The second child is almost here and I’m one worried mama

Fears over having another child? You’re not alone.

I’m Coleen and I’ve known Erin just about as long as I can remember (We were 10 when we met…timidly in fifth grade as we rehearsed our hilarious fifth grade musical production of Pandora’s Box.)  I have an 18-month old little girl who is freaking awesome.  She is not always easy or perfect, but she is absolutely my greatest accomplishment to date.  (And, even though I’m quite sure her awesomeness has little to do with me, I will happily take credit, for now).

I work full-time in marketing, which makes for a fun balancing act.  Fortunately, I love my career and have an amazing husband who is also super-dad (he doesn’t think so and thinks I edited this statement out) and since we’ve been getting by pretty well, we decided to tempt fate and embark on baby #2. This one’s a boy (Junior, for now) – due March 22, and they’ll be just 21 months apart.  So, when Erin asked me to do a blog highlighting any thoughts I had as a second-time mom, I started to worry.

While many of the worries I experienced with my first pregnancy don’t apply this time around, there are still plenty to keep me up at night (along with this kicking maniac in my stomach and Peanut, who loves to wake up at 4 am)

What about my Peanut? I am sort of obsessed with my little girl and she is getting more FUN every day.  I don’t want my exhaustion and the general neediness of a newborn to impact my relationship with her.  I also don’t want her to feel any less special now that my attention will be divided.  This is my biggest worry, so I am all ears to suggestions.

What about Junior? Will I be able to give Junior as much attention as I gave Peanut? I already know the answer to this is NO and maybe that’s OK, but I can’t help worrying that he won’t feel as special as Peanut did because I will obviously be a bit more distracted.  I’m going to try to make sure we have quality time by keeping Peanut with our nanny for half days while I’m on maternity leave, but this one is a big worry, too.

The balancing act.  My relationships, my career, my house…all of these things are important to me.  It’s so hard having kids and focusing on anything else – especially when you work full-time.  I have no idea how I will find time to foster my friendships, focus on my career and maintain my sanity.  My husband and I have started having lunch dates which is AWESOME and I highly recommend it, but I have not yet found a solution for keeping in better touch with my friends and extended family.  As for my career, I am 100% focused when I am there and have got to learn to turn it OFF when I get home. This will only get harder when Junior makes his arrival.

What the WORLD will I do with a BOY? While I’m not an insanely girly-girl, I love clothes, makeup, chick flicks, crafts and baking and I grew up with FIVE sisters.  I have never played a sport in my life and am totally eeked out by bodily functions, bugs and superheroes, and generally don’t know much about how boys (or men for that matter….) think or operate.  This terrifies me.

Those are the big worries, then I have a few (little?) ones that keep nagging at me.

Labor  I will spare you the details, but last time around was far more heinous than I ever expected. In fact, I wasn’t even really worried about labor with Peanut.  After my experience, I am now TERRIFIED to the point that I emailed our anesthesiologist before I even told anyone I was pregnant to beg for a plan to avoid a rehashing of labor with Peanut. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one…

Will I ever get my body back? I know this is so unimportant in the big picture, and let me start by saying, I’ve never worn a bikini and I don’t wear heels, so it’s not like I’m crazy vain or anything.  I would just like to know that things may eventually shift back to where they were and oh, there’s the pelvic floor issue to consider.  I CANNOT have three of us in diapers and that’s all I will say about THAT.

I’m sure this list will evolve. I keep telling myself people have been doing this for generations and if my mom could do it SEVEN times, I think I can handle TWO.  I’ll just have to let some things go and enjoy all the wonderful, hilarious moments that come along.

I can’t wait to check out some cool baby products and let you know how they work for us as we manage this roller coaster ride.
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Erin had fears too when she was pregnant with her second. Check out 7 reasons I’m scared about baby #2.

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Comments

  1. Nathalie says

    A mom whose blog I follow recently published her essays on transitioning from 1 to 2 children. Maybe you’d find some insight, reassurance (room to breath easy?) in it — though she has 2 boys! (She has a 7-yr-old like me and her blog really speaks to me.) Look for: Then There Were Two: Essays on Motherhood by Shelli Pabis (for Kindle) on Amazon. (Of course, since you are already thinking about all these questions, sounds like you’re already ready to be a great mom to 2!)

  2. says

    My jump from one to two was hard…. but complicated because my second daughter was born with cerebral palsy.
    It can be a lot…. overwhelming… as moms, we want to do it all. So, my advice… research, plan, seek advice, make freezer meals, etc. When the time comes, you’ll know what you need to do. Let other’s help you. They will want to…. let them. If they offer meals, eat them. These were the best types of gifts we were given.
    Also, soak it all in. Take one day at a time. Nap when you need to … if you can. Do what’s best for you and your kids. Life is always changing… and what an exciting change.
    Blessings to you. Welcome to “A Parenting Production”. :)

    • Coleen says

      Aww, thanks Megan! I hope your second daughter is doing well and you continue to manage the joy and chaos that two bring….if you can do it, so can I!

  3. Katie says

    Hi Coleen! Congrats on your first blog-post and on the soon-to-arrive baby boy! As you know I have Margaret Jane who is 3 1/2 and new baby boy, Ewing, who is now 6 months old. I had to comment here, as I had MANY of the exact same worries as you are having before Ewing arrived. I actually left my part-time job before he was born, as I was working from home, no child-care and knew I couldn’t do that with a newborn, but lo and behold, as soon as I ‘temporarily retired’ all my friends and clients started calling, and here I am back in real estate! Somehow I’m making it work, and I love it, as I feel I have a little bit of an outlet and break from ‘mommy-world.’ As far as having a boy….ask Erin, I was terrified! Only a sister and female cousins, never even attempted a sport in my life (except for a few ill-fated tennis lessons) , etc. So far, though, I have to say, holy moly what a precious sweetie he is, and as all moms-of-boys say, they Looooooveeee their mamas. Ewing is a much more affectionate and cuddly baby than Margaret Jane was. And as far as not having enough attention to go around….you won’t quite, and yes that’s OK. Ewing is so, so much more laid-back and not remotely as demanding. He’s learned he sometimes has to wait to be picked up or changed, and that is OK too! Meantime, MJ had a bit of difficulty adjusting to not being the ‘queen bee’ anymore, but is now the sweetest, most loving big sister to her ‘little Bud,’ as she calls him. I know your little girl will adore her baby brother too! Lastly, about labor, my first delivery was something out of a horror movie, and I was PETRIFIED for number 2. In fact, we’d decided we weren’t having anymore for that very reason, until a little ‘accident’ blessed us with Ewing. I was so very, very pleasantly surprised, though, when it was a BREEZE…I mean it, seriously. He was born, and I literally looked at the doc and said “Are you sure that was it?!?” You are going to do GREAT!! Enjoy every minute, because it is SO true what everyone tells you….time flies infinitely faster with #2 (how the heck is he 6 months old already?!?!?!). I’m so excited for you, you have so very, very much to look forward to!! XO, Katie Russell

    • Coleen says

      Hi Katie! Thanks for the words of encouragement :) can’t wait to snuggle my baby boy and I can only hope for a good second labor and two babies who adore each other too!!

  4. says

    Congratulations!

    I also have two kids, a girl and boy, who are 22 months apart. I had a lot of the same concerns you do, especially about making sure my daughter didn’t feel she was being pushed aside for a new baby. I made a big deal about her being such a big sister and my helper. I would include her in everything that involved Jack, down to breastfeeding. I originally intended for her to cuddle with me while he nursed but she decided to “help” me breastfeed by holding the top of my breast. Whatever made everyone happy. :)

    It’s insanely hectic and peaceful all at the same time with two. Watching them learn about each other and become friends is amazing.

    And a boy is so much fun. You will love both of them equally but your relationships will be unique with each of them.

  5. says

    Honey, this is where we be brutally honest, ok? #2 is wicked hard. I’m the oldest of 8 and I guess once there are more than 3 or 4 you don’t really notice a huge change, so I didn’t remember mom going from 1 to 2 or what happened to me when my first brother came into the world, but I read something later that made a lot of sense…

    Going from 1 to 2 is the biggest change percentage wise. Child #1 suddenly loses 50% of the attention. Note they don’t lose love and adoration… mommies and daddies have plenty of that. But, they do lose the attention to #2. And it’s at least 50% at first, maybe more. After #2, when #3 comes along, each child gives up about 1/3 or 33.33333% (you get the idea) and it’s noticed less with each addition. It’s #2 who wrecks #1’s world. lol

    This isn’t all bad! My oldest has learned to share, to care for his brother, to love unconditionally and to not see the world as revolving around him. Was it easy on either of us? No. But, we made it through and I can honestly say, I love having two and I can’t imagine it any other way and I’m pretty sure big brother would say the same.

    As far as worrying that you won’t have as much time for fun and memory making, don’t. I’ve found I’ve actually enjoyed the baby/toddler age MORE with #2 than I did with #1. I was scared, quite alone (my hubs works 90hr weeks those first few years) and I hadn’t learned to relax and have fun. With #2 it feels like most days are just FUN. For all of us. Even my husband has noticed. :)

  6. says

    Hey Colleen- Love this post— I was in a similar boat nearly 4 years ago. One thing that helped me was keeping it in perspective– I kept thinking “if millions of people can manage 2+ kids, surely I can do it!” The first few months are a blur, but giving your daughter little tasks will help her feel helpful and appreciated by you. I used to ask my oldest to bring me a diaper or a pacie… little things like that.

    And BOYS ARE AWESOME. They have so much flippin energy but they are so fun. I grew up with 2 sisters so boys were new to me but you’ll find they will melt your heart.

    Welcome to the bloggy, blog world too!

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