7 Things I Hope to Master Before Having a Second Child

4-02-15-jill-before8am-118When you first get married, you are constantly asked the inevitable question – When are you going to have kids? My husband and I didn’t give the world much time to ask that. My first {and only baby thus far} is lovingly nicknamed a “honeymoon baby.” But the second she was born, the world asked the next inevitable question – When are you having another? The answer to this question varies depending on the day, but I know for certain there are a few things I’d like to master before bringing another baby into our family. This list isn’t just for me, but really for the greater good before I attempt to tackle having two children.

  1. The ability to shower, do my hair and make up, and get dressed two consecutive days in a row. I imagine some of you might think that’s gross. I also imagine that some of you either don’t have kids, have older kids and have blocked out the showerless days from your memory, or have kids and don’t have a bathroom next to the baby’s room and an extremely light sleeper. When I am clean, hair done and have make up on, I feel like I can take on the world! Unfortunately, the time it takes to accomplish that is hard to find, alas my hair remains in a messy, dirty, ponytail. Before I have another kid, I am determined to figure out how to shower on a more regular basis. And that’s the nitty-gritty truth only fellow mothers can appreciate.
  1. Belief in the phrase, “This too shall pass.” When you have a baby, it seems that everything is just a phase. It’s as if knowing that whatever phase your baby is going through won’t last forever is supposed to be some magic cure that will make you feel better. Ideally, it should. However, while it all seems fine and dandy that everything will get better with time, it sure is hard when you’re in the thick of it. And by hard, I mean sometimes near impossible. Sure, the positive words of encouragement may be a temporary mood enhancer, a band-aid if you will, but reality is still staring you in the face. And that reality has quite a set of lungs and the stubbornness of a mule. I have yet to encounter a phase that didn’t pass with time, but for some reason I still need to be reminded “this too shall pass,” on a regular basis. If I am going to be a parent of two {or more} that means twice the phases, twice the rough spots, and twice the amount of faith needed to believe that it, whatever “it” may be, will pass.
  1. To prepare home cooked meals on a semi-regular basis. I enjoy cooking, and I must admit I’m pretty good at it. You would never know this from the takeout boxes in my trash and the frozen meals that crowd my freezer. I know I can do it, I’ve hosted Passover Seder with an infant and cooked for my entire family, but on a day-to-day basis, the task seems insurmountable. I have fond memories sitting around the dinner table as a family and sharing our day, and I want that for my kids. However, until I finally convince myself to cook dinner more than once in a blue moon, that won’t happen. The second child will have to wait until I learn how to do this.
  1. Accept help. When I announced my pregnancy, my husband and I received a plethora of offers to help out whenever we needed it. I was thrilled and graciously told everyone that we would take them up on their offers and were in no position to turn down help. I had grand plans of dropping the baby off at a friend’s house to run to the grocery store, or having someone come to watch her while I ran a quick errand. For some reason, I just can’t bring myself to do that. My eyebrows have been in dire need of waxing {picture Brooke Shields circa 1993}, and I won’t call on any of those offers for even a thirty-minute block of time. If I am going to have another kid, I will have no choice but to accept help, so I might as well start now!
  1. Read to my baby more. As an educator, this is hard for me to admit. I am embarrassed to say that days go by where I don’t read to my daughter. I understand the importance of early literacy, but more often than not, the day goes by in a blur – and I don’t make reading a priority. Sure, my daughter loves to chew on books, but I can’t pretend any longer that it’s the same as me reading to her. Because this is so important to me, I don’t want to bring another baby into this world until I make reading to my daughter a daily occurrence in my home.
  1. Learn to devote more time to my husband and marriage. Because I got pregnant so early in my marriage, my husband and I had very little time to enjoy being newlyweds. I don’t regret, for a minute, getting pregnant so soon, but I know that my marriage has taken a backseat to the baby. By the time my husband gets home from work, I am worn out from the day and he is anxious to see the baby. We leave little time to spend with each other. I know this time will only dwindle with the birth of a second baby, so I need to learn how to juggle marriage and baby a little better before that.
  1. Gain confidence in myself. The thought of having to share my time and love between two kids is terrifying. I am worried that I won’t be able to handle it. My first child was a challenge, to say the least. She cried for three months straight, and I am concerned if I have another high-needs baby, I won’t be able to do it. Needless to say, I’ve gotta get that confidence up so that I feel good about having more than one baby in the house. I’m not looking for more pats on the back, but rather a better feeling that I’ve got everything under control enough to shake things up again!

For those of you that have more than one child, how do you do it? Thoughts, advice, and words of wisdom are all greatly appreciated!

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Jill is a former elementary school teacher, University of Arizona graduate {Bear Down!}, and mom to Talya {September 2012}, but not necessarily in that order. She has always had a passion for writing and really took it to the next level after her daughter was born. It didn't take long for her to realize it was just the outlet she needed. As a first-time-mom, she is constantly searching for balance in her life, whether it's work and family, marriage and kids, or a sense of normalcy and complete craziness. She has, for the most part, managed to maintain her sanity {depending on who you ask}. Jill's writing aims to portray an honest viewpoint on parenting. Sometimes it's what nobody else is willing to say that inspires Jill to speak up on certain topics! She is a regular contributor to sites such as The Huffington Post, LeanIn.org, and localhoustonmagazine.com. She and her husband Sam reside in the Bellaire area with their daughter, Talya.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I just recently had my second child and I had the same concerns as you! But, I can’t say that when it happens everything just clicks into place because it doesn’t. It has taken 3 months for me to feel like I’ve got this thing alright.

    It’s an adjustment for sure, sleepless nights while still having that rambunctious toddler make the days drag on forever and the nights offer very little relief.

    But as you go on you make little changes here and there, you come up with your own “life hacks” if you will. It does get better but I’m not going to lie and say it’s oh so easy and immediately perfect.

    Your firstborn will have to adjust as well, and its very hard for them for the first bit when you come back from the hospital with your secondborn. Best advice is if you ever in your life accept help, if only once, use it then. Your firstborn will be confused as to why mommy cant play with them (healing) and why there is some screaming alien attached to you. Have trusted family and friends take your firstborn for fun activities so they still feel the love and dont feel forgotten!

    Besides that, remember the dishes will always pile up again, clothes will always need to be washed, and the night although long and full of midnite feedings and explosive daipers does turn to a new day! All the advice in the world means nothing until it happens to you and you adjust your life to make it work for you and your family.

  2. If you decide to go for another one, just know that the second one will be different from the first, almost certainly. I was lucky, I had my more challenging baby first and an angel baby second – maybe that will happen for you too. I won’t lie though, it’s very tough at first because some kid needs you every minute of every day. But you’ll figure it out AND survive it. We thought about stopping after 1 but I can’t imagine life without both of them now.

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