When I became a mother it was one of the most breath-taking moments of my entire life. The immense love that I felt from the moment I looked at my baby’s sweet little face. I never imagined how magnificent the feeling would be, and how it would change my entire world.
Shortly after our daughter’s first birthday, friends and family would ask us if we had planned on any more children – at that point we hadn’t! Here we were barely 20 with our little family and as rewarding as it was, it was difficult. I remember friends telling me that having one more child is not that much different that having one – they will play together, learn together, entertain one another, nap together and they will grow together. It will be fun they said.
We welcomed our son into the world, when Kira was just 2.5 years old. She was a dotting big sister and loved her brother very much. A toddler and a newborn, both small little humans who needed me more than ever.
It wasn’t fun. Some days were more challenging than others and I remember crying while rocking a toddler to sleep in my arms with the baby in the car seat on the floor as my foot rocked it back and forth gently. Some days were great, the baby slept and I got to spend the day with Kira making puzzles and reading stories. Some days, the baby cried all night and the toddler cried all day long because she wanted to play outside and I couldn’t bring the baby outside in the cold weather – he was born in January.
Here are some of the top things I wish I had known when we added a child to our family.
- Nap Time: While putting once child to nap might have been a breeze, getting them both down at the same time is next to impossible. Who ever told you to nap when they kids napped surely didn’t have two children under the age of 3.
- Meal Times: When you are feeding the baby, the toddler will become extremely hungry and will scream like she hasn’t eaten in weeks. Then when you make her something to eat – it wont be what she wanted and she will toss it on the floor.
- Play Time: Your toddler will want to run around, laughing and pressing all the toys with really loud noises only once the baby is sleeping. You will encourage stories and puzzles and quiet time, but that won’t happen. Take all the batteries out.
- Showers: You thought it was bad when you didn’t have the time to shower daily, add in an extra child and don’t be alarmed if you haven’t showered or brushed your hair in 3 days, or longer – I lost track of days.
- Laundry: This will become a dreaded chore. Something you might have done once a week, maybe twice will now become an everyday thing. Don’t stress when they spill on their clothing, a little dirt won’t hurt.
- Having Guests Over: Not going to happen, you will plan to visit people at their house because tornado children are impossible to keep up with and you haven’t washed the dishes or swept the floor yet.
As they both grew it did get easier and it started to be fun. We were no longer tied down to nap schedules, feeding schedules or weather restrictions. We went to play groups, the library, played outside in the snow, the sun had us outdoors a lot too. They became each other’s first best friend – someone to always stand beside them.
Now as we enter the tween and teen years – it’s not always fun and it has its own challenges, but I do love my bratty children more than anything and wouldn’t change our family dynamic for the world.