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MANN: The more the merrier: lessons learned while expanding your family

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April 26, 2018 - 12:15 PM

 


OPINION


There is something about Spring that just reminds you life is amazing.

Everything is new, or regenerating, and alive. It’s easy to marvel at what nature is accomplishing, and it makes you feel powerful — like anything is possible.

It makes me feel like I could manage a third child…

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

With two children on the go, I’m just starting to once again get a full night's sleep.

I’ve managed to stay healthy for more than a couple of weeks and I can guide both children to and from their activities with relative ease.

So maybe best not rock the boat while I have a good thing going…just yet that is.

Going from one child to two is a jump. Just when you think you are getting the hang of caring for the life of a small and delicate human being, you bring another one into this world and things gets a little more hectic.

But it’s a pretty wonderful ride.

For anyone thinking about having a second child, or with one already on the way, here are three things I’ve learned after making the jump.

1. It really does get easier. 

You learn from your mistakes the first time and fix them for the second.

The chaos of the first child and catering to their demands is replaced with implementing routines and structure to streamline bedtime and feedings, which eases and helps overcome a lot of the stress.

Also, with the first child you are paranoid and on alert for every cough and cry, but with the second you know when and what you can ignore.

2. You know how to ask for help.

I’ve never been a ‘strong’ person (physically), but having two children has done incredible things for my upper body.

From carting a toddler and a baby around (in a bucket seat no less), with armloads of groceries at the same time, on any given day I feel like a badass wonder woman. But even the best multitasking super moms need help opening the pickle jar occasionally.

Sometimes you have to know when it gets to be too much and tag grandma and grandpa in to chase your toddler around for a few hours while you get things done.

3. You get to watch a different kind of love unfold in front of you.

Every parent knows the immense and special love for their children and vice versa, but let’s not forget the amazing bonds that can develop between siblings — they know and understand things about one another that even their parents don’t.

They laugh and play and fight and compete, and it’s truly awesome to watch them develop their personalities with the help of one another. There is an understanding they mean something to one another.

Maybe I will eventually go on to add a third child to my chaotic family of four, and maybe we will be happy just the way we are. But either way, making the transition to two was by far the best jump I ever took.


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