It’s been a while since I had a guest post on the blog. My much loved In Conversation With series was left by the wayside when life became complicated with two Littlies taking over my time. Recently, I connected with the wonderful, mum of two, Samara. She has compiled a brilliant website called Tiny Fry which sets out to help us parents with the never ending question of what to get the child who has everything. Samara was eager to share her top five realizations of how life changes with two and boy did I want to know! Funnily, enough I can relate to oh so, so much of what Samara says and I love her positivity which helps me to know I’m on the right track in dealing with postnatal anxiety! Thank you so much for sharing Samara ♡ please read on and let Samara know how having two, three or more changed your life.
5 Things That Changed Forever When We Had Our Second Child
Having a second child turned my world upside down. I’m exhausted most of the time, my house could use a good vacuuming, and I don’t have time to shower as much as I used to. The truth is, there’s very little that has stayed the same since my son arrived. Although my friends and family warned me about the challenges, nothing really prepared me for being a mom of two.
Surprisingly, no one really talked about the advantages of baby number two, so the benefits have totally taken me by surprise. Here are the top five ways my life has changed (for the better!) since we became a family of four.
When my daughter was born just over two years ago, I logged all of her feedings and kept an extensive sleeping chart. And while this record keeping made me feel like I was in control, it was also thoroughly taxing; I was more focused on my schedule than on my child.
This time around I’ve trashed the notes! I’ve stopped looking at the clock and look to my baby instead! Regardless of the time of day, I know a “tired” cry from a “hungry” cry. I know that if he sleeps an extra hour it isn’t the end of the world. I’ve learned that my little guy had his own internal schedule and my job is to gently guide it along rather than force it to agree with my established routine. Without the constant note taking, I allow myself to be in the moment – whenever that moment might be.
My Notion Of Sibling Relationships
My children aren’t going to have the same type of relationship I have with my siblings. What I have with my sister is special to us, and it’s not something that my children could replicate even if they wanted to. I’m amazed how my two little ones form their own attachments. I love how the baby responds to his big sister; his eyes try to follow her around the room and they grow wide when she comes close to him.
Already, there’s a special connection that belongs to just the two of them that I know will get stronger as they grow up. I can actually picture a time in the not-so-distant future when my son will prefer my daughter’s company to mine, when they’ll have their own sibling language and secrets. Before he was born, it would have torn my heart in two to think that I wasn’t the most essential person in his life, but now I’m grateful beyond words for the sibling love between them.
My Sense Of Spontaneity
When my daughter was tiny, I was apprehensive about going outside with her. It seemed like an insurmountable chore and what if I forgot to bring something? My solution was to stay home as much as I could. I now know that this decision made me more anxious and grumpy than if I had braved the great outdoors.
Today, we’re adventure seekers! I have pre-packed bags and strollers at the ready for sudden trips to the park, dashes to the grocery store or extended visits to Grandma’s.
If I know the portable stroller is already in the trunk of the car and my kids have overnight bags ready to go, a road trip doesn’t seem so daunting. And while I still worry that I’ll forget to pack something, I don’t let that stop me from being spontaneous and enjoying time with my kids making memories beyond our living room.
My Idea Of Necessity
With our first child, we loaded up on baby gear. With baby number two, we’re fortunate that we can recycle most of what we have, but this time around I don’t feel compelled to shop for anything other than the basic necessities. Waking up each day to my two little ones is fulfilling enough; I don’t need the hottest baby food maker to feel like a complete and competent mom. It’s an emotional relief (and certainly a financial one!) to trust in my own resourcefulness. And the time I used to spend searching online for gifts and gadgets is better spent alongside my children.
My Level Of Expectation
I’m a typical Type A personality: ambitious and competitive and I like to do things on my own. However, taking care of two kids means my personal time is limited. What’s more, so many things can go wonky during the day and by bedtime; more often than not there are still things to take care of. Over the past few months I’ve learned that the size of my “to do” list isn’t a reflection of my parenting abilities. I’ve stopped beating myself up over what I cannot accomplish during the day; I’ve even learned to ask for help when I feel overwhelmed.
I still hold myself to high standards, but these standards now revolve around being the very best mom I can be. And if I have a long “to do” at the end of the day, it’s fine with me as long as my kids have gone to bed knowing they’re loved beyond measure.
My Time To Change
Change is good because shaking things up often lead to positive transformations. With the arrival of my son, although I have less personal time and more laundry than I ever thought possible, I have newfound confidence as a parent. Within the kids’ chaos, I’ve uncovered my ability to be an affirmative role model and this time around, I’m taking the time to fully enjoy it.
Samara Kamenecka is a New York-born freelance writer and translator living in Madrid. When she’s not busy trying to mold her two kids into functional, contributing members of society, she can usually be found enjoying a glass of wine (or three), or eating ice cream straight out of the container. You can find her blogging over at Tiny Fry.