This time last year, I was writing a post about my fears regarding having a second child. I worried if Cora would be ok, if I would be able to juggle everything, and how it would all turn out. Granted, Issa is only 10 months old now, but it’s already pretty obvious that most of my concerns were unfounded, and there was a whole world of possibility I hadn’t even considered. Looking back, I can see that being a mom of more than one child isn’t just feasible for me, it’s actually preferable. It may not be this way for every parent, but you might be able to relate:
1. I am less of a pushover.
The minute Issa was born, Cora’s world changed. Gone were the days of talking through every single tantrum and negotiating our way through every bite of breakfast. I just don’t have as much time for that stuff anymore. Yes, I communicate with her, but my patience is just a little bit thinner. It’s not even that I’m snapping at her every chance I get, it’s more so that I simply can’t make it through the day if I submit to her every request. Therefore, the rules are enforced a bit more and the line doesn’t get crossed quite as much. I’m nowhere near a drill sergeant, but I’m getting there.
2. I mellowed out.
My dad recently reminded me of an incident when Cora was around one or two years old and we were driving across a parking lot for some reason. I was insistent that she HAD to be in the car seat, even if we were just driving 500 feet with no other cars in sight. Now I still tend to get persnickety about car seats, but I’m shifting away from maniacal and closer towards normalcy when it comes to most parenting issues. I think having more than one kid sort of forces that upon you. It’s like those Luvs diaper commercials. First kid? Everything has to be perfect. Second kid? We’ll settle for surviving the day. But along the way you start to realize that the impossible standards you had with number one were slowly making you crazy, not mom of the year.
3. I cherish the alone time we do have.
When Issa is taking a nap and Cora gets some one on one time with mama, I try to really give her my full attention. Whereas before our chunks of play time would seem endless and I would wonder how we were going to fill it all up. Now it’s a sliver of time that is not to be wasted. And that means I appreciate it far more than when she was an only child. The same goes for Issa, too, of course. When it’s just she and I snuggling up for a nap or mastering new milestones, I relish it just a smidge more.
4. I expect more of my oldest.
I distinctly remember when Issa was just a newborn and we were trying to get out of the house for an appointment or something. Normally I would have done just about everything for Cora, carried her out to the car, and had a snack ready to go for the ride. With a second little one in tow now, I had to ask her to put on her own shoes, climb into the car by herself, and grab a banana on the way out. She had to become more independent out of necessity, but it was amazing to me how much she was capable of that I hadn’t even given her the chance to try.
5. I don’t feel as bad about “me time”.
When I left Cora with others as a baby, I would feel an enormous amount of guilt and rush back as soon as possible. It turns out, not only did she hardly realize I was gone, it was actually good for her. So adding Issa to the mix means that now I walk out the door and only occasionally look back. They will survive without me. Heck, they’ll thrive with a little interaction from others. It’s not my job to chain myself to my children, and I’m able to see that with the clarity that more than one child offers.
I’m sure there’s plenty of moms who get all this on the first go around. We all know that mom who pops out her first child and is instantly ok with them eating dirt and getting scrapes on the playground. For me, though, it took a little longer to feel calm and collected in the role of motherhood. I have two beautiful babies to thank for that, not just one. Now imagine the kind of mom I’ll be if I have six like my mother! 😉