Thursday, March 14, 2013

how two has been different than one.

can i be honest right now?  two kids are harder than one.  i know, shocking right?  i swear my kids tag team who is gonna wake up around six & who gets to sleep in past eight.  never fails... you'd think by chance they would maybe both sleep in past eight, but no.  there's always one up bright & early.  my attention is always divided throughout the day & sometimes i have to weigh which crying child needs me worse at that exact moment.  when i'm playing with elliot i'm sure to include parker & if i don't?  he's hanging off my back or off somewhere else, feeling left out.  if i'm playing one on one with parker then i feel bad for not engaging elliot.  two kids equals twice the "mom guilt" too.

i feel like at six-ish months with parker i had it all together.  i feel like i knew who he was & we had established our roles as baby & mom.  his personality was defined & we were checking milestones off left & right.

with elliot it's been different.  the weirdest part for me has been getting to know his own little individual personality.  he is a different baby than parker was & i feel like getting to know him has taken me longer this time around.  with parker it was all me & him, all the time.  elliot has had to go with the flow from day one, spending much of his time on my hip as we chase around parker or run our daily errands.  i feel like at almost seven months, i don't know him like i knew parker at that age.

now don't get me wrong, i have most certainly "bonded" with my baby.  this isn't a post about stress, post-partum depression or anxiety.  it's just that it has recently hit me that raising baby number two is "different" & i'm trying to put my finger on it.  and i think a big part of it is just that this time around i'm sharing my baby with another baby, rather than getting him all to myself.

there are definitely moments where i do "see" elliot for who he is.  and more often than not they are moments while nursing or getting him dressed or playing with him alone while parker naps or is off somewhere with sam.  they are the times where i get to just sit with him, uninterrupted & love on him with my whole self.  they are the times where he looks up at me like i am everything to him & he coos & smiles & giggles & makes my heart absolutely melt.  i am so grateful for those moments.

now that he is getting older & is sitting up & interacting much more, i am seeing him & parker's relationship grow like crazy.  parker will most likely be his biggest source of interaction & entertainment rather than me whereas with parker, again, it was all me & him, all the time.  i love watching my boys play together.  i love watching them become friends {actually, the other day out of nowhere parker exclaimed "elliot & i are best friends!" yeah... heart melting material} and i hope to create an environment in my home where both boys feel equally loved & included & grow up knowing there is a place for both of them in my heart.

something that i think will help this is sam & i have vowed to have regular one on one date nights with our boys.  i have absolutely noticed how much parker perks up & gets so SO excited when he gets to go out somewhere with mom or dad by himself.  he talks about a million more words a minute than normal {which is a LOT} and is absolutely the sweetest, happiest little boy in the whole world.  he thinks he is king of the world when he is out on a mommy or daddy date night.

and these nights already mean a lot to elliot too because it is the only time he gets to be the one & only. and i never want him to feel like he's living under parker's shadow.

my hat definitely goes off to moms of more than two kids.  i really, really don't know how you do it.  it obviously works somehow though, just like two is becoming our new normal.  before elliot i just couldn't imagine loving another little boy the way i did parker & it has most definitely happened.  your heart finds a way & before you know it you can't even remember what your life was like with just one.


  1. thank you for sharing, Amy! you brought up some things about being a parent of two that I never thought of before. and it also has to be said - you're boys get cuter every day, it seems like! :)

  2. Oh Amy. I am so nervous about changing our perfect little trio into a family of 4 and offsetting the balance. I know it's inevitable and I know that things will be even better bc you know your heart expands and all that good stuff but honestly...I'm just scared I'll never feel balanced again.
    My saving grace is that we plan to keep P in daycare at least most of the same time so I'll have the 3 months to bond with baby but now I'm starting to feel guilty about that too.
    Dear mom guilt, can we just get a break? No? Ugh.

  3. thank you for posting this amy! i'm SO feeling this right now. my boys are 18 months apart {my youngest is 4.5 months} and my days have been rough. the littlest is up ALL the time in the night and rarely naps and the oldest is in a phase of waking up at 530. my days start pretty early around here. ugh.

    however, all the craziness, tears and fights with the toddler is worth it. all the sleepless nights {still}, constantly needing to be held with the infant are just worth it. because it just is. they are just now starting to interact with each other and i can't wait for them to just wrestle and play with each other and be "best friends" {love how parker said that by the way}.

    i love watching your blog now with two boys because i feel like it's my life flash forward by two months and it gets me crazy excited :) love your honesty and your adorable babies!!

  4. Thank you for sharing this. We are on our way to trying for number 2 and I have been seriously considering all these aspects of parenting two children. I appreciate you sharing :)

  5. And again, I could have written this post (and I kinda did a while ago, or one similar). Isn't it amazing how different the 2nd child is from the first? And I totally agree that it takes longer to "get to know" baby #2 than it did with #1. Things are just different. But I will tell you this, when Elliot starts crawling -- you will see an interaction between him and Parker that will make your heart explode (more than it already does!). P will start to see him as a companion, it's the sweetest thing!!

  6. I completely relate to this post, Amy. The guilt is agonizing at times and so much of the time I feel like I'm only doing things halfway. Too much is divided, too much is neglected, too much is rushed, or too much is centered around one child or the other. It's difficult. More difficult than I realized before having two. But... it is getting easier and my girls are starting to enjoy each other more. Whew! Let's hope that continues as they get older.

  7. Every mother says, after having the second, 'why did I complain about the first, that was easy!' I don't have any yet and I take my hat off to any mothers, but mothers of two or more with very young children are amazing! And can survive on very little sleep...Congratulations to you- drink coffee!

    Sarah XxX

  8. You hit the nail on the head. My two kids are 16 months-old and 2 1/2 years-old. The mom guilt of dividing your time. Plus, making sure your second child is not getting the short end of the stick, and the taking longer to get to know him.....all very, very true. When my two kids do play together, it is the best feeling. It's not very often we implement mommy and daddy dates, but I think we need to make more of an effort in that area. Thanks for sharing exactly what's on my mind!!

  9. New follower and love this post ... And your blog!

  10. Great post. My hubby and I are about to TTC with a second one and it's always nice hearing REAL stories from moms. Too many moms think saying anything negative about parenting makes you a bad mother (or somehow means you don't love your child/children). That really has a detrimental effect on parents - making moms feel isolated (and "wrong") when they do get overwhelmed or have a bad day Thanks so much for your honesty. :)

  11. This is a great and honest post. I am six weeks in to being a Mom to two, and while I love it, it is definitely hard work. When both are crying at the same time I find it real hard, and I just want to go and get into my bed and hide under the covers. But we can't do that.
    I remember when I was pregnant a friend said to me that having two kids is hard work. But it isn't double the hard work. However it is double the amount of joy. And I couldn't agree more.
    I am new to your blog, so hi! :)

  12. I've been worried about this exact thing for a few months now. I've only got a couple weeks to go and this is by far my biggest fear. It's good to see that it is doable but I was right in thinking that it would be the biggest challenge.

    Thanks for the honesty!

  13. They are sooooo sweet! Found you through instagram :) happy to be following.


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