posted in Mom Stories
By Deidra Romero
We may have never gone through with having a second if our son, at 2 years old, hadn’t proved to be the most selfish child on the planet. My husband and I knew the best thing we could do for him was to upend his world with a younger sibling. My firstborn is one of those children that is hilarious and spirited and incredibly sweet but rarely sleeps through the night. So I was prepared to never sleep again upon having another child.
I was prepared for the worst. I expected I would feel overwhelmed nearly every minute of the day until my second child turned 4. But the good news is that has not been the case. There are so many reasons why having a second child is so not as hard or bad as you think.
Fear not. You can do this and here is why.
1. The sleep deprivation is not as devastating. The first time around, I remember watching the nighttime hours tick away thinking “Oh no! It’s going to be morning soon and I haven’t even slept!” This time I don’t watch the clock. I just know that sleep will come eventually. All children learn to sleep and that perspective makes it more bearable. And now I know that even if I don’t sleep, it will not kill me and I will get through it just fine — with some coffee, of course.
2. The newborn stuff is so not as hard. I had never cared for a newborn before so that aspect of motherhood was challenging to me the first time around. But by baby number two I felt like an old pro at the burping and feeding and rocking. Newborns are easy because they only have a handful of needs. Unlike older kids, they are more physically demanding instead of emotionally draining.
3. You have learned your limits. I could never seem to ask for help when I had my first child. But now I know my breaking point. I know I cannot rush up to it and expect to not fall over it. Now I understand that motherhood is a marathon and not a sprint and I have to be focused on the big picture. I also know how to better care for my needs so I can be the best mom possible.
4. The sacrifice of motherhood has refined you. Now I’m used to long days and early mornings. I’m used to 9 p.m. rolling around and finally having a moment to think about myself. And instead of becoming resentful or feeling sorry for myself, on most occasions now I just sigh and shrug my shoulders. There’s a level of acceptance that comes when you have a second child. The sacrifice is not as painful. And by the second child you understand that the sacrifice is not permanent. This season is so brief and so joyful. I think you are more capable of grasping that after your first child.
5. You have seen other mothers go before you. I didn’t have too many mom friends until I became a mom. And by now I have seen so many moms parent in so many different ways. I’ve seen my friends deal with a plethora of issues and trials with their kids and I’ve watched them come through it all. I’ve taken notes on what worked for them and adapted their most successful habits. I’ve become a student and accepted the fact that I really know very little about parenting. This journey is so much easier if you learn to be flexible and enjoy the moments as they come.
This post was originally published in May, 2016.