There is no steeper learning curve than that of becoming a parent for the first time. But going from being the parent of an only child to having two children presents its own challenges.
What you can read in this article?
- What will happen when baby #2 arrive after having an only child for a long time?
- What will you miss being a parent of an only child after baby number 2 arrives
In fact, having welcomed our second child last year, I actually found the transition to two children even more challenging than going from zero to one.
Sure, becoming a mother the first time around was intense. But nothing prepared me for just how stretched I would feel managing the needs, wants and demands of two little humans.
As a result, there are a few key things I now miss about being a mum of one versus a mum of two.
Parent of an only child? 3 Things that’ll happen after baby #2
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1. No more naptime = less you time
Pre-baby number two I thought I was busy. So very busy. Juggling work, a boisterous toddler, a marriage, friendships, extended family, a household.
But one guaranteed respite throughout the day was the two/two-and-a-half-hour break I would get while my firstborn napped. These were my power hours. Where I ploughed through the work to-do list, life admin tasks, housework or (gasp!) read the odd book (OK, scroll Instagram).
The house was quiet and peaceful, those couple of hours stretched out ahead of me where I could just be me, instead of mum, and after a hectic morning, would help me recharge for an equally busy afternoon.
Now with a second child in the mix, and my three-year-old having thrown in the naptime towel the moment I came home from hospital with baby number two, there is simply no opportunity for some downtime throughout the day.
No sooner have I got the baby down for their nap that my three-year-old is pouncing upon me for requests to play, feed or entertain him.
I now understand why some parents extol the benefits of a close age gap between siblings… at least that way they’re able to hang onto those precious naptime hours (when both kids are asleep) that little bit longer!
2. No longer marvelling at the milestones
Image source: iStock
It’s a truism that there will always be slightly less photos of second-born children than firstborns in their early years. Their baby book isn’t as comprehensively filled out and most outfits are hand-me-downs.
Parenting the second time around the novelty factor over every little thing your new baby does wears off just a little, as you’ve been through it all before.
As you’ve now moved onto bigger milestones with your eldest – toilet training, transitioning from cot to bed and even starting kindergarten – you just don’t have the time or wherewithal to marvel at every developmental leap your second child makes.
With your attention divided between two kids, you also have less opportunity to simply gush over every little yawn and stretch your newborn baby does.
I spent countless hours doing floor time with my firstborn, reading him baby books and singing songs. Unfortunately, my second child hasn’t received quite so much attention as there seems to be no end to the daily to-do list when caring for two.
Thankfully, we’ve had some extra grandparenting help of late, which has allowed me to devote much more one-on-one time to baby number two… and even marvel over a few yawns and stretches!
3. Not being able to give your all
Image source: iStock
Before falling pregnant with my second, what gave me pause before taking the plunge to go from a family of three to a family of four, was how it would affect my relationship with my firstborn.
I loved becoming a mother, and for three years my eldest was my little sidekick, my mate, my best friend. I was scared of losing that bond, and worried how he would respond when he saw me devoting so much time and energy to another baby.
However, I also recognised that learning to share – whether toys, space or Mummy – was actually good for his emotional development.
In hindsight, having the ability to give my complete love and attention to just one child feels somewhat of a luxury. And certainly being able to give my “all” was made easier by the fact that with just one little one to contend with, there was still plenty of time for “me”, as well for my husband and I as a couple.
Even so, now that there’s double the trouble in our household, there’s also double the amount of hugs, kisses and laughter.
Sure, there are things I miss about being a mum/ parent to an only child, but so much more has been gained by expanding our family. Although, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to make the leap from three to four!
This article was first published in KidSpot and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
Republished with permission from theAsianparent Singapore