Mom's Hysterical Cartoons Nail How Parenting Changes With the 1st Kid vs. the 2nd Kid

Jordyn Smith | Dec 10, 2019 Being a Mom
Mom's Hysterical Cartoons Nail How Parenting Changes With the 1st Kid vs. the 2nd Kid

firstborn vs second born comics
The Messycow Comics

The fact that first and second babies are raised and handled differently is probably the worst-kept parenting secret ever. The journey with first little one is full of trepidation, worry, and the annoying habit of doubting every single decision made. There's something about the combination of being exhausted from the first kid, feeling like the whole parenting thing has been broken down to a perfect science, and finally finding calm in the chaos, that just makes parenting the second baby -- and every one after that -- a little easier. Even if we don't always want to admit it, the differing experiences we have as second-time parents can be pretty hilarious. 

Parents haven't always been able to articulate these differences without feeling guilty, though. Even though we know we love and care for our second kid just as much as our first, talking about the more relaxed parenting style that comes with having multiple kids doesn't always come across in the best way. Luckily, cute comics have always been known to make hard-to-talk-about concepts a little easier to digest. 

Trying to highlight some of that hilarity -- and touch on the often ridiculous nature of being a parent in general -- Weng Chen of Messycow Comics has created a comic series that displays the awesomely honest differences parents have with firstborns and second-borns. Her comic strips are colorful, sweet, relatable, funny, and, at times, a little too real.

So read on and let us know -- which comic was the most crazily accurate of all?

  • The First Baby Reveal


    The comics depict pretty much every stage of parenting two different kids, from how excited friends and family are when we reveal the first pregnancy to getting blank stares when we break the news the second time.

  • The Second Baby Reveal


    While a new baby is always a blessing, it's seems like making the announcement is decidedly a little less exciting for people the second time around. Thankfully there is still a lot of love when the baby finally arrives, right? 

  • First Pregnancy


    So many of the topics the artist covers in the series are just as hilarious as they are real. And who doesn't want to relieve the moments of being treated like a queen (as they should be!) during their first pregnancy? 

  • Second Pregnancy


    What pregnant mom with a toddler (or two) can't relate to feeling like an overworked old nursemaid sometimes? Turns out toddlers don't actually care about treating mom like a queen when a sibling is on the way. 

  • Baby 1: Changing Hygiene Standards


    Ha! We all remember being neat freaks with the first kid, right? Our precious baby wasn't going be getting any nasty germs on our watch. And with the second one ... not so much. 

  • Baby 2: Changing Hygiene Standards


    Obviously, some of the comics are exaggerated for comedic effect, but they're still rooted in plenty of reality. By the time baby No. 2 arrives, we're all about them building their immune system by any means necessary. 

  • New Mom Breastfeeding Stress


    The talented mom shows the ever-changing attitude toward things like breastfeeding. So many of us stress ourselves out trying to make feeding work with baby No. 1 and way too many believe the myth the breastfeeding doesn't hurt. 

  • Second-Time Mom Breastfeeding Stress


    But with baby No. 2, we're less likely to stress about milk production when there's some perfectly good formula right there. Moms of two or more know how to embrace the idea that "fed is best." 

  • Documenting the First Kid's Childhood


    First kids get the baby book, the gallery of printed photos on the wall, and enough pictures to fill a million scrapbooks. With the second kid, everything, even down to the way we document their childhood, changes. 

  • Documenting the Second Kid's Childhood


    Picture frames are a no-go when the cloud is always right there! And that baby book is totally staying blank. Facebook and Instagram totally count as a baby book, right? 

  • Baby's First Photos


    Chen also makes it clear that some things about parenting never change -- like that picture of our firstborn as a baby, we keep front and center in our wallets. 

  • Second Baby's First Photos


    We didn't have time to take a new one for the second baby, OK? But no shame in our second child game, that's what our phone is for! Just keep swiping for more adorable pictures! 

  • New Toys


    Oh, the promises we make about not having a house full of plastic crap when we are expecting baby No. 1. We have such good intentions. Only the best new wooden, organic, STEM toys for our little genius!

  • Hand-Me-Down Toys


    If they were good enough for the first child, they're damn sure good enough for No. 2. And bring on the plastic toys -- now we know they are easier to clean and just as good for imaginative play as the box they came in. 

  • First Kid's Baby Clothes


    With the first, you were ready to blow an entire paycheck on new baby threads. A white cashmere onesie that is dry clean only? Totally reasonable!

  • Recycled Baby Clothes


    Listen closely, moms. It's totally cool for the second-borns to wear slightly too small, food-stained clothes until they grow into their older siblings' hand-me-downs (which are also stained). Since all those clothes are only going to fit for about five minutes anyway, who cares!

  • First Kids Are Overscheduled


    As a first-time mom, you are so worried about your baby hitting all the developmental milestones that you'll sign up for anything and everything. Music time, swim lessons, Mandarin for infants? Just take our money!

  • Second Kids Aren't


    Who knew the produce aisle at the grocery store could be just as educational as endless mommy and me classes? Um, second time moms know that! Music time is now listening to "Baby Shark" on endless repeat for free. 

  • Parenting Books


    First-time moms are convinced there is a solution for every problem, if you have enough baby books. Sorry, Dr. Sears! Those parenting books completely go out the window in favor of real-world lessons when the second baby comes.

  • What Parenting Books?


    Learning from the school of hard-knocks, baby. Second-time moms know that the solution to almost every baby problem is to chill out, wait some time, and it will eventually pass. No books required. 

  • Organic Baby Food for the First


    Because being a mom isn't tough enough, first timers commit to being unpaid organic chefs, too. Thoughts of cooking a perfectly nutritious, homemade meal from scratch every day disappear with baby No. 2. 

  • Edible Food for the Second


    Second-time moms know that calories are key, whatever form they come in. If the little one is happy with a steady diet of dinosaur chicken nuggets and leftovers from the back of the fridge, it's cool with us. 

  • When the First Gets Sick


    It feels like the end of the world when your first baby gets sick for the first time. It can be hard for a first-time mom to accept that all kids are going to get sick eventually, no matter how germ-free you keep your house. 

  • When the Second Kid Gets Sick


    Once parents learn that every sniffle their kid has isn't catastrophic or life-threatening, their lives change completely. Like so many other kid problems, second-time moms know that time is the most likely cure for what ails our little darlings. 

  • Those First Days of School 


    In terms of guaranteed tears, few things are as powerful as the first day of school. The first day of school is a huge milestone, no matter how many kids a parent has. 

  • Those First Days of School for Second Kids


    But let's be real here, the first day of school with that second one is definitely easier. Second-time moms can be happy and still shed a tear or two. Maybe they are tears of joy now, but still tears!

  • First Child: Everything Is a Sign the Kid Is Gifted


    First-time parents are totally blown away at all those firsts. Second-time moms have a little more perspective. It's totally cool if they want to build a fully functional rocket in the house. They just need to make sure they clean it all up when they're done. 

  • Second Child: Not Everything Shows the Kid Is Gifted


    We'll be impressed when you eat your veggies, kid. But don't feel bad, second kid. A third child would have to actually make it to space to get any attention! 

  • First's Screen Time


    "No TV until at least age 2," does that sound familiar? Add that to the "good intentions, didn't actually happen" list. It's not that we don't care with the second kid -- it's that we've learned how to relax. 

  • Second Kid's Screen Time


    No matter how chill, distracted, or different moms may seem with their firstborns vs. their second-borns, the love is always there. 

    To see more of Weng Chen's Messycow comics, check out her website or her Facebook page


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