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What Other Moms Keep Secret About Having a Second Kid

Photograph by Twenty20

So you’ve got two kids now, huh? OK, if you’ve got more than two, this post may crack you up in more ways than one, but I only have two children and I’m still jarred by the experience of going from one kid to two.

Still, I'm not going to write about how much harder it is with two. I mean, we're all aware of the craziness that comes with the second kid (like arms—why don't we also get extra arms!). What people don't tell you are the other parts. Let me fill you in on what other mamas of two forgot to tell us:

1. They’ll entertain each other

This seems obvious for when they’re older, but seems like too soon while the newest one is a baby, right? Wrong!

At just a few months old, my baby was incredibly entertained by his older sister. By the time he started crawling, I was able to corral both kids into a room, grab the baby monitor and actually take a shower. I mean, it sounds like nothing, but when you’ve got a 3-year-old and a baby, and you can actually get 10 minutes alone (while they’re awake) to bathe? That's huge.

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My daughter is mature enough to hang out with her baby brother, and I don't have to worry that she’ll toss him out the window. We weren’t always at this place, though. I once went to grab something from the kitchen and came back to see them both covered in marker.

Totally my fault though, right? What kind of person leaves a marker around a preschooler and a baby? Talk about a rookie mistake.

2. They’ll team up against you

When you have one kid, it’s like you’re one big, happy family. When that second child rolls through, yes, you’re still happy, but it's Us. vs. Them.

You might expect this when they’re angsty teenagers, but nope. Even infants and toddlers are wise enough to show their sibling allegiance. It sounds adorably delightful, until you want to know who ripped the curtains down and both kids look up at you and smile.

3. Holidays on steroids

This, of course, is only the case if you actually like the holidays. Me, I love them. So after summer, I get incredibly excited for the holidays because ohmigoodness, I’ve got kids!

In all of my second-kid sleep deprivation, I’ve seen my big girl grow up before my eyes.

Even if you’ve hated the holidays your entire life, there’s something wonderful about experiencing them with your children. One kid means you get the fun birthday celebrations, the cheesy holiday photo shoots and fun memories, right? Two kids means you get to do this to the 10th degree.

And it’s just so much fun, man.

4. You won’t stop taking pictures

Which reminds me, the pictures? You think you overdo it on the pictures when you’ve got one kid. That second one makes you want to capture EVERY single moment of them together.

“Look, they’re hugging!”

“Awww, he bit her cheek. Take a picture.”

“They’re both wearing red. Where’s my phone?”

I’ve even gone as far as doing monthly photo shoots of my kids together. I know, it’s silly. But I can’t get enough of the two of them. Even though they both drive me loco, I feel like I have to capture every moment of them together.

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5. If you blink, your oldest child will grow up even faster

Like a lot of moms, I worried about how my first would adjust to her oldest sibling role. For years she was our entire world, and I felt all kinds of guilty for robbing that from her. We’ve had some adjustments, but for the most part, she’s been a fabulous big sister.

The sad part, though? In all of my second-kid sleep deprivation, I’ve seen my big girl grow up before my eyes. If the picture snapping doesn’t make it obvious, then this first year of our second child’s life makes it seem as if that oldest baby of mine aged two or three years overnight.

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Image via Brittany Minor