Opinion

Second child close to the first makes the pace hectic

I was warned.

“I’m nervous for you,’’ a friend told me.

“Why don’t you wait a couple more years?’’ my mom asked.

Having a newborn and a toddler isn’t a walk in the park.

It’s actually a full-speed run, chasing after your all-of-a-sudden super stubborn little fart of a son who, instead of leaving the park with you and the new addition, decided to bolt into traffic.

It’s a crazy change when you add a new member to the family.

You miss the one-on-one bond you created with your first born. You miss the time together. You miss being able to do everything with them.

And when family takes them to give you a break, it’s a weird feeling. It’s tough because it’s different without them there. It’s quiet. And that’s why it’s also nice.

My midwife told me this is a quite common feeling among moms who’ve welcomed their second baby.

You want your first child at home too, but only if you could just tie them to a chair so they couldn’t throw tantrums and destroy the house. Maybe you could tape their mouth shut to stop the constant hollering, demands for snacks, and dinosaur sounds that wake up the baby.

It’d be lovely because they’d be there in the chair with you so you could still see them and give them a kiss and cuddle here and there.

As nice as this sounds, it’s not recommended to try at home.

To get through this time and make it as enjoyable as we envisioned it, my hubby and I have taken some steps and are working on building up more patience.

We stashed away every single one of our son's noisy toys.

We’re accepting more help from our family members.

We’re also putting ourselves in our son’s shoes, meeting his high-energy needs and understanding the change he’s experiencing too.

This means getting to the park, beach or setting a play date almost every day. This is when nifty gadgets — like ring slings to carry baby so you’re hands free — are super handy.

And, just when I start to feel sorry for myself in the middle of a chaotic day, I remind myself how lucky we are to have two beautiful children.

Just take it one day at a time. Routines will start to form and life will get easier.

Most families have more than one child. A lot of people have three or four.

And finally, ‘Come on Ashley, suck it up buttercup and motor on.’

Ashley Degraaf is a News Leader Pictorial reporter on maternity leave following the birth of her second child

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