Today we are throwing Drew’s First Birthday party. Well-when I say “we”, I really mean my mother in law. I’m upstairs typing up a blog post. Last week I did his 1 year portraits, and then yesterday we did his Cake Smash pictures. While I was going through and editing his pictures, I couldn’t help but think back to when we were first talking about baby #2.
You see-I actually was fine with only having one kid-for many reasons. I didn’t necessarily think I’d be the best at dividing my attention and efforts between two kids. I wanted to make sure that I could be at all (or most) of my kid’s activities, sports, etc., and if I had two kids, I’m sure this would be difficult. I was also thinking somewhat on a financial level, because I’m sure one kid is less expensive than two. Now my husband-he said 2 or none, so two it was.
Our first child was pretty much perfect. Super independent from the start-easiest baby ever. When we first started talking about baby #2, it really stressed me out and I actually tried to postpone the idea, but it was too late! I had all kinds of crazy thoughts. Besides the normal “How am I going to take care of two kids?” I also wondered how I could possibly love someone as much as Mason. What if I didn’t like baby #2 as much as Mason? What if he’s not as cute as Mason? I know these sound ridiculous, but they are the things I thought about ALL. THE. TIME.
This year with a baby and a toddler has been such a busy, diaper-filled whirlwind. Drew is such a happy creature (most days), and he is really just a “Good-Time Charlie”. I know he is going to be a handful when he is older. He is a handful now, but he is just the sweetest thing that he makes you forget how crazy he is! At one, he loves clapping his hands, playing peek-a-boo, bothering his brother, reading books (I know everyone says this, but he legit sits with books for long periods of time), and jumping. No interest in walking. He brings a lot of chaos and joy to our house, and we are so lucky to have him!
Here are a few of the nutso thoughts I had while pregnant with Drew, along with what REALLY happened, for those of you who are having your own fears of questions about baby #2!
How am I going to take care of two children-I can barely take care of my one! I thought this over and over again. Mason was such a good kid too, but I was always running around like a crazy person trying to get everything accomplished. You know how when you have your first kid, you often wonder what in the world you did with all of your free time when you had no kids? That idea just transfers with you. You will find yourself thinking “I wonder what I was so busy doing when I only had one kid” along with “I would totally own parenting if I could go back and redo my first time around”. You will adjust-I will say that the first three months felt like one long day, but just know that getting yourself up and ready and in a routine as soon as possible will help you figure out how to manage your own kids and get into a groove-because everyone’s groove is different. Accept help, ask for help, but don’t forget that YOU are capable of doing much more than you imagined, so don’t ever think that you CAN’T do it! It is going to sound backwards, but I actually did better after both kids when the help and the visitors stopped and I was just left to fend for myself.
What if I don’t bond with my second child like I did my first? You probably won’t. I only have experience with my two, so am in no way an expert, but I don’t actually think you have a choice. It actually took me a few months to bond with Mason-we definitely built our relationship over time. The recovery process from pregnancy kind of took me by surprise, so I spent a bit longer recovering-he wouldn’t eat, and he cried a lot-among other things (I know that I said he was a perfect baby-and he was-but we had to figure him out first). I also spend a lot of time worrying about him, and I think that the constant fear of something happened to him kept me from any kind of real connection with him for a bit. I wasn’t depressed or anything like that, just sore and worried! With Drew-it was instant. In both cases, I didn’t choose-it just happened naturally. My only tidbit of advice here is that if you don’t feel this instant, overwhelming bond with your child like everyone describes-it’s ok-just relax and it will come with time.
What if I don’t think my second child is as cute as my first? You will-mom goggles take over Every. Single. Time. I know this because every picture I’ve taken and posted of my children, I’ve just thought about how darn cute they were. There have been times I’ve looked back at the same pictures and kind of went “oh”.
How can I possibly love a child as much as I loved my first? Very similar to the bonding question, but the simple answer is that “as much” is just a crappy term, right along with “as cute”, “as smart”, “as talented”-you get the idea. It’s totally normal to compare kids-Mason was walking by 1 year old, we may be carrying Drew to Kindergarten. But other than that, you really just can’t compare them. You will never love one child “as much” or “more” than the other-because you will love them both differently, and that goes for pretty much any other comparison of the two you can make.
Two kids are expensive. You know how on Amazon if you have a qualifying purchase of like, $25, you can purchase a cool add-on item for right around $4? That is what having two kids is like. One kid is expensive, the rest are just add-on items.
If you have two or more children, I’d love to hear some of your worries in the comments! If you would like to read some survival tips for having two kiddos, stop by The Kitchen and the Cave!
Here are a few pictures of little man’s 1st Birthday Portraits and Cake Smash Portraits. To see more of my work or to create a session of your own, visit Jamie Reinhart Photography