Casually Adding a Second Child
When I feel stressed or anxious about something, I go into research mode in an effort to make myself feel at ease and in control. I will pour over articles and discussion groups, as well as picking the brains of all of my “expert” friends on whatever change is coming in my/our life.
Throughout the entirety of my third trimester with my last pregnancy, I devoted all of my free time (granted, there wasn’t much) to reading about how to transition from one kid to two, how to ensure that the firstborn doesn’t feel replaced or neglected, how to include the firstborn in breastfeeding the newborn, etc. I spent hours reading hundreds of articles with “easy tips and tricks” on how to make everything perfect. I created an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to this new transition as well as interviewing every mom I knew who had more than one kid, especially if they had two boys (like I now do).
On September 7th we met our second son. He’s amazing, cuddly, super-hot and incredibly low key. I have since forgotten or ignored all the magic tips I read about. It turns out that going with my gut and trusting my mommy instincts is a fool proof method for taking care of my kids because no one knows my boys better than I do. Hell, I spend all of my waking hours with them. How could anyone know them better?
My biggest fear in the whole birth/hospital experience was that Connor would see me with an IV, hooked up to a million machines, and be scared or nervous. I was, of course, projecting my feelings onto him. He was completely chill when he saw me on machines, he was more interested in showing off his new little brother to anyone he could find.
We’ve been home for just over a month now and I couldn’t have hoped for a smoother transition. Connor still gets to be the focus of my attention 90% of the time and Kylar is about a thousand times easier than I ever dreamed he could be. Connor also loves helping and being a big brother. The hardest part is that he wants to cuddle and hold Kylar, because he is still struggling with the concepts of “gentle” and “careful” and “don’t lie on top of the baby; he can’t breathe.” It’s really so sweet and amazing though.
What’s the moral of this story? Research will only get you so far; ultimately you have to trust yourself and your skills as a parent. No one else knows your kids better than you do and you have to trust that you will be able to handle anything they throw at you. “Experts” are experts in theory, but you are an expert when it comes to your family. I’ve found that if you can just sit back and take a deep breath, nothing is as bad as you think it is, and your kids will appreciate you taking that second or two to catch your breath, rather than seeing you stressed. Kids are surprisingly perceptive; don’t discount them just because they’re little. They see how you handle things and they will learn from you. Trust yourself and know that you can do it.