Eight weeks ago, I became a mother of two. TWO KIDS. Plural. When people ask me how the transition is going, I say with a smile, “Ohh, it’s been an adjustment!” I always heard the jump from one to two is super tough. It’s usually the following: Life is suddenly more chaotic, it’s twice the work, and don’t forget jealousy from the older sibling.
I have found all of the above to be true in some way, but what about the emotions for Mom that come along with this change? When I was pregnant with my second, I had exactly one mom tell me the transition was surprisingly emotional for her. Why don’t more mothers talk about this? Because I’ll tell you, as crazy-excited as I was for our new baby, it was tough on my heart. For the last three years, it was just my first daughter and I. She was my everything, she had all of my attention, and I loved (and still do love) her more than anything.
I found myself grieving our time together as “just the two of us” before it even ended. I knew the routine we had built, our rituals, would never quite be the same. The weeks leading up to our new baby’s arrival, I couldn’t help but note potential “lasts”. Taking her to The Little Gym and knowing that this class was the last before welcoming her sister. Realizing yesterday’s trip to Target was probably our last as just a mother and her one child. Knowing that this was the last time I’d rock her to sleep before she became a big sister. Of course, we’d still do things together – but it wouldn’t be quite the same. It’d no longer be just my girl and me.
Now, do not get me wrong – I am in absolute L-O-V-E with our new baby. She completes our family and my heart just about bursts when she gives me that smile – it goes all the way up to her eyes. Since her arrival, one thing that’s made the adjustment easier is how sweet our 3-year-old is to her. From the beginning, she’s shown her baby sister such love and always wants to help her. Has she been an angel to her daddy and I? Not exactly. There’s some definite jealousy, but it’s better directed at us than a newborn, right?
Over these last two months, I’ve tried my best to remember a few things that provide some reassurance through it all. If you’ve recently become a mother of two, feel free to read on…
Know That It’s Temporary
I hate to whip out the clichéd “this too shall pass” quote, but seriously. It’s an adjustment period for everyone, going from one child to two. Welcoming a brand new human into your family is pretty major! Figuring out how to best divvy up quality time with two kids? How to handle life in general with two kids? You will get there. Us mothers need to give ourselves some grace during this period.
Don’t Take it Personally
…or at least try. What am I talking about? When your first child decides to punish you for welcoming a second. “NO, just Daddy!” I’ve heard that from my older daughter over the last two months more times than I can count! She has never wanted me less, when in reality she probably wants Mommy now more than ever. I can only imagine being three years old and suddenly having to “share” the person you’re closest with.
Carve Out Time
Before our new baby was even born, I was excited at the idea of going on little dates with my first daughter. Simple things like going out for ice cream or to the library – this helps give us some of “our” time back as just the two of us. The more one-on-one time we’re able to spend together, the better we both feel. By the way, if anyone has any particularly great mother-daughter date ideas, feel free to share!
So how did your family handle the jump from one to two kids? Share with us any tips and tricks for making the transition easier…on little ones and on yourself.