Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Why having a second child is easier than having the first
When I was pregnant with my second child I was slightly freaking out. Having a child was one of the most challenging things I've ever done- how could having a second one NOT be even harder? No matter how many people told me it's easier the second time around I just couldn't believe it. Two children to look after. Two lots of clothes to wash. Two mouths to feed. Two children to bath and get ready for bed. It was making me tired and slightly hysterical just thinking about it.
Thank goodness it's all been ok so far. My second born is now 3 months old, and let me tell you- it IS easier second time around! But here's why:
- Being your second child you're much more relaxed. If you have housework to do you don't feel as bad letting the little'un cry for a bit, because you know he's not going to end up mentally and emotionally scarred for the rest of his life. YOu think "sorry mate, but this needs to be done, and you'll survive for five minutes."
- It's much easier to distinguish between different cries. Now, if my youngest cries I can, 95% of the time- correctly diagnose what the problem is. Short, sharp, loud or high pitched squeals or cries usually means he's in pain; normal sounding cries mingled with grunts and legs being drawn up to stomach means he has a gut ache and needs to burp or fart; red around the eyes, red face, not holding eye contact and whinging means he's tired. Of course, I only know this because I have a first to make comparisons to, but as far as I'm aware (from others babies) they're all pretty similar.
- If your baby is crying and crying for what seems to be no reason, you no longer stress. Sure, it's painfully annoying and a bit upsetting that he just keeps crying and you can't help him, but you're much quicker to admit "well, I'm sorry mate, but there's really nothing I can do to make you feel better. It will go away on its own and in the meantime I am going to do what I can. I'll cuddle you while I can, but if my back hurts I am going to put you down until it stops hurting. There's nothing else I can do so there's no point stressing".
- You're already used to being sleep deprived, so having a second child isn't as shocking as the first time when you go from being able to have all the sleep you want to hardly any. Because your body has already adjusted to the lack of sleep it's nowhere near as trying a time.
-Because you are more relaxed, your baby may be more relaxed.
Sure, it's difficult in the evening, which is often my baby AND my 3yos feral time, and my hubby's not yet home, and I have to try and organise dinner while the baby's crying and the 3yo is bugging me to play with him and whinging because he's tired. Those are the times that are difficult. But it's nothing you haven't already been through. The reason second time around is easier is because you've already done it, and you already know what to expect.
So, if you're having a first child, don't let the difficulty of it put you off from having another. And if you're about to have your second and are quietly shitting yourself, don't. It's just like riding a bike! Only it poos and wees and spews....