Depending on how far apart your children will be, going from 1-2 children can be incredibly difficult. Yes, there are many beautiful moments why having a buddy for your first born is absolutely beautiful; however, there are definite moments of, "what were we thinking!?" that you will likely experience more than once.
If you have a second baby on the way and you're realizing there's no going back now, we want you to read this. Not only to "mentally prepare," but perhaps resonate with its reality. Below, we have compiled 10 reasons why going from one child to two children is incredibly difficult. Not many people are talking about it. So, here we go!
10 MANAGING MEAL TIME
You are often found preparing different meals, because your toddler is picky and your baby needs blended food. You're also lucky enough to feed yourself, if you muster the energy and time. Managing meal time can be a bit overwhelming.
Presumably a simple task, this one in particular could potentially take nights of preparation. Snacking is a great start! Inviting the children to a pre-meal (such as Cheerios) to distract them for their "main course" is always helpful. Just make sure you make a little extra for yourself. Even if that "extra" is blended peas and carrots. That'll do...
9 SETTLING TANTRUMS WHILE CARING FOR BABY
If your children are incredibly close in age, consider the amount of emotions your eldest may be feeling. As the baby receives more attention, the older child will crave more, too. Tantrums are more often than not a burst of energy or emotion that your child is unable to communicate "appropriately."
Despite the way you may react (in anger or frustration), the best way to settle the child is with compassion and love. Now, we're not saying this will come easy. It will most definitely be one of the most testing moments of your parenthood career (just kidding, it gets worse). But, it's a moment that will soon be in the past. It just won't be easy or pleasant while you're living it.
8 NAP TIME
Oh, glorious nap time. The time in which "non-parents" believe you, too, get to rest. When do the dishes get cleaned? How does the laundry get folded? Does the house-cleaning fairy arrive to assist in all of the work and chores that are ignored while the child and/or children are awake?
All jokes aside, welcome to parenting two children. Frankly, you're lucky if the toddler co-operates and takes their nap. You're actually even luckier if the toddler does not wake the baby in attempts to sell them on said nap.
7 FROM HOME TO CAR
Okay, roll up your sleeves, people. It's time to muster the energy to gather your things, the baby's things, the toddler's change of clothes, the stroller, the baby-carrier, the snacks -do NOT forget the snacks- and, if you're lucky, your gallon of coffee that keeps you going.
Don't forget to lock the house. Now, make sure the eldest does not run off. Oh, and the baby is falling from your arms. Don't drop your coffee! This can be one of the most challenging and exhausting tasks: getting the kids safely from home to vehicle. Good luck.
6 DOUBLE IN THE BABY BAG
You may even laugh just at the title. "Baby Bag," as if there's just one! If you are able to combine everything in ONE then we are more than proud of you, Momma. But, you will likely expand your collection to a baby bag, a toddler backpack (if you're smart) or even a car-bag with extra clothes, wipes and cash for emergencies.
When you expand your family, you're looking at doubling all of the essentials. As your children grow, they will need different items, as well. Remember how hard it was not to forget things in the house before you leave? Well, now you've added another human, with a whole new set of needs. Welcome to parenthood with two children!
5 ABUNDANCE OF APPOINTMENTS
Often there is a parent (if you have a partner) who is in charge of the appointments. Along with managing your own appointments, you now have your new child's.
Luckily, scheduled doctors appointments lessen once they get past their first year; however, you now have your eldest child's dentist appointments, hair cuts, soccer practice. Oh- don't forget their tutors and their piano lessons.
4 BEDTIME ROUTINES
Managing bedtime can be difficult when you expand your family. Ensuring you have enough space and enough help can be difficult enough. But, many don't take into account the fact that, if you decide to have children close in age, the toddler may even wake the baby (or vice versa) in the middle of the night.
Remember how people warn you that you won't sleep for 18 years? Well, they may have been right this entire time...
3 GROCERY CART SEATS
Many grocery stores have now switched their carts from two baby seats to one. However, due to safety protocol, you may have noticed many shops switching out carts, going back to a single-seater. This may make things difficult for you if you have a toddler and a baby.
You will likely want to keep your high-energy child in the cart distracted with snacks or a toy, while you put the baby in their car seat, ever-so-carefully balanced in the cart part. Then, you will then have to lift the seat each time you put a new item in the base. Well, shopping with two take a lot of time, energy and logistics. It's not as easy as we make it seem, that's for sure. Be prepared to scope out your shop's cart situation before you embark on the journey.
2 SPLITTING YOUR ATTENTION
Well, this one has its ups and downs, that's for sure. Of course providing your 100% attention to one child won't benefit the kid when they grow up into the "real world," but it can be very hard for a parent to adjust to managing their time and energy with each child.
With age, a whole new set of struggles will come. But, we can practice from day 1 onwards. It's hard to manage your time as a parent, and you may feel guilty most days when it comes to balancing your time with your children. Just keep good intentions and know your children are loved. That's all they could truly ask for.
1 DOUBLE THE LAUNDRY
Yep- we're going there. Laundry is a full-time job all in itself. We are not kidding. Once you welcome your second child, don't let those itty-bitty baby clothes fool you. They will produce just as much laundry as your first child did when they were welcomed into your life.
Laundry may take hours, it may even take days. Heck, we're lucky if we get around to unloading the dryer every weekend. Keep in mind that not only will your electricity bill be higher, but you may have to dedicate some solid weekend time strictly to organizing everyone's laundry.