This post originally appeared last year on 2 blogs that are now history. It also became a much talked about post, later in the year. Since those 2 posts are gone, I've revised the original ideas. The revision was debuted on Davenport & Lillian last month for Stephany's Hello Baby Series.
|Me and my 2nd born.|
Here is what to expect when you bring home baby #2.
Know that good, restorative sleep is not in your future. Period. There will be a "S" load of people who will tell you that they will take the kids so you can sleep. Especially in the early days. There will be promises from the mother in law, the husband, your mom, even your best friend. Just know, unless they physically take your children out of your house, there is no sleep in your future. The slightest whimper of your newborn, or the shortest outburst of your toddler, will stop your heart and your sleep. Your mommy senses have been heightened ten fold. My apologies.
It doesn't matter if there are 2 years between your kids or 10, your husband has forgotten everything there is to know about newborns. Ok, maybe that's taking it too far, but prepare yourself for a mountain of stupid questions. Can you get me a receiving blanket?, seems simple enough, but now you have to say, "can you hand me the blue flannel blanket with airplanes on it without any extra fluff on it". Which you have no time for, so you will just get the damn receiving blanket yourself. Also you hubby has forgotten that your vagina has lived through a very traumatic experience, or you have possibly have had major surgery on your midsection. For some inhumane reason he thinks sex with you is on the horizon. I'll wait while you have a good laugh about that one.
When you bring home your new baby, your first child will look like a 17 year old. Maybe not 17, but definitely 7. Those little hands you used to hold look giant, that little face no longer looks like your sweet baby. And if your first child is still in diapers you will almost faint the when you have to change their poopy diaper. Yes, your toddler poops like an adult human, as compared to your newborn's angel poops. You will also be astounded by what your first child can actually do, like watch an entire movie while eating goldfish while you cat nap with your new born. Score one for you. Also they can empty an entire bottle of Swiffer solution in your entry way while you are stuck in a breast pump. Score one for the toddler. Don't forget that while said first child looks 17, they are still a little human who needs supervision, love, and Oreo cookie bribes.
The baby blues are also bring the baby rage. Look, you are exhausted. You are emotional. You go from totally overjoyed to totally overwhelmed in zero to five. Repeat after me, It's going to be ok, it's going to be ok, it's going to be ok. Now add chocolate, wine, or Starbucks at your leisure. Parenting one child is hard, parenting that same child with a new addition is a new kind of Hell. It's not always wine and roses. You will lose your temper. You will over react and yell at your first child because they "know better". Honestly all they know is some kid is totally cramping their style. Go ahead yell, scream, loose your poop. Then have a good cry, let those tears wash away all the guilt, and then grab a special snack for you and your first born. Like ice cream sandwiches at 8 am, because this kind of shaz happens at 8 am on a Tuesday after you haven't slept since Monday. It's normal. It's real. Now, eat that ice cream and move on.
You will run out of "effs" to give. Your second child will know nothing of bottle sanitizers or wipe warmers. They will know nothing of lavender "calming" soaps and expensive diaper creams. You know why? Because you know what works. You know that if that pacifier hits the ground at the grocery store, sticking it in your mouth is how to sanitize. You will smile and nod at tall the "advice" giving mamas, knowing full well they are full of shaz. Your first child will full open mouth slobber kiss your newborn and while you think it's gross you will know that there is no longer enough hours in the day to worry of such things. You have two kids to take care of, showers, dinners that require the oven, and breakfast foods that aren't found in the freezer are no longer part of plan. And you are too tired to give an eff about any of it.
You will care about your body though. You will find that you want your pre-baby body back. But not your original pre-baby body, your post 1st child, pre-second child body. It's fine. You may find you get it back faster than you expect. But don't really stress, remember all the effs you are too busy to give? You also have no room in your life for clothes that button. Yoga pants and maxi dresses are the staples in this new life. You will have house dresses and going out dresses. You will have yoga pants and dressy yoga pants. This will last until someone posts a picture of you on Facebook or Instagram, then you will decide that enough is enough, and you are ready. Until then pull on a maxi skirt and chill.
Did those two babies really come out of the same baby maker? Indeed they did, and they are nothing alike. Perhaps your first one was a sleeper, your second? Not so much. Maybe one loved their swing, the other hates it like a cold bath. Just be warned that the second time around is going to be nothing like the first. The child is different, but you are too. Your kids personalities will be so different your head may spin.
Your second child will be a tough mudder. No joke. Your medicine of choice with your second baby will be, "walk it off". You will make them tough out colds, wait on head injuries that seem questionable, and possibly go to school when their coughs aren't that bad (like the time I sent my kid to school with bronchitis). They will also have to draw blood to get a reaction out of you. It's fine. You've done this before, you know they will survive. In fact a little eyebrow scar never hurt anybody.
You will either get a chance to fix mistakes, or surrender to the dark side. If you think co-sleeping was a mistake, here is your chance to have a crib sleeper. If you want to take a stab at breast feeding again here is your chance. If you want to do baby signs as a form of communication, start fresh. Or be like me and give in to the dark side. Co-sleep because you are too exhausted to do otherwise. Formula feed because pumping has become daunting. Let your first child communicate for your second because it's easier. It's up to you. As long as you remember, you are now short on time, short on sleep, and short on effs. And the dark side usually has chocolate.
Second children are blessings. They bring comfort and confidence. They bring joy and chaos. They remind you about everything you love and hate about parenting. They also solidify that this is the most important thing you will ever do. That said, have fun and don't stress about the little things. Those are easily forgotten, swept under the rug with a Disney movie and some popcorn and M & Ms. Also, as your new second child mama coach, when the going gets tough, add Starbucks and chocolate. Always.