6 Worries About Having Another Baby
When I first had my daughter, the last thing on my mind was when to start trying for another baby. I couldn’t imagine sharing my attention with someone else, and my own experience as an only child made me worry if I could handle more than one child. I felt guilty for the thoughts that would pop into my head: and then I finally reached out to some friends of mine with more than one child and was so relieved to hear that all of my worries and heartache and fears were normal. So I’ve compiled a list of what my worries were, so that any of you mamas who might be feeling this way can see that you’re not alone.
1. Will my first born feel replaced? My daughter was 2 years and 3 months when my son was born. When I was 6 months pregnant, I caught a norovirus that landed me in the hospital for an entire day because I kept throwing up so much that I needed 3 IV bags to stay hydrated. This was the longest time I had been away from my toddler, and when I came home that night (sick and exhausted) it broke my heart when my toddler ignored me. She finally acknowledged me when it was time for bed, & curled up next to me & everything was normal again. But that instance haunted me. For the whole last trimester I kept worrying “what if she ignores me again?”, “what if she thinks I’ve abandoned her?”; the “what ifs” consumed me. In my own experience, she was overjoyed to see me again (the featured picture for this post is the first moment we saw each other after I had my son). We both cried happy tears and everything fell back into place.
2) What if my child doesn’t like her new sibling? I was honestly so relieved when my daughter immediately fell head over heels in love with her brother. The moment she saw him she squealed how sweet and cute he was, and gently & reverently touched his head. And that was it. She calls him “my baby” and will talk to him, tell him stories, give him toys she thinks he’ll like to play with. It’s adorable and just warms my heart. Yes, occasionally she’ll ask someone else to hold the baby so I can spend one on one time with her, but 95% of the time she just wants to hold and love and kiss him.
3) What if I can’t handle both a baby AND a toddler? (Or whatever age is applicable
for you) The terrible twos are no joke. And we had my son smack dab in the middle of them. Yes, some days are beyond exhausting because I’m dealing with a toddler who wants attention and to be played with and has limitless amounts of energy… And I also have a baby who needs 3 naps a day, is teething and also wants to be held and talked to. But it’s all a balancing act. And I didn’t know how to be a mother before I had my daughter, and the same applies for being a mother of two. You learn as you go. Mistakes will be made but you pick yourself up and keep on going.
4) When will I have time for myself? To be honest, I’m still figuring this one out. I love reading and I just don’t have a lot of time for that right now. I love cooking and baking. But there are some days that I grab a box of macaroni and cheese and wash up some fruit and bammo: there’s dinner. I’d love to cook up a gorgeous meal every day but that’s not always in the cards. And that’s ok, this time is already flying by. But it is good to make time for yourself. Good for you, for your sanity, for your family. Just good all around. Even if it’s a drive in the car by yourself listening to the radio, or just quiet alone time to unwind.
5) Will my marriage/relationship change? In my experience, yes. But for me it also changed when we had our first child. It’s about changing together though. Growing together. It takes team work to maintain everything for our family. Sometimes I do the dishes, sometimes it’s my husband. We take turns with the kids. And even though he works and I stay at home, it’s all a balancing act. And I cannot stress enough about how communication is so key.
6) What if my first born is my “favorite”? Or what if my new baby becomes “the favorite?” I saved this one for last, as I was worried sick about it the most. Well, this and #1. Anyway, I was terrified that either of these scenarios would happen. I can honestly say that I love both of my children equally. Yes, some moments my toddler drives me nuts with her tantrums and I prefer my baby’s company right then; but the same goes for the baby. Sometimes when he is crying and tired but just will NOT go to sleep, sometimes I would rather color with my toddler than run around doing my own version of the Olympics to just try getting him to sleep. It’s all normal though. And I love them both so fiercely and immensely.
So in my opinion? There is no “perfect time” to have another baby. I thought I’d get a sign or something showing me that my daughter would be ready for a new sibling, but then I realized that that’s just not how life works. I prayed about it and put it in God’s hands, and I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. I love my toddler and I love my baby. We have good days and bad days, but it’s all so worth it.