Bringing Home Baby: Adjusting to a Life With Two Children

mom laying down with sleeping baby

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew life was about to get interesting. The fear of having two children and not having enough time for both were constant worries. Would I bond with the new baby the way I did with my first? Would my son feel neglected while I was caring for another child? How in the world was I going to manage maintaining my sanity when having one child felt like too much at times?

We tried to prepare J as much as we could for the incoming addition to the family. At 2-years-old, the concept was a bit beyond him, though he would place his little hands on my belly and say “baby come out.” Those words were both heartwarming and tear worthy as my thoughts would race with how he would accept such a huge change. He was already getting into his terrible threes (which I hear are worse than the twos), pushing all my buttons and trying everything he could to stake a claim on as much control as he could (the infamous “no” phase). His favorite phrase right now is “J do it,” insisting that anything and everything should be done by himself (even when it’s dangerous or outside of his ability). So, how was I going to redirect his, at times, insatiable need for control when a new baby arrives?

The days leading up to the birth had my heart breaking in two thinking that THIS would be the last time I put J down for his nap alone, just him and me. Or, the last time I play with him without an interrupting baby. The last time I would have just my J in my heart. Then, two months ago, B arrived (a week late I might add). The birth was much different than my first, but I will save those stories for later. I knew the second that B was placed on my chest that my fear of not loving him was so preposterous. Instantaneous love filled me as I snuggled this wriggling little boy with tears of joy. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life, my husband sharing the tears with me. We spent an hour just looking at each other and it was amazing to see this life we had brought into the world.

When it came time to introduce J to his new little brother, I felt guilty – guilty that I had spent an hour thinking only of B and not of my little J. In that instant, all the tantrums and power struggles I had with J seemed so silly. My beautiful, adventurous, curious and smiling little boy was all I could see, his eyes looking at his brother with a mixture of confusion and, well, disinterest. He didn’t want to really look at B (which was fine), just happy to see mama and dada after such a long time being watched by others. So, the initial meeting was uneventful, which was a good thing in my opinion!

Bringing B home was much easier than anticipated, likely because it wasn’t our first time. The worries of caring for a tiny, helpless human being may still have been there, but they were muted by previous experience with a less than easy baby. My greatest concern was adjusting to caring for two kids, though we were lucky that my husband received six weeks of paternity leave so the transition was more of an easing than a sharp change. Chris took care of J most of the time while I struggled through the initial period of breastfeeding and recovering from delivery. I felt like I was abandoning J, though I was glad that his dad got to spend some quality time with him (and I got some time to bond with B).

The six weeks passed very quickly! My first day alone with the kids was a challenge, though not as big as I had expected. J has slowly come to accept B, though he can be understandably jealous of the time spent with B (or as J says “B loud!”). However, I’m blessed to be able to stay home with J while my husband works. Although I envy the time my husband gets to do adult things away from the chaos of children, I know that having a 24/7 job to care for my child(ren) is a wonderful gift he is able to give me.

It’s been a few weeks of doing this solo while my husband works. There are definitely days when I wonder what in the world I was thinking having two children. Days when B won’t stop screaming unless I’m holding him (most days), J is pushing all of my buttons, chores are piling up, I lose myself in the day to day of caring for children and have little to no time and energy to give my husband (or myself), sleepless nights, drowning in diapers, so on and so forth. And I’ll say it again – how my mother had five kids in six years without completely going insane is beyond me.

But, then there are the good moments (or days) when everything clicks and my heart is full of these two little boys. J laughing as B starts to giggle or helping with little things while mama is busy with B. I admit that I have not mastered this thing. I have no answers. It’s early yet I guess. As B gets older and needs less of me, I know things will become easier. But for the time being, I know it’s going to be a struggle and require almost everything I’ve got to give.

That’s ok. They will only be small for a short amount of time (as anyone will constantly remind you). I’m just relieved that although some of my initial fears are true (like struggling to find time for both kids), I know that I can love them both as much as the other and not lose sight of either of them. I do miss the simpler days when it was just J and I, but the addition of B has added a way to break from the monotony of being a stay at home mom. And I am so excited for when B is big enough to play with J (who already tries to give B toys). Although it’s early days, I’m happy with both my boys and my husband at my side.

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19 Comments

  • Reply Jenny May 23, 2018 at 2:31 am

    I had the same fears before having my second, but of course, they were quickly swept away once my little one was home. My boys are 3.5 and 7 now, and you are correct, it does get easier. Especially once they can actually play together! Enjoy those baby snuggles now though!

    • Reply KrisBeeMama May 23, 2018 at 3:31 am

      I’m so excited for when they can play together!

  • Reply Hannah May 23, 2018 at 12:42 am

    I love that photo of the four of you at the end – just beautiful :-). It was enlightening to read about your experience having a second child, as I am in for the same thing in 3 months! I have also experienced the worries that I won’t love my second as much as my first, and feeling emotional that the time with just my daughter and I is drawing to a close. Thank you for your honest account of both the joys and sorrows that you are going through :-). Hannah from http://www.womanontheway.com

    • Reply KrisBeeMama May 23, 2018 at 3:36 am

      It’s scary in so many ways, especially while you are still pregnant. I can assure you it’s worth it. I’m sure you are looking forward to seeing them play together as much as I am with my kids!

  • Reply Melissa Sanchez May 22, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Its a huge adjustment for sure, but for us it has been such a huge blessing to have a second child!

    • Reply KrisBeeMama May 22, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      I wouldn’t take it back for anything. There have been challenges, but I’m sure that once my second is old enough to play with my first, it’s going to be even more amazing.

  • Reply Tara May 22, 2018 at 1:41 am

    Why am I crying?! Lol I have a 15 month old and we are just beginning to talk about having our next baby. I guess I have the same fears as you but it’s so sweet to see you making it all work. Congrats!

  • Reply The Curious Frugal May 21, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I only have one kid so I can only imagine, but I have definitely thought about how it would affect my two year old. I’m glad your transition went pretty smoothly. And the “baby come out” from your son – so sweet!!!

  • Reply Veronika May 21, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I can relate! Thankfully my sister helped nanny after I brought home baby number 2!

  • Reply Emily | Lil Mama Bear Blog May 21, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    We’ve been thinking about having baby #2 now that our little one is 18 months old. 🙂

  • Reply Jenn May 6, 2018 at 4:12 am

    For me the fear came between child two and three

  • Reply Sami May 5, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    I feel like I will feel all the ways you did when I learn I am expecting my second child someday! Motherhood is such an emotional rollercoaster, but a beautiful one!

    • Reply KrisBeeMama May 8, 2018 at 12:34 am

      It does get easier. It’s just the initial fears that are hard to get past.

  • Reply Cassie May 5, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    I could relate to a lot of your fears and worries. My second son was born the day before my oldest turned 2. I was so scared of missing our one on on time. But honestly now, I can’t imagine it any other way. They are 18 months and 3 1/2 now and they are BEST friends. They love each other more then anyone else. The love between them is probably my favorite thing about having kids. It’s truly beautiful. Good luck- the early days are the toughest.

    • Reply KrisBeeMama May 8, 2018 at 12:35 am

      Now that some time has past (almost 4 months), I know I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I love my boys.

  • Reply Kimberly May 4, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I found it quite difficult bringing my second child home due to pp depression and anxiety it was a tough time but so glad I did it. X

    • Reply KrisBeeMama May 8, 2018 at 12:36 am

      I had PPD and didn’t know it with my first. But, we both made it through!

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