If you’re like me, you might have always assumed that you’d have several children with your partner, without ever considering how having two kids is harder than having one. You always knew you wanted your children to have someone to play with, to cuddle with, to lean on, and ask for advice, as they grew older. For a lot of parents, it’s a no-brainer, that they’ll have more than one kid.
And then you had your first child together, and you got into a routine. Things became comfortable, and you started to wonder if you should rock the boat with a second child. After all, didn’t your first just get out of diapers/start sleeping through the night/self-wean? Or maybe things were pretty challenging, and you couldn’t imagine adding to your already-heavy load. Perhaps you're currently deep into the terrible twos, or you’ve got one hell of a threenager on your hands. Either way, you just don’t know if a second child is in the cards anymore.
I was actually a bit of both. Our second little was a surprise, coming along after we decided that we would just have one child together, after all. And, being an only child myself, I’ve been on a steep learning curve with the two of them. There are some great things about having two kids, and there are some interesting challenges. Here’s some of what I’ve learned.
There Is Nothing Better Than Watching Your Kids Make Each Other Laugh
I think this is a special kind of joy. Sure, it’s wonderful to make your children laugh by doing something yourself, but seeing your son crack up because your daughter was making faces at him? Makes me happy in a totally different way.
Your Kids Have A Live-In Playmate
As per the first point, you have no idea how handy it is to have someone else in the house who can amuse your children other than you. Once they get to the stage where they can play with each other? Amazing. I can actually cook a meal without a child hanging off my clothes now (well, most of the time; you do still have two kids).
Your Kids Also Have A Live-In Rival
Oh boy, I guess I kind of expected this with the older child, but now that my youngest is a year old, he’s making it abundantly clear that I am HIS. Like, sorry, sis, but mom is mine and only mine. So when I try to read my daughter a story? My normally chilled-out son crawls over and screams in her face and tries to climb over her, into my arms. Yikes. Cute, but yikes.
Bedtime Goes From Mere Chaos To All-Out Panic
Insanity. At least for the first year or two. I don’t know how anyone gives their children daily baths, especially once there are two on the scene. And good luck trying to get them to fall asleep at the same time! It’s total bedlam around here (see what I did there?).
All. The. Toys.
Remember all those baby toys you put into storage with a huge sigh of relief? Those all come back out, so you suddenly have twice as many. Oh, and my older child now wants all the baby toys, and my younger child wants all the tiny, completely inappropriate older kid toys. To put in his mouth. Yay!
All. The. Food.
I am so over food. If I never had to cook another meal (or 3, because naturally they like totally different things) I would be absolutely fine. Do you think it's OK if I only feed them Goldfish crackers and cheese for a few weeks? You know, for a little break?