To say I was nervous about going from being a mum of one to becoming a mum of two is a major understatement. Add in a good dose of anxiety and I can guarantee you if there was a concern to be had about doubling my number of children, I assure you I had it.
I’m not alone.
Most women I’ve spoken to have had the same concerns, same anxieties, and also, the same excitement (because it is also an incredibly exciting time).
Despite how much I heard from other people (in posts just like this) and spoke to other mums (including my own), there were still some things that surprised me about becoming a mum of two.
1 – It’s Way More Than ‘Double’ The Work
You know how some people say that having two kids is double the work? Clearly these people either don’t have two kids or have clearly forgotten what the transition is like.
It didn’t feel like the work doubled, it felt like it quadrupled.
With one child, I would have some ‘sanity’ moments when he slept (if he chose to sleep that day), I could quickly get a load of washing on or vacuum the floor while rocking him in the carrier… for some reason, I thought it would be the same with two kids.
In my mind, their sleep cycles would magically sync up, like women’s menstrual cycles when they live together for a while…
Yeah, so, that didn’t happen.
I don’t quite understand how such a tiny human can produce such a massive amount of work but they do, and somehow a toddler increases their needs at the same time. Crazy.
2 – It Get’s Easier After A Few Months
So, while that might sound all doom and gloom and make you feel like it’s just too much… it honestly does get easier after a few months.
You find your groove, you figure out systems that work for you, and before you know it you’re cruising around with a baby in a wrap, feeding on the go, entertaining and toddler and whipping up a coffee for yourself.
There’s no doubting the newborn days are hard, but you’re also adjusting to a whole new way. You may have found that the first time around you were able to give all of your time and energy to your newborn and focus on that fourth trimester. The second time around is likely to look a little (or maybe a lot) different.
But just like the first time, the second time around will get easier. Some will find it gets easier quicker, others might take a little longer to find your groover, but it will get easier.
3 – Sometimes It Feels Like You’re Juggling Bowling Balls While Blindfolded
I’m not going to lie, there’s going to be days when it feels like everything is falling apart. It will happen. And it’s okay.
I distinctly remember sitting on the floor one night, my 4 year old was crying, my baby was crying and I was crying, and my 4 year old was looking at me in such a weird way because he didn’t know what to do and I’m pretty sure he had forgotten what he was crying about. It was intense.
It seriously felt like I was juggling bowling balls while blindfolded…
BUT… then there were also days when I was deadset so darn proud of myself.
Being able to grocery shop with two kids and zero meltdowns? WIN Fitting in a workout or a walk in a day? WIN Getting dinner on the table before bedtime? WIN Getting back to work and juggling it all? WIN!!!
All the things that I never thought I’d be so proud of myself for suddenly became big deals and I made sure to celebrate and pat myself on the back for them too!
4 – Seeing Them Play Together Makes My Heart Explode
Any Mama out there with two or more kids will attest to this… when you see your kids playing together, or cuddling, or generally being darn cute with each other, your heart will feel like it is literally about to explode. For real.
Even now my two kiddos are a wee bit older, when I see them solving problems together, or when my daughter wants cuddles from her brother when she hurts herself, or when my son encourages my daughter to achieve something and is so proud of her when she does… it is just incredible.
There is nothing like it. It can literally stop me in my tracks. I can be having the hardest and most stressful day and seeing them do something sweet together just erases every negative thing and makes me so darn happy.
5 – Everything You Read Will Be Different For You
Okay… so I know I just wrote a whole blog post sharing my experience of going from being a mum to one to being a mum to two but here’s the thing:
I read SO much about adding another child to our little family. I was scared my love wouldn’t stretch, I was scared my son would think we had ‘replaced’ him and honestly, I had many times where I thought I just wouldn’t be able to do it.
BUT… everything I read, everything I researched and everything I talked to people about was all different in some way for me.
And I realised that’s pretty much it… everyone’s experience is going to be different. Sometimes it will be a little different, sometimes it will be polar opposites.
However, reading about the changes and reading about other women’s experiences did help. It made me feel less alone, it made me realise that there’s no one stock standard response or reaction to becoming a mum of two, and that whatever I experienced was going to be okay.
The one thing that was consistent though was that love grows, it doesn’t divide. It was a common concern for women having more children, and every mum said the same thing – love grows. Which is super reassuring to know.
While the idea of going from being a mum of one to becoming a mum of two is daunting, it’s one of those experiences that you just get to navigate and get through, acknowledging the tough times and relishing in the good.
Take the time to pay attention to who you are as a mum, cut yourself some slack when you need it, and celebrate the wins (regardless of how big or small they are). You’ve got this mama.