Is a Second Baby Easier Than The First?
You are knee-deep in laundry and diapers, you haven't slept in months, your repetitive strain is acting up from lugging the car seat around and just when you have figured out how many times you can microwave the same cup of coffee before it turns to gut rot, your well-meaning neighbour asks when you are having your second.
It seems impossible at that moment to imagine a second child, or even a third.
I found myself almost falling into that trap as I chatted to my neighbour today. She had her newborn strapped to her chest and had the desperate look of the housebound.
"Does it get easier?" she asked me. "I just can't imagine having three. How did you do it?"
How could I tell her the truth? That it gets easier and harder. That most mothers look back on the baby days and realize that it wasn't as bad as they thought. That your first born remains your biggest challenge, the one who gets the most attention because everything they do is new.
It's hard to imagine while you are in the major life change caused by having a baby, that a second baby would be easier. When you are so sleep deprived that you are putting the car keys in the fridge, that the sleep deprivation wouldn't be as bad the second time around.
All the things that were so new and anxiety-producing aren't as bad the second time. From birth to breastfeeding, I found the second round was much easier.
In fact, I have a clear memory of nursing my second child crying. But they were tears of relief that he had given me a normal birth and a second successful experience with breastfeeding.
Even as I nursed my baby, son number one was still getting loads of attention and the guilt about splitting my time was more of a weight on me then how much poop the baby produced.
I told my neighbour that it does get easier, that it may be hard to imagine but there will be a time when you can imagine doing it again, and maybe even a third time. I left out all the gory details about the joys of sibling rivalries and tweens. Some things are just too much for a new mother to handle.
What about you? Did you find your second baby easier? Or is it impossible to imagine going through it again?
Want more chaos? Last year, I wrote about keeping kids safe in an unsafe world.