Have you been dying to know what the secret is to having more than one child, while still managing to keep the dregs of your sanity?
Let me tell you.
Lean in a little closer, I don’t want you to miss it.
The big secret is this…
You have another baby and then… You survive.
Because well, you kind of have to.
Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but that really is all that there is to it*.
* To be clear I hope that it’s obvious that I am not making light of how difficult it can be to conceive a baby or to adopt one. That is definitely not my intention.
It’s been something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been chatting to so many Moms recently and this whole question of “I have one baby, should I have another one?” or “I only have one and it’s non stop, like NON STOP” comes up quicker than the regrowth of my hair. All of those conversations inevitably end with “I don’t know how you do it with three kids”.
This obviously means that somehow, somewhere they think that I’m actually doing it. Actually coping. But that’s a whole other story for another time.
What I do want to talk about is that when I had Kyla, I felt like EVERYTHING was hectic! When she slept I didn’t sleep – I had stuff to do (that mostly involved doing nothing but stressing about everything). Bath time was hectic, feeding time was hectic, bed time was a bloody nightmare and I often felt totally overwhelmed with life. If I’d had a choice, we wouldn’t have had another baby for a long time.
The Lord had other plans for us though. Because after just 3 months of not being pregnant, there I was, clinging to the toilet with all day sickness every day until Riya popped out of my tummy.
Suddenly we had two to contend with. We could no longer hand the baby over while the other one took a “break” – there was no break. Ever. It was crazy. The sleepless nights, managing the different demands of toddler and that of a baby, the arguments with Seth about whose turn it was to do just about everything, the crying – both them and me.
Dark days those were.
Is this making you want to have another baby yet? No? OK, just bear with me for a second.
I look at my kids now and I would literally do it all over again! Every single thing – exactly the way it was. Except I would have thrown the “Baby Sense” out the window before reading it and went with my Mommy sense instead (let’s not even get into how I used to try and force Kyla to sleep every time she had been awake for more than 40 minutes because that’s what the book told me to do – stupid huh?!).
But above all other reasons that I can give you to have another child, here’s the most important one…
They freaking love the heck out of each other. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. The way they play together, the way the girls wait for Knox to wake up and then cover his face with kisses while he tries to protest, the way they encourage each other and teach each other how to put other people first – to share a little bit more, to care a little bit more, to love a little bit more. Sure, they fight. But they also learn how to talk it out and forgive. All important little life lessons.
And let’s be honest here (because I’m all about that) while they are busy entertaining each other, you can have that much needed cup of hot tea or coffee (or tall glass of wine – whatever floats your boat) because now YOU don’t have to be the entertainment!
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22 thoughts on “How To Survive Having More Than One Child”
Love this Cindy – I have lots of friends who only have one and dont work and most of them think Im super woman, but in all honesty, number two just fits in and like you said, Mommy doesnt have to be the entertainer! Now that Jules is bigger, she and Addi are starting to play together properly and it’s so awesome, I love it. While everyone is still considering their second, we are thinking about whether or not to add a third, and if that happens, Im nowhere near as worried for a transition from two to three as I was for one to two! Also, WINE!
Going from two to three was SO much easier than from one to two for me. I had this mothering thing pretty much down, I was more relaxed and also used to not having any real time for myself so didn’t really shake up our lives too much. Plus I couldn’t picture our lives without the little guy now – so worth it!
Totally needed this encouragement today after a long night of both boys refusing to stay in bed when all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep thanks to mastitis and flu! So glad to hear having a third is easier – I was feeling ready to just close shop! 😉
Oh boy am I looking forward to the WINE. #2 is joining us in about 2 months and I can hardly wait. 🙂
The biggest change is going from 1 to 2, after that it is all about crowd control and the joy that they bring!!
These are the exact reasons I’ve also given to my buds…you’re no longer under so much pressure to be the entertainment anymore. You can actually just passively watch them n take it all in with that nice cuppa/glass or whilst folding laundry. And to watch them just enjoy each other and see their love grow, is simply magic…Let’s see if I still sing the same tune after no 3! ;p
LOVE this post and couldn’t agree more! I can’t wait for the jump from 2 to 3! x
Love this post Cindy, it’s as if you’ve written it just for me 🙂 Its tough times when you are in the beginning of the transition but there’s clearly a light at the end of the tunnel.
LOL about this because I think it’s the one FACT that every expectant first time parent under estimates – ” the arguments with Seth about whose turn it was to do just about everything”
Because that right there happens to every couple first time around and it gets better from child no. 2 or at least it did for us.
And then, I’d also like to just add, that while they (the kids) do love the heck out of each other, they also fight almost constantly… or at least mine do. They’re either loving or bashing the hell out of each other!
The way my kiddos love each other as well, make it all worth while for me. I also totally realize what a crazy paranoid parent I was with just one!
Hi Cindy , this is well said and myself an hubby took 8 long years to finally decide to have another baby and he is now 9months old and what a true blessing to us. Although the gap between my 2 boys are rather big they play together and love each other so much. At times I regret waiting 8 stupid long years to decide is this what we want.love them to bits
At the moment we are in the ‘don’t push your brother, and let go of your sister’s hair’ phase. It really is a big jump from 1 to 2, and I don’t regret it, but you definitely need to be in a solid partnership to make it work.
Oh you say it so well. I am hugely against the “one child by choice” idea. I am an only child and I always wanted a sibling so we never even considered having only one. The jump between1 and 3 though was huge – all in once. Twins are just always hard, but also such a huge blessing to see that very special relationship.
Can you guys please explain this ‘big jump from 1 to 2’ a bit more…we are in the should-we-shouldn’t-we phase. Life is good/easier with a 2yr old, to think of having another baby scares the beejaysus out of me. But mother nature is having its way with my hormones and telling me have another baby pronto. HELP!
Hey Debs, I’m going to go with a big – GO FOR IT. I think it’s just a big adjustment in that you just don’t get a break. It’s totally doable, but it does increase the hard work factor somewhat.
We’re expecting number 3 in August and I am quite excited. We have ‘good gaps’. 6yr old (7 in October) and a 3yr old (4 in December). My daughter is eager to help and such a mother hen….she made transitioning to 2 quite easy when her brother was born.
BUT This pregnancy I’m battling hyperemesis Gravidarum and I have no energy. I get home and I just want to crawl into bed…my husband works awful hours for the last 3yrs so first time having a baby while he has this job…and I said yesterday, where will the energy come from to do this with 3 kids????
I know we will cope, everybody says 2 to 3 is so easy (maybe just a lie to get us into the same trap as them…lol), so I hope so..and I think once i’m not puking every single day and feel like a human being again (hmmm okay a little human with little sleep once the newborn arrives) …..I will see the silver lining. All that said I am really excited to meet our new little dude in just under 3 months!
This was a great read!
The thing about Sleep Sense!!!!! OMG, thought I was the only one. That book caused so much stress for me! Also, so with you on everything else. Don’t have a number two yet… but good to hear it gets better after the dark early days! xx
I still have PTSD from those 1st three months with a 1 year old, baby, adopted 1 year old beagle and a mother doing her best to cope. I’m literally incapable of being happy for anyone who’s telling me they are having a 2nd child. The amount of screams, noise and chaos is something i never want to experience again.
Baby sense worked for us. Our 2 girls sleep through every night for 12 hours, and the youngest from 4 months. If it wasn’t for the sleep that all of us got I would’ve been a wreck.
Ah Cinds. I wish I could have another child for this very reason. By the way I also agree about throwing Baby Sense out the window. I have just let Nicky nap at totally the wrong time (3pm) but he was crying so much and obviously tired… oh well…
Yip you survive because you have too. Some days are chaotic from start to finish and others are like a scene out of Mary Poppins.
Gorgeous photos! I didn’t know what had hit me when my 2nd arrived, but 6 months down the line it’s amazing how we’ve all adjusted and things have slotted into place. (And how little sleep you need to function in the day, ha ha!) I LOVE watching my little ones makes each other laugh, special times.
I am one of five kids and my mom always says that with each child she had, her love and patience and “motheringness” just grew exponentially. We will definitely have a big family too, I can’t wait!