Everyone tells you that your life is going to change when you’re expecting for the first time. I heard the exact phrase, “a child changes everything,” on more than one occasion. I couldn’t grasp in exactly what ways my life was changing, but I knew it was coming. I knew sleep was going to be a thing of the past. I knew last-minute trips were over. And I knew that I was no longer going to be the center of my universe.
I was as ready as I could be for someone who’d never dreamed of having children. I felt no maternal instincts toward other people’s children and I didn’t enjoy babysitting when I was younger. But, the moment I met my son, Lukas, everything did change, and my world was rocked in the most amazing ways imaginable.
Over time, I realized that I was meant to be a mommy. I love this job more than I ever thought possible. I mess up (a lot), but the joy that my son has brought into my life is immeasurable.
So when my husband suggested that perhaps it was time to expand our family, I jumped on board with both feet. I had figured out how to work full time, maintain my marriage, take care of myself and parent one child in a somewhat smooth fashion. Surely I could do the same with two children. And if one child could brighten my life as much as Lukas had, I was thrilled about the joy that two children would bring.
Well, Julian, my sweet, silly 6-month-old son, definitely brought more joy into my life. He is hands-down one of the two best things I’ve ever done in my life, and in so many ways it feels like he has always been a part of our family. I’d even venture to say that having two children brings more than twice the love and happiness into my home. Not only did my heart expand to love these two babies of mine, but seeing my boys interact together is so beautiful and heartwarming.
But, the love and joy is only half the story.
And now is the time for my PSA to all the one-child parents out there: Going from one child to two children is not twice the work: it is way more than that. And it is hard. It’s completely worth it, without question, but harder than I expected. No one told me this and I was really unprepared for the difficulties posed by having two children.
As a working mom, I felt strapped for time when I only had one child. Now, the hours after work race by in a blur as I divide the little time I’m left with between two children. Finding an hour to spend quality time with my husband has been nearly impossible, unless it’s at three o’clock in the morning and we’re talking about how to get the baby back to sleep. There’s also the issue of trying to make my preschooler feel included and loved, when mommy has to feed the baby, change the baby, or bathe the baby at the very moment he wants mommy to read him a book.
No one said parenting was easy, and this is definitely true when you add more children to the mix. But even though it is difficult, it is manageable, and I know in time I will figure it out. I’ll find my best way of parenting, which may not look like anyone else’s way, but it will work for our family. I have learned that all children are different and to stop expecting Julian to do everything (sleep through the night perhaps?) at the same time his big brother did.
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