With parenthood come some predictable changes, like sleep deprivation, erratic eating habits, and the constant questioning of what day of the week it is. If you’re about to become a parent for the second time around, however, there may be some unexpected moments both before and after the baby comes.
These are just some of the “fun” little surprises you can expect with baby #2 on the way.
Pregnancy while being a parent is 100x harder
Remember those quiet evenings when you could kick up your feet and Google pregnancy symptoms for hours on end with baby #1? Well, you can certainly kiss that goodbye with baby #2.
Instead of relaxing and enjoying this time, you will be:
- Praying you don’t throw up while serving mac and cheese to baby #1
- Running marathon lengths while chasing after a toddler
- Breaking your back during bath time
- Forcing yourself to stay awake during storytimes
- Icing your swollen feet and ankles
Because you don’t get much down time, your symptoms may also be more severe. Oh, and trying to keep your pregnancy “hush-hush” will be a real struggle this time around, so you’ll have to get creative with your attire if you want to keep friends, family, and co-workers from suspecting anything.
There’s still stress, just not as much
Planning for a baby is never easy, but this isn’t your first rodeo, so there’s a good chance you’re less worried about pregnancy, labour, and child-rearing than you were before taking that head-first dive into parenthood.
Another nice thing about second babies is that you’ll learn to wing it a lot more often. With the first you may have researched every little thing to make sure you’re doing it right, but with the second? You’ve got that mummy intuition now. You got this.
Happiness will beat out “correctness” (but not without judgement)
For many first-time mums, the struggle with doing everything “right” is a real thing. From organic foods to attachment parenting and beyond, we can drive ourselves crazy trying to do what science and experts tell us is best for these little beauties they don’t even know.
Your second child will take the edge off of your desire to do everything right. Instead, you’ll fall into a flow that ensures that everyone in your house is happy, safe and healthy, but you’ll have to brace yourself for harsh criticism from family, friends, and online communities.
There will be guilt
Transitioning from one youngster to two is hard on the entire household which will leave you with the proverbial “mummy guilt”. You’ll ask yourself why you’re doing this to your sweet first little bubs and go out of your way to shower more attention than ever on this child to compensate for their new brother or sister on the way.
Word to the wise: there are going to be a lot of days ahead where not everyone gets the same amount of attention as the next. A newborn requires more attention than a 3-year-old, and as for your poor partner – well, they’ll just have to wait for the next date night.
The smaller moments will be more heartbreaking
For a lot of mums, the early months with their first bubs is a complete blur because of no sleep, feeling overwhelmed, and just simply trying to get a grip on life.
With second babies, we get to sit back and savour those fine, smaller moments a bit more. Maybe it’s because this one might be our last baby, or maybe because we know full well just how fleeting these moments are. Be prepared for tears and make sure you take the time to appreciate these days when you can because before you know it, they will be gone.