So my hubby and I haven't really started trying for number 2 but we have stopped preventing because we both feel it's about time. But my biggest fear is how do you manage 2 kids?? Everyone I have talked too says "You just do." But I wanna hear about what you actually do!
Number 1 was 2 and 1/2 years old when number 2 was born. I got lots of help.
- Mother came M-F for several weeks. H is around for the weekend.
- Started a 2 morning a week pre-school program when number 1 was 2 years old knowing that number 2 will arrive in about 6 months. H dropped off those 2 mornings and I picked up.
- Hired a babysitter to come and play with number 1 for a couple hours in the afternoon several times a week. Check if you have neighborhood kids that can do that. They don't have to be very old (maybe 10 or older depending on their maturity) since you are there.
- Hired house cleaner.
In summary, get lots of help at least for a while, family, friends, hire help if money is not an issue.
After several months, it got easier as baby started sleeping through the night and number 1 was 3 years old. Went to pre-school 3 mornings a week.
Also, lower standards, do less everything else like cooking, organzing. Maybe it has been a while. I don't think it was that bad. I think I was more prepared for number 2 than number 1 as I knew more what it takes to care for a baby.
You will be fine. Good luck.
Life goes by so quickly!
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Wow! I didn't really get any help when number 2 came along, not even much from my husband. However, my children are 6 years apart so my first was more self sufficient by the time I had my second. My daughter stayed with my family the first few days after I brought my son home so that I could adjust to having a baby in the house again. After that I was pretty much on my own.
My son was born in the summer so the first six weeks weren't so difficult. I didn't really sleep, ever. But that is kind of typical of a new baby whether it's number 1 or 10, I think. Before our son was born I explained to our daughter what would happen and what I expected from her. She was wonderful and so helpful! My husband worked nights and slept during the day, so my daughter would help me around the house. Keep her toys picked up, help with laundry, cooking, that sort of thing. It's stuff that we have her help with normally so it wasn't a huge change. She loved being able to cuddle with her brother and we spent our afternoons relaxing.
After about 6 weeks, schools started for both my daughter and me. That's when things got crazy. My husband started staying awake in the mornings because I didn't have the time to get both kids ready (and still don't). So he gets our son ready and I get our daughter ready, and then we're out the door. Our son really misses our daughter during the day while she is away at school. I'm no longer in school, I graduated and now stay home with the kids, so I get to spend the day with my son.
Bottom line: I find it much easier with two kids than with just one. They tend to play with each other and keep each other occupied when you need to get something done. I also found it very important (at any age) to prepare the older child not just through telling him/her what's about to happen but actually start them doing the things you will expect him/her to do when the baby arrives. And every parent I spoke to says it helps tons if you have a set time scheduled every week for one on one time with each child. An older child is much more accommodating if they know they get mommy and/or daddy for x amount of time on x day. Over a year later, my daughter and I still take an hour every Monday afternoon to go have pie and talk. It's nice to be able to focus on her without any other interruptions from other children or friends and family.
Your fears are normal, I had the exact same fear. But it works and it will be just fine.
Life is an adventure, I share every day with my two beautiful children.
In some ways #2 is easier, you already know how to care for a baby, and in some ways harder, because #2 usually had a completely different personality and you have another child to take care of.
My oldest was almost 3 when I had #2. At night I'd put a sippy of milk on a low shelf in the fridge, and put cheerios in a baggie for him right by it. I'd put the TV on his favorite channel. That way in the morning he could go get his milk and cheerios, push the power button on the TV and watch a little until I was done feeding the baby. #1 was happy because his immediate needs were still being met and I was happy because I got to tend to #2 without worrying about when #1 was going to come whineing for milk or cereal.
When we went out somewhere I would get #1 out of the car first and have him keep one hand on the car while I got #2 out. This way I knew where he was and knew he wouldn't be getting hit by a car while I got the baby out. I did the reverse when we got back to the car.
I made their doctor appointments for seperate days and got a sitter for the one who was staying home. That way I got some alone time with each child.
At bed time, I'd go to bed early when #1 went to bed. Hubby would stay up later and give the baby his late nite (usually around midnite) feeding. I took all the other feedings during the night.
You'll get very good at making lunch, reading a book, coloring, etc while feeding the baby.
I also had #1 and #2 nap at the same time. That way I could nap too.
Loud mom of 2 loud boys ages 10 & 7.