You see, going from having one child to two is about as scary
as hosting a late night talk show and having no idea if the jokes will work, at
least it was for me. In fact for about three months after my second child was
born, I was terrified. My first child
had finally gotten easier, or my husband and I had finally figured out what we
were doing, and then along came No. 2. With
her came those dreaded sleepless nights, the long months before solid food and
the constant diaper changes. And she needed so much stuff. I had forgotten how much stuff babies need.
So right about now, Jimmy and Nancy are probably holding
their second child. They’re thrilled to have her, but also probably a little
shell-shocked. They’re undoubtedly
wondering what bed time is like with two kids. It’s bedlam, but we all figure it out and so will they. They’re probably wondering if the two kids
will wake each other up. Oh, and what happens if they don’t get along?
It’s hard to imagine loving anything as much as you love your first child, but you will.
Jimmy has so gracefully figured out how to host a late night
talk show so he will as gracefully navigate the chaos that comes with the
arrival of a second child. In the meantime, here are a few things Jimmy needs to
know about having two kids.
1. Don’t panic.
You’re not the first person in the world to
have more than one child and you will figure this out. You won’t do things as perfectly for No. 2 as
you did for your first, but that’s probably for the best. So don’t panic and remember the sleepless
nights will end, hopefully soon.
2. Staff up.
Your tombstone won’t read, “They did it all
themselves,” so get some help from family, friends or a trusted childcare
professional. There are as many children
in your house as there are adults. Times
have changed. Bring in the pros!
3. It won’t always suck this badly.
No one wants to admit
that those infant years aren’t that fun, so I will. The bad news is that Baby can’t do anything
without your help. The good news? It won’t last long.
4. You’ll have enough love for all your children.
hard to imagine loving anything as much as you love your first child, but you
will. Your love for each child will be
different but equal. So don’t worry
that you’re betraying one child by loving the other as much. There’s enough of
you to go around.
5. Everybody asks, “What have I done?”at least once.
Parents seem to decide to have a second child right at the moment life got
easier with the first. This is when the
“What have I done to our perfect life?” question starts running through your
head. It’s OK and it doesn’t mean you don’t love your new baby.
6. Life will get a lot easier when your kids share a bath and share a bedtime.
Right now that
second child of yours can barely breathe without your help, but soon she’ll be
sitting up in the tub with her sister and they’ll be sharing a book at
bedtime. You’ll feel like you turned a
corner when this happens. I know I did.
They’ll stop looking to you as the sole source of everything and they’ll start to look to one another.
7. Couples with two kids still have sex.
You’ll think that
having two kids means everything else in your life goes to the wayside, including sex. It doesn’t have to. Don’t get me wrong. You won’t have as much
time or energy for it, but it can still happen.
8. You’re going to be a lot more helpful.
better at parenting the second time around, especially dads. So this time you and the wife probably won’t
have those awful, “Do you know how tired I am?” fights. You’ll both be better at it and you’ll be
more supportive of each other.
9. It’s not that scary to be alone with both kids.
first time I took both of my kids out of the house I was sure disaster would
strike. I’m not exactly sure what I was worried about, but I couldn’t fathom
how I could survive being alone with the two kids. The first time was a little rocky. But after
that, we all got into the swing of things. Now, it’s fun!
There’s one more thing Jimmy Fallon, and every second-time
parent, needs to know: Some things get easier when you have two kids. Really. I know it’s hard to believe right now
while your older child is having a full on “Do you still love me?” meltdown and
you haven’t slept in four solid nights, but your kids are a team now. They’ll stop looking to you as the sole source
of everything and they’ll start to look to one another. You’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief
knowing you’re not the only person there for your child.
So pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for
giving your first child the most wonderful gift of all: a sibling. Oh and yes, they will wake each other up.