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I'm Having a Baby: Fears Going from 1 Kid to 2

Today, I want to introduce you to Melissa. A mom and remote-employee of Care.com, Melissa lives in New Hampshire and works as a teacher and coach as well as a content marketer for Care.com. Now, she has big news: She is pregnant with her second baby. And of course, that brings up a lot of questions. I’m sure many of you will relate!

As soon as I saw that second line on the pregnancy test, I almost passed out.

I called my husband into the bathroom to check. "Look at the instructions again," I insisted. "Is that right? Does this mean what I think it means?"

My husband couldn’t be bothered with that – he was too happy. He just wanted a high five (we’re both athletes, we high-five a lot!). But my head was spinning. I couldn’t believe I was pregnant again. It took us a long time for us to conceive our first, who is now just over 21 months, and I thought for sure it would take us at least that long to get another, which meant more time to get used to the idea of not just another pregnancy, but another entire life under our already-squeezed-for-space roof.

There was so much to think about.

Was I ready for the morning sickness? Ready to give up my weekends playing ice hockey and skiing? Ready to say goodbye to my cute skinny jeans I had just gotten back into? Ready to afford childcare for two? (That one I already knew the answer to: Nope.) Where on earth were we going to put the new kid? And didn’t we all enjoy sleeping through the night???

But here’s my deepest, darkest fear: What if this one is harder than my first?

For someone who doesn’t deal well with change, I am really thrown by the ideas of pregnancy and family expansion. As the weeks slide by, I’ve had a lot of time to analyze and overthink all the ways in which my life is going to change. Some days I panic, and some days I’m way too excited to care. My child is going to have a sibling close to his age – something I never had, something some say is the greatest gift you can give your child. There’ll be twice the fun, twice the giggling and snuggles, and twice the daycare bill (yikes), twice the diapers, and twice the mess. But! I get to go shopping for a nifty double stroller, spend hours on Pinterestfiguring out the best way to transform a closet into a nursery, and I get to wear elastic waistband pants to work and no one can say boo about it.

I am really hoping that what many people are telling me is true: going from 0 to 1 kid is way harder than going from 1 to 2. Many people attribute this to the fact that in going from 0 to 1, everything is earth-shattering to the world you previously knew before your child arrived. So I’m trying to think of having a second child this way: having #1 might be compared to a complete demolition of an old house, where everything you knew or was familiar was just gone, but having #2 might be like a remodel of your kitchen, or building a nice deck off your living room. Maybe everything about your world will just be a little different, a little better.

So tell me, what tips do you have for going from 1 to 2 kids? How do you make it work?

Jan. 16, 2013

Going from 1 to 2 was much harder for me in an entirely different way than going from 0 to 1 was. Of course, mine are only 14 months apart, so that certainly didn't help. It took us a long time to have our first so we thought the same would happen with a second and thus weren't as careful as we should have been. The first time around you feel clueless about everything, but everyone expects you to be, so there is much more support. The second time, everyone thinks you should already know what you are doing, but no one talks about the hardest part of having 2, finding time for each child AND yourself. There is a lot of what I have come to know as "mom guilt". The terrible feeling that my son doesn't get the attention her deserves as a toddler and that my newborn daughter spends too much time in her swing. But I am hopeful that as they grow up they will be as good of friends as everyone tells me they will be because they are so close. And with enough help from friends and care.com, perhaps I will be able to alleviate a little of the guilt and find some time to take a shower :-)

Jan. 9, 2013

Going from 0 to 1 is the hardest because you have no clue what you're getting into. 1 to 2 is a breeze, and 2 to 3 is simple. I knew our family wouldn't feel complete until we had 4 and that's where I lost control of my routine, clean house, and sleep. I would definitely still have 4 but for some reason I was still always able to get things done up until I had the 4th. Mine are all close in age (7yrs., 6yrs., 4 yrs., and 2 yrs.) It seems to be getting easier now that they are getting older and playing with each other and staying busy. Good luck and have fun!

Jan. 9, 2013

Honestly, hearing other people's stories is not all that helpful. Every child is different, just as every pregnancy is different. For me, my first was tough, but entirely manageable. My house would still get clean, I could still shower, and my husband and I could still make time for ourselves. Our second was a surprise, and he is completely different from our eldest. The pregnancy was harder and daily life became harder, because my baby is more difficult than his older brother was. At the end of the day when I collapse from exhaustion of caring for two boys after a long day of work, I am still happy I had another. I am hyper aware of how much attention I pay to my oldest, and so far he seems thrilled to be a big brother and always wants to help out. I also like to draw his attention to how the baby looks at him and smiles when he sees him, so he really begins to feel a connection to his little brother. I also encourage him to talk or sing to his little brother, letting him know how much the baby loves it. I think the fact that my eldest is 3 and in a diffult stage (like a teenager without all the hormones) makes the whole thing a bit more challenging as well. One thing is for sure, having two kids does not mean twice the work... it is more like 4 times. Again, this is all my opinion/experience.

Jan. 9, 2013

I've loved all your stories and advice. I can't quite relate YET...I have a 5 year old and a 46 year old quadiplegic husband who I take care of full time. My little guy was 5 months old when the car accident happened. Having a second child would make my world complete..it's just a bit more complicated than the first time around. :)

Jan. 8, 2013

I won't lie, it's hard. Both of my daughters were carefully planned but if I had to do it over, I would put 3 years between the two of them, instead of just 24 months. And I'm in the minority on this one --- I think taking care of one, esp as a first time mom, is much easier than when there's two of them. Hands down.

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