only went 10 mos instead of 13.5 like I did with #1). 

And I missed MISSED my big boy.  It was very hard for him to share us, but man, the baby/toddler years are so soul sucking in so many ways that I MISSED the interactions with my older son.  Just even card games, chess games, chats, whatever.

But I think it was easier to have them that far apart compared to my friends whose kids were only 2 years apart.  I didn't have to worry about a toddler running into the street while I'm carrying for a baby.  If my toddler (almost 3) doesn't want to hold my hand in a parking lot or get into the carseat, I can carry him kicking and screaming.

southern granny

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2015, 05:38:02 PM »
It completely depends on what kind of child you get.  Our first was the perfect baby.  Only cried when he was hungry, was always in a good mood, slept through the night by 5 weeks, we could go out to eat and sit his carrier on a chair and enjoy our meal... so then we had child number 2.  Who cried all the time, rarely slept all night, was a very light sleeper and the slightest noise would wake her.  She had temper tantrums that would go on a long time.  I was exhausted all the time.  If child 2 had been child one, there never would have been a two.

seanc0x0

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2015, 06:36:46 PM »
We've found it easier to go from 1 to 2 than it was to go from 0 to 1.  Of course, our first was a colic monster from about 2-7 months, and to this day is high maintenance.  Our second is much more laid back, and the first is old enough she often helps out when the younger is getting upset.  The eldest was just shy of 4 when the second arrived, and she's been very good about it (no jealousy!) so that also helps.

Financially speaking (this is MMM after all!), having the second kid will likely delay FI by a few years at minimum. I'm not looking forward to November when my wife goes back to work and we get to pay 2x the daycare costs, though my wife's increased income over the current EI payments will cover it handily. 

Still, I would have the second again if I got a redo. She's a lovely tiny human being.

EmFrugal

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2015, 09:22:30 AM »
I think a lot of it just depends on your situation and your perspective. In my situation going from one to two was very challenging, but doable. No matter how much people told me that having a second would be a challenge, I couldn't fully comprehend it until I was there. In my case, I do not have grandparents nearby and we don't pay for babysitters often (maybe once every three months), so I had very little outside help. But, with my first child I had the same situation. I just had to put on my big girl pants and learn to parent as essentially a single parent, since my husband also worked very long hours. It was an adjustment, but one I knew I had to work through. I think if you approach it this way, knowing you will have to adjust and be flexible and laugh at the chaos (especially at the very beginning), you will be fine. I can't tell you how many times I was pooped on by my second because I would get distracted by my older child and not get a diaper on in time.

Thankfully with the second child my husband was in a better work/life situation and was able to help a little more, but when you have two children crying or needing you at the same time, it is still tough emotionally. I found that the hardest months were when my second daughter was 0-4 months. After 4 months, things became easier and easier as I learned how to mother two.

Here are a few things that worked well to give me a bit of sanity those first few months:
1) I used the baby swing with my second a ton and did not feel guilty about it! It was in our kitchen, which is next to our playroom, so I could see my baby while I cooked/cleaned or played with my older child.

2) I sleep trained my baby by 6 months so that I could sleep. I was a zombie and constantly injuring myself. At 6 months I decided that my health was just as important and that both kids needed a rested mom, so I let my second cry at night until she learned to sleep 12 hours. It took 2-3 weeks but was 100% worth it. And she is not emotionally damaged. In fact she is happy, curious, a fast learner, and an excellent sleeper! Which means the other members of my family are happy and getting the sleep we all need.

3) I went out to do errands pretty much immediately after my second was born. It forced me to get used to being out with two and it was good for me to feel "normal," even if it meant the newborn started screaming every time I was in a checkout line. Everyone else just thought the newborn cry was so sweet even though I was stressed.

4) Know that your older child will need special one on one time and attention. My oldest began to act out every time she felt that her love and attention bank was being depleted. At first I thought it was her age, but I soon realized that I was not looking her in the eye, getting down on her level, and really connecting with her the way I always had when it was only her. Once I fixed that, her behavior drastically improved.

Know that you will have rough days. You will snap at your kids occasionally. You will cry because it is so hard sometimes. But it is all normal, and it all gets better and easier as time goes on. And your life infinitely changes for the better. I cannot imagine my life without my second child and am so thankful we have her.

planner10

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2015, 07:00:04 PM »
0-1 wouldn't have been so bad.  I think it depends on how prepared you are, how much you've been around kids (enough to see the underbelly of "kids", not just the giggles).

My baby was naked and breastfed and happy (no frills and extra baby stuff - except for things that made it easier for mommy, like the breastfriend pillow, lanolin, pumping stuff ... actually I guess we had a lot of extras, but all for the parents comfort and ease).

HOWEVER - My first child didn't sleep.  And if he did it was in 20 minute increments with hours in between.  As prepared as I was, I feel like I barely survived.

My second child slept.  It made all the difference.

In general (if my first had slept - so I'm trying to abstract here) I found the second child to be harder because of the regression of lifestyle (back to timing life around naps and bringing diapers everywhere). 

We actually got out much more with our second because we had sleep and didn't feel like death.  But even though my second slept having two was much harder than one.  Now that the youngest is three we are back in a groove.  Aren't going to go for a third.  THings are pretty awesome right now.

But for me having a second child paled compared to the lack of sleep we all experienced with our first.  We were walking zombies for 2 years. 
« Last Edit: May 02, 2015, 07:05:33 PM by planner10 »

okits

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2015, 11:47:23 PM »

Edited to add that none of this was meant to be a lecture to convince okits to have another. "One and done" is awesome too. It's such a deeply personal decision.

I did not feel lectured. :)

I think having children isn't a (majority) rational thing.  My rational mind can count the costs of parenthood.  But instinct drives me to propagate my genes, experience joy and attachment towards my offspring, fight to the death to protect them, and constantly self-sacrifice for their wellbeing. If I were totally rational I would maximize my wellbeing and direct all my resources inward. But I'm not totally rational, and believe if I had never been a parent I would have mourned deeply that part of my life that turned out that way (I'd have been fit, well-rested, and engaging in some awesome hobbies and leisure while I mourned, though.)

I like the dining room table idea.  We definitely see a second child in our imagined family...  A shadow lurks in my mind that might be saying, "even more than two!", but I think that will be a matter of fate (and fatigue.)

Goldielocks

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2015, 11:53:39 AM »
For me, until the kids were older...

One kid was scary, but we figured it out.  It was like I had a life for me, that my baby was part of.. You can go to coffee shop, baby and me yoga, meet friends, if you want.  Groceries, even dentist.

Two kids, and my life was lived around the kids and for the kids.  Even when I went back to work, it was buying milk at lunch breaks( no personal time) and weekends were only about little kid activities. I had to leave the washroom door unlocked for years...Only complete basic chores while kids made it all go slower.

Age 8 for the youngest, and I started to get me time back.  So this is a temporary phase

Meggslynn

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2015, 10:52:09 AM »
Thank you all for sharing what you experienced I really do appreciate hearing all the points of view.

mabinogi

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2015, 01:45:23 PM »
Our second child is due in five days, so I'll let you know! Our older child is 2. I would think your age gap would make things a bit easier, at least initially.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2015, 12:14:48 AM »
0 to dog:  We learned we had to be home each night and make plans for said dog if we were going out of town.  But we could leave the dog at home by herself or in the car (in cool weather) for a quick errand.

dog to 1:  Kinda like dog, but less freedom.  Being the first grandchild from us or our siblings, we got lots and lots of grandparent help.  Still had hobbies - just hand off the little one between each other, or better yet, ask grandma and go adventure together sans child.  International travel was harder, but workable.

1 to 2:  Just as #1 was potty trained and able to communicate, we had #2.  Back to square one on baby schedule.  Grandparents became somewhat less reliable.  Still occasional time for hobbies, but much harder on the other partner.  International travel much, much harder, and yay, now 4 tickets to buy!

2 to 3:  We always wanted two, but sometimes life throws you a curveball.  Note that snip snip is not effective until after the surgery...  Grandparents threw in the towel, saying three is just too difficult.  No time for hobbies.  Difficult to go anywhere.  International travel may happen again in 17 years.  Friends' kids' ages don't overlap anymore, so that is sometimes difficult.

We see friends with one and they have so much freedom.  Adventures resume after age 5 or so.  International trips to potentially difficult locations in Central America and SE Asia.  Skiing and surfing and other things you can do with a 6-year-old but not so well with a spread from ages 1 to 6.  It looks nice in some ways, but that kid will never have a brother or sister.

All that said, our three (or two had we stopped there) are incredible, curious, interested, interesting, fun, strong-willed, fun, loving kids.  I can't imagine it any other way.  And the family dog-piles are pretty awesome... and still include the dog that started it all.

Merrie

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2015, 09:14:46 AM »

2 to 3:  We always wanted two, but sometimes life throws you a curveball.  Note that snip snip is not effective until after the surgery...  Grandparents threw in the towel, saying three is just too difficult.  No time for hobbies.  Difficult to go anywhere.  International travel may happen again in 17 years.  Friends' kids' ages don't overlap anymore, so that is sometimes difficult.


I read a book about deciding how many kids to have and they mentioned that about grandparents; above 2 kids grandparents will take 1 kid at a time. We have 2 now and I can definitely see that tendency in my parents should we have 3. They're iffy about taking both of them at once as is. But, I so want a houseful...

yoga mama

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2015, 12:01:58 PM »
As others have said, it totally depends on both your family and the child.  We found zero to 1 very easy, we had lots of friends with babies, I work in pediatrics, and we both over-research like crazy so we had a decent idea of what to expect plus our first was a relatively easy baby.  Going from 1 to 2 was tougher for the reasons others have mentioned - we had to maintain day to day activities for the sake of our older son (22 mos) and balance his needs with the needs of our infant.  Also, our second was a more difficult baby.  To be honest, it sucked for a few months and was the hardest time on our marriage (6 years now) by FAR.  Overall, couldn't have been that bad though, because we are now expecting a third 22 mos after our second.

Mirwen

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2015, 07:02:33 PM »
I just had my second child.  She is now two months old and my first child, a son, is 5 years.  So far, I have had a very easy time with my second child, a daughter.  My first child was (and is) very difficult for me.  First, I didn't have any childcare experience before he was born, so I was always slightly stressed trying to find my own way of handling everything.  There was also a serious personality mismatch.  He is very outgoing, extremely high energy, and uncooperative.  All I want is some quiet time and a good book. 

My son just turned 5, so he is fairly independent and he can wait while I care for the baby first.  However, he requires much more mental energy than my infant who seems like a breeze.  I feel that caring for her is super easy.  I mostly hear complaints from moms who have two kids closer in age. One to two years apart seems particularly hard.  My mom friends keep asking about how I'm dealing with the new baby.  I always answer, "Her?  She's so easy, but I still haven't figured out how to handle my son."

One thing that would be harder now is paying for child care.  Going from one to two in daycare can really change the numbers in favor of a stay at home parent.  I've been a SAHM since I had my son.  It's harder to go back to work now, but I'm OK with staying home if that's what's needed.  This may mean that I've killed my career in IT completely.  It's something to consider before having a second.

So I guess what I'm trying to illustrate is that spacing and individual differences are much more important than the number.  I'm happy with my 5 year spacing since I'm only having two.  I'm enjoying my second much more than I did my first. (Mostly because I'm now comfortable with my parenting style and not much is new.)

MM_MG

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2015, 12:25:06 AM »
Sorry I didn't read the above responses and apologize if this is a repeat.

IMHO, it isn't twice as hard, it is exponentially harder!   That is not to say it isn't worth it, but it changes the game dramatically!  Probably not as bad as going from 2 to 3 (i.e. man-to-man defense to zone), but still a bigger change than just 2 times the fun.

Not that I would have done things differently with our two, but I wish someone would have told me up front what I was getting in to.  Plan for the worst, hope for the best right?  LOL!




letsdoit

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2019, 01:30:54 PM »
since this is a timeless subject, i wanted to see if anyone is dealing with a similar question in their life.

and the thread is informative:
i did not know that romanian wrestlers punched so much

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Considering a second child. What was it like going from 1 to 2?
« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2019, 01:41:03 PM »
since this is a timeless subject, i wanted to see if anyone is dealing with a similar question in their life.

and the thread is informative:
i did not know that romanian wrestlers punched so much

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/09/10/great-news-youre-allowed-to-have-only-one-kid/