What Really Changes When You Have a Second Baby

having another baby
Happy Together
Going from zero to one baby is just about the biggest life change you'll ever experience. The adjustments made, body weirdness, and emotional upheaval are dramatic. So it makes sense once you get your baby well into the toddler stage, the idea of doing it all over again is overwhelming. With more and more people opting for singletons, only having one child is a popular choice, and understandably so.

Those of us who go on to do this baby thing again (and in Brad and Angie's case, again, and again, and again, and again ... ) might have a screw loose, but we also know something those of you contemplating a second child, or about to have a second child, do not. Actually, five somethings.

Here's the scoop on what really gives when you go for the deuce.


1. The Exhaustion

By far, the most difficult adjustment to having another child is the tired factor. You may have just gotten your oldest to sleep through the night, or sleep in on the weekends, and along comes Mister Up-All-Night. Unless you can magically sync nap times (and if you can, you should start a business), you're not going to have that midday break anymore either. One way around this situation is to start going to bed earlier. Like, right after the kids do.

2. The Workload

Some people say your workload doubles after a new baby; others say it triples. I would say it increases by about 3/4. Some days you can take care of both kids in one fell swoop (think two in a tub), and other days you feel like you just cleaned up one kid's poop and the other one throws her milk on the floor. The good news about this workload is once the baby is old enough to eat the same things as his older sibling, mealtime gets streamlined. Once they're both in school, drop-off is at the same place. Once they both know how to fix their own cereal and turn on the TV -- Saturday mornings can be yours again.

3. The Love

One of my biggest fears, and one I hear a lot from other would-be second-time moms, is where is the love going to come from? It's cliche to say your heart grows, but it does. You know how good it feels when you look at your one child and know you could not possibly love her any more than you do right now? Double that. Yeah, it's that good.

4. The Siblings

Even in the most loving siblings, there will be conflict. Which is fantastic, because your kids are learning from each other. They will use their sibling to understand how to negotiate peer situations successfully. There really is no better teacher. And they also will have a deep understanding of each other -- whether that leads to intense love or intense dislike. It's an amazing bond, and a gift.

5. The Chaos

Yes, things will be crazy. You can either try to control it and drive yourself to drink, or you can give in and let things slide. Trust me, the sliding is going to go much further to your health and happiness (and everyone else's) than trying to stifle the natural chaos that multiple kids bring into your life. Enjoy the ride.

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