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What to Expect for Second Time Moms – Unexpected Joys and Challenges

Today, I’m so excited to be guest posting for Rebecca over at dailynature blog! I’ve gotten to be friends with her thanks to the blogging world and I love her heart for God and her family. And speaking of family, her and her husband will be expanding theirs this summer as they get ready to welcome another baby! She asked me and other bloggers to write on some different topics about having two kids. I chose to look at the unexpected joys and challenges of having two tornadoes special blessings. It’s a whole different world, but different is good.

Unexpected joys of having two kids

1. I know they have a friend for life.

I never had a sister and am so glad my girls get to experience sisterhood together. They will have ups and downs, and I can only imagine the teenage years, but maybe it won’t be so bad. I like knowing they’ll have each other to look out for one another when we aren’t around them. I pray they’ll develop a wonderful friendship through the years. Even if they don’t always get along, they’ll still have each other’s backs.

2. Seeing how different they are.

The moment my second child was born, I thought she looked so different than her sister. It amazes me how God can do that. Besides having different physical features, their personalities are different. My oldest is fiery, bull-headed and sassy. My youngest has always been more laid-back and easy going. I think she’ll be the comedian. Two little souls that are similar and yet so different. We can’t wait to see what gifts and talents God has given them.

3. I love seeing the older one show sympathy for when the other one is hurting.

If little sister gets hurt, or has to get a shot at the doctor, big sister is right there with a worried look. “I don’t want her to cry. I don’t want her to be sad.” Even though she can be so awful to her sometimes (see the “challenges” section … ahem) she really does love her sister. I love that she wants to protect her.

4. We have more laughter.

I think two kids does mean double the fun. Our 3 year old is figuring out her sense of humor and is hilarious. Little sister is trying to do everything big sister does and it’s so funny to watch her imitate or try to sound things out. One of my favorite things about having two kids is hearing them make each other laugh. One will do something in the bathtub and the other one will crack up until it’s just wild. Beautifully wild.

5. I’m more experienced and have a better idea of how to handle different situations.

I had a rough time getting started nursing with my first, but with the second I knew what I was doing and that was a huge relief. Been there done that. I also knew what to look for with fevers, sleeping and poop. I am always talking about poop … It didn’t always come right back to me how to do certain things though, like making homemade baby food. Since I’d already done everything once, I was much more comfortable in my mom role.

6. Your heart can hold a whole lot of love.

In my head, I knew I would love our second child just as much as our first. But I didn’t fully believe it until I had to go in for an extra sonogram a few days before I was induced … again. (My planned induction the week before didn’t work and they sent me home — most emotional week ever.) During the sonogram, the technician unexpectedly switched over to 3D to look at her, and there was that cheeky, smushy face.

I started bawling.

The technician probably thought I’d lost my mind, but she was so beautiful and perfect in every way. My baby. My sweet baby. I loved her something fierce. I knew then I could love with the intensity I had for my first baby without it wavering a molecule. God has given us an incredible capacity to love.

Unexpected challenges of having two kids

1. Running errands is a lesson in patience.

You’ll find that you say, “Forget it” about running extra errands. Three stops with two kids is usually my max, especially in the winter with having to put back on hats, coats and gloves. It’s just too much. Sometimes they’ll both be calm and collected, and then with the flip of a switch, it’s a nuclear meltdown. Just keep trucking, momma. Smile and wave, smile and wave.

2. Animosity towards the sibling.

My oldest has really struggled with jealousy about her sister for the last year. I won’t go into details since I value her privacy, and because I try to be careful about what I write about my kids. It’s something we’re praying over (lots) and we know as she gets older, she’ll hopefully grow out of it. It’s been a real struggle for us and one we didn’t anticipate. Let’s just say I’ve checked out James Dobson’s book, The Strong Willed Child, several times.

3. Realizing I have a temper.

I had to laugh at our women’s book/Bible study the other day as one of the women said before they had kids, they thought they were really laid back, didn’t get upset easily and were easy-going. And then they had kids and realized, “I have a temper!” I nodded in agreement with several others. We are broken, sinful people and our natural tendency is to go towards sin. So when those moments take hold, call on God to purify your heart. He helps me more than I know.

4. Taking pictures is twice as hard.

I couldn’t wait to take sibling photos with the girls. I plan to have a little photography business on the side in the next year or so, so having kids to practice on is great … except it is so hard to keep two kids still! I thought keeping the attention of one was difficult, but two is like herding cats. If one is looking, the other isn’t. Then the older one is trying to help the other one look … I have yet to figure out the picture taking process.

5. Somebody always wants something.

I have never once been bored as a stay-at-home mom. With one though, I could take a few minutes in the afternoon to relax and regroup before tackling the house, work or whatever else. With two though, there is always something happening or needing done. You sat down to go to the bathroom? Well, now your toddler is standing there in a panic because they need to go — NOW. Table is set and you’re finally plopping down in your seat for dinner? “But where’s MY drink?!”

There are more appointments, more worries, more sippy cups, more snacks, more diapers, more books to be read and on and on. But the good part is, there are two babies to love on, too. That is extra “work” I love.

6. The house is always a mess.

(See above.) I can’t. I just can’t. I love a clean house, order and organization. I’m the germaphobe mom. There I said it. I’m having to deal with not being able to get it all done. And that’s okay. I feel accomplished if I do a load of dishes AND laundry during the day. But my two little blondies are experts at destroying a house. If one puts something away, the other drags it out and down the hallway.

There are crumbs everywhere. There are puzzle pieces everywhere. There is plastic food in my shoes. A clean house is great, but don’t let it steal your joy. I’m still a work in progress on that one.

What joys and challenges have you experienced in going from one child to two?

Bio: “Aliya is a wife, stay-at-home mom. She writes about parenting, homemaking, product reviews and saving money, all sprinkled with a bit of humor.”

She blogs at Moms Review and has quickly became one of my very favorite bloggers. If we lived close, I’m positive we’d be great friends! Her sense of humor, family values, and money saving tips make her blog one of my absolute favorites! Go check out her site, you won’t be disappointed!

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