So before we fell pregnant I was worried, anxious and frightened I would not cope with two children. After all we had about five years with just Milo and throwing another demanding bundle of joy into the mix was always going to be a new experience.
However, if you are expecting or planning for your second baby, I think what you need to keep in mind is that you have already done the hard part. You have already battled with night feeds, dealt with fevers after injections, tried to shower in 3 minutes, battled to cook dinner with your baby in the kitchen. You are an experienced parent who know what your child needs, you know their different cries and when they are over tired.
Having said this, I will not sugar coat anything. It has been tough going from one to two children. But not because of the things I have mentioned above. Instead, the things I found a little more difficult is ensuring that Milo feels just as loved as before, has enough attention and does not feel left out.
I think as a parent, you naturally worry about how the other siblings are going to feel upon the arrival of a new member of the family. Even though, Milo really wanted a sibling I feel so guilty about how time consuming a younger sibling can be. When Oscar was little, actually it was a lot easier then. Purely because babies just eat, sleep and poo. Oscar was always a good sleeper so I was still able to provide Milo with attention.
However, now Oscar is one, I would say he is a lot more demanding than before. I cannot take my eyes off of Oscar for a minute. If Milo wants me to play Lego with him, I know from experience that if I try to. Oscar will either ruin it (accidentally) or try to eat it. Both of which result in tears and panic. Milo has less one on one time but I think he has really taken it in his stride.
Sometimes we can all sit in the living room and the boys play with their toys but more times than not Milo gets annoyed by Oscar breaking up his train tracks and ends up just playing with him as opposed to his toys. Of course, he can play in his room but he also likes to be with the family.
There are a number of things that have changed and to Milo maybe for the worst. Before Oscar was born, we used to go out for dinner, brekkies and brunch dates all of the time. Since Oscar has arrived those restaurant visits have declined remarkably. I mean I know people say you can take a baby anywhere, which is true, but every time we try to go out to eat Oscar wants to eat and then once he is done he wants to get out of the highchair. It is just not enjoyable anymore.
Also, with your first child, you want to experience a lot of things as a combined family however, when you have two children you quite often have to separate. This is just because what is age appropriate for one child may not be age appropriate for the other. This means that Milo is missing out on family time and for this I feel guilty.
It has been difficult but it has also been rewarding. Milo has always been an amazing and caring brother and I think that tops everything. I predict that as Oscar gets a little older and more understanding that it is going to get easier. We are taking Milo away at the end of August to spend some quality time with him and we are all really excited. It is quite funny though as I now feel bad on Oscar missing out. I guess I cannot win. I wonder what the transition from two to three children would be like??
Next blog: How I prepared Milo for life with a new baby brother:)