After having my first child, the thought of having another one literally sent shivers up my spine. I asked myself how (in God’s name, how!?) do people do this more than once? It was a preposterous notion to me. I thought I was never going to be able to find the courage, much less accept the very idea of having another baby after the horrors of my pregnancy and being plunged into the sea of fire that was caring for a brand new human being.
But lo and behold, after 3 years, I gave birth to my second child. While those years in between have taught me A LOT and given me enough confidence to “take on” another child, there were some things I just wasn’t ready for. And like in all things parenting, you just have to take everything with a grain of salt, and alot of caffeine and/or cake.
1. I have acquired a new skill: selective hearing. My kids bicker a lot and this usually escalates to screaming. At first, I came running to mediate, lecture or console them every time they argued. After several months of this, my ears have trained themselves to pay attention only to the more pressing issues i.e. fighting, hitting, outright evildoing. I discovered that their lesser issues worked themselves out or just fizzled out like a dying roman candle.
2. There are days when I don’t want to hear the word mommy ever again. It’s like they need me ALL THE TIME. “Mommy, I need to pee!” “Mommy, he bit me!” “Mommy, I want some milk!” “Mommy, where’s my other shoe?”All day long, its mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy.
3. It is a practice in emotional strength and resolve. Like any mother, I’ve learned this with my first child. But now that I have two, it has become a gargantuan, scream-into-a-pillow task. Take numbers 1 and 2 as concrete examples.
4. There is such a thing as favorites. However, it changes from day to day or hour to hour, depending on whoever is behaving more.
5. I try to make it a point to dole out affection evenly between both children. I love them both equally, of course, but they don’t possess the maturity to know that. So I’m always careful to never make one feel as if he or she is more loved than the other. I use phrases like, “thanks for sharing, guys” or “I love my baby boy and baby girl,” followed by kisses for each of them.
6. I learned to streamline their schedules so that I can have an iota of time for myself. Now, they nap together, take their baths and eat their meals together. This has actually brought them closer which is a great take-away to this strategy.
7. Taking care of two very young children is double the headache. However, the payback is double the hugs, the kisses and the “I love yous”.
8. Having loved my first child so much, I never would have imagined that my heart would know a much greater love. However, having two children has demonstrated how the heart has the amazing capacity to grow in order to accommodate more love and affection for two (or more) children.
9. The best thing I’ve learned is that there is no greater feeling than seeing your children show love for each other. It is the absolute best thing to see how doting and protective my daughter is to her baby brother and how my son adores his ate so much that his eyes simply light up when he sees her.
10. Even better than that, however, is hearing them laugh together. For me, no symphony played in any grand concert hall in this world can ever come close to the sheer joy and beauty my children’s giggles make.
Do you have more than one child? Share your experiences at the Comments.