What I Wish I’d Known About Two: the practicalities

Today’s post is from the lovely Fay, with two slightly older children – I do love hearing from more experienced mothers. Somehow you’re able to look back on things with less anxiety (and a better sense of humour)! And all that indecisiveness seems to disappear in hindsight. I especially enjoyed what she says here about coupledom after two children.

Fay blogs at http://flyonthewallfay.com, so go have a look!

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My second child was a long time coming: part post-traumatic stress from Amy’s birth, part grieving my brother, part, shall we, shan’t we.

Time flies when indecision strikes.

I will never forget the pregnancy test for Jake: we kind of knew, Amy was 8 so we were trying to keep it under wraps a little. I sneaked upstairs and Dan loitered by them in trepidation.

It was positive and I sat there, biting my lip, thinking that’s gone and torn it.

“So?!” He yelled up the stairs.

“Yes” I replied, talking in a subtle and ingenious code.

“Yes?!” He asked. “Yes” I whispered now on the bottom step. We looked into one another’s eyes and hugged, thinking, that’s really gone and torn it.

The wonder of a second is you have been there before, you know the joys, and the truck loads of love that are delivered each day, the achingly sweet, would-not-swap-for-a-second cuteness.

The horror of a second is you have been there before, you know the tiredness, the pain, the hormones and short fuses and all that bleeding!

We finally told Amy on holiday a few days later, pretending we had just tested. She said “Does that mean you did the willy thing?!” “Um, well, yes” we replied, and felt about so high.

A large age gap is a very different kettle of fish.

A lot of the clichés have proven true for us: our family now feels complete, and the fun interaction of siblings is priceless especially at Christmas.

Seeing what mix of features and character, foibles and silliness each child has inherited is so much fun and we do feel closer as a couple having enjoyed and survived those early baby days, twice.

We were a real parenting team the second time round, and watching Dan fulfil that role so fully has been very rewarding.

My second time round list:

Do be aware a lot of marriages fail in the first two years of the second child’s life. Make time for each other, seek romance between you.

Swimming really helps those joints.

Formula tins now advise each feed is made up with boiling water as you go, that is madness. Cooled boiled water works fine. Those wheel formula dispensers are brilliant. I used to pre-fill them and have a stack of bottles with water waiting at Jakes bedroom door.

In my opinion waiting to wean for 6 months is a hiding for nothing.

Tag-teaming the feeds was so much better than me trying to go it alone.

A lot more goes by in a blur with number two, don’t forget pictures and hand prints.

Muslin squares are still invaluable.

You now know the baby really isn’t getting that much out of all those enriching crafting sessions and music classes and just let them tag along a lot more.

I felt a lot more respected and listened to the second time round, by medical staff and other mums. It’s a bit of a club having two kids, practice your “been there, done that” attitude.

If you do need a C-section it’s really not as bad as it sounds at all.

Hold on in there, it’s so, so worth it!

Love it. And amen to the muslin squares.

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