Having 2 Kids…

C kissing MA good friend recently told me she’s expecting her second child.  She’s excited but nervous, and understandably so, about what it’s going to be like to have two kids. I’ve been thinking a lot about that and trying to remember back to the days before our younger daughter, Maya, was born.  It was simpler, sure, with only one child to care for but also harder because I was a first time mom and less sure of myself and my parenting.

With the first child, everything is new and that can feel overwhelming.  With the second, you’ve established a few routines and a rhythm to your family life.  The transition from 1 to 2 kids was much more difficult than I anticipated, though.  I wasn’t used to splitting my time and found myself feeling pulled in two different directions and stretched thin.  Now that our daughters are 7 and 5, we’ve finally come through the wonderful but exhausting years of early childhood.  The girls are finally at a stage where they can play together fairly independently.  They like to color, read books, have dance parties in their bedroom, play dress up and family.  It’s amazing how much of a difference only a few years can make!

Tonight was a rare treat for me to have time alone with Maya.  I took her out for a special mommy-daughter date.  We had a real girls night out complete with mani-pedis and dinner at a restaurant (albeit, a very kid friendly one!)  It’s hard for me to carve out special time with Maya without her big sister, Charlotte.  Cuddling up and reading a story before bedtime tonight, I was thinking how nice it is to be able to focus on just Maya’s needs, to answer her questions and to listen to her highs and lows from the day. It’s so great (and rare!) to be able to give her my undivided attention.  I love having two daughters but I often feel like Maya gets less of my time than Charlotte.  It’s hard not to feel guilty sometimes.  I try to remind myself that, on the flip side, the girls have each other and the bond between those two is very tight.  As I said good night to Maya and walked out of her room, I left feeling grateful that our daughters will always have each other to lean on for love, friendship and support.

6 comments on “Having 2 Kids…

  1. diane Fond

    Maya and Charlotte are part of a loving special family…Date nights with each child and of course Chris make life so special!And we can’t forget “Family Time”….xox to my favorite blogger…..

  2. I often feel the same way with my two boys. I drive and pick up my younger son from pre-school while my older one goes in a carpool, so we do get a little 1 on 1 time every day but it’s still hard when it comes to things like bedtime, where my 5 year old is reading to me and he wants to do it too, or the 5 year old practices violin for his school performance and the 3 YO doesn’t get one, etc. He’s very aware of the injustice that is being smaller/younger/not ready for this or that, and it really irritates him (so much so that it motivates him-he just taught himself to ride a 2 wheeler without training wheels, almost a year earlier than his brother did).

    That’s the hard part for me. I always want him to feel special and important. I was a second child and I feel connected to him that way.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting, Naomi! I totally hear you on wanting to ensure that each of our children feels special, loved and important. I’m the fifth of six kids (I have three full sisters and an awesome half-brother and half-sister) I think it’s so important to give our kids quality, one-on-one time. It’s hard to do and I totally hear you on multi-tasking with two kids! I started giving our younger daughter (who just turned 5) “homework” because she was feeling left out during her big sister’s homework time. Now, they both sit at the kitchen island and “work” while I cook dinner. Special date nights with each child helps, too, when we can arrange it.

  3. Try 3 boys!!!!! I never thought that I would literally be pulled in 3 direction…add the husband to make that 4 testosterone filled boys pulling at me , wrestling with each other anywhere we go…. and adding that much more love to our home:) But I would still say that my first was hardest…such a shock of the lack of sleep, the lack of freedom, the total responsibility on this tiny life who screams nonstop… took its tole. After Taylor’s Colic subdued we jumped back to create Hud …and I dreaded it (thinking this will be hell after what we went through w T) but from the moment Taylor saw Hudson things were never the same again – buddies for life – so magical to look at sibling. T was entertainment for Hudson …that pressure was off of me! Then adding the lovebug was such a cinch – with more of a spread I really was able to enjoy him with his brothers. Now carpools, bed times, meal time, and everytime can turn into a fun exciting event or a horrendous screaming fight fest…let’s just say kids are spontaneous (moody). It is hard to find enough time, enough energy, and enough money, and enough patience to please all of them…I am not always the best mom…but the older ones are realizing that it is hard to be a mom….they thank me everyday for all i do for them…and they know such sweet talk will make me do it again for them tomorrow:)

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Toni! Moms of 3 (boys no less) totally inspire me. I often wonder how moms manage their everyday lives with bigger families. I am one of 4 girls and I have a half-brother and half-sister so I love big families. I think what you write about finding it hard to have “enough” of everything (time, love, money and energy most of all) really rings true. One of the reasons I started Welcome to Family Life is to try to build a community online (and in person with my friends in LA) so that moms realize they are not the only ones feeling stressed, stretched thin or overwhelmed at times. Being a mom gives me the most joy of anything I’ve ever done in my life but parenthood is also inherently stressful and chaotic–not easy for a Type A person like me! I’ve found that by letting go of my perfectionist tendencies (just a little!) and by keeping a daily gratitude journal, I’ve been able to reclaim the fun, joy and spontaneity in life and parenthood.

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