7 Reasons Why The Second Year Of Motherhood Is Way Harder Than The First

Ad failed to load

The first year of motherhood can be brutal. Having a baby is a huge shock to your body, mind, your relationships, and your finances. Nothing can quite prepare you for the reality of a newborn. No advice, no anecdote, no story. Nothing. Because there's nothing like the first time you bring your baby home, the first time you try to feed, the first bath, and that first night's sleep. But while the first year as a parent can be strenuous, the second year of motherhood is harder than the first.

The first year of motherhood, while draining, is also often blissful. At least, it was for me. I loved watching my newborn turn into a little human; watching her smile, laugh, crawl and take her first steps was a truly incredible experience. Listening to my baby babble and seeing her become her own person is the kind of joy that can be felt only by a new parent. But hearing your toddler scream "no" and throw a tantrum in the middle of a grocery store? Well, that's the kind of shame that can only be felt by parents of toddlers. And even though it's normal to have a 1-year-old toddler ready to question boundaries, it's arguably a less pleasurable experience than watching your baby crawl for the first time.

I remember when I first realized my babies where no longer babies. It happened early, too, since both of my kids started walking by 11 months. My daughter, the one with a, how do I say, "strong personality" let go of my hand and walked away from me on some random day, without warning. She turned her head, looked at me, and gave me this look that said: "I got this mom, I don't need you anymore." I cried ugly tears that night, telling my husband life isn't fair and that our daughter no longer loves me. And that, my friends, is just one of the reasons why the second year of parenthood is exponentially harder than the first.

Ad failed to load

They Can Walk


Remember that time you were so excited for your baby to take their first steps? Or maybe you were slightly annoyed that your baby didn't walk by their first birthday like "all the other babies." Either way, most new parents impatiently wait for this very cool milestone. And after carrying your kid in your arms for at least a year, you were probably really ready for a break.

But now that the baby is on their own — walking, running, and dawdling their way through your living room — you probably realized a walking toddler is an accident ready to happen. So yeah, I bet you wish you could go back to the days when your kid wasn't quote as mobile. The days when you could sit them down in one spot and that's exactly where they'd stay.

They Learn To Say "No"

Is it, like, a coincidence that your baby's first word (besides "mama" and "dada") is oftentimes "no"? Like, why "no"? Why not, "Yes, mother. anything you want, mother."? I don't know about your kids, but my kids absolutely love the word no. And before they were able to actually verbalize their needs and wants, they would just shake their heads to tell me they weren't buying anything I was selling.

So yeah, your somewhat agreeable baby now has a favorite word, and that word is going to cause you a lot of grief.

They Refuse To Eat


How easy was it to plop your baby on your breast or give her a bottle? Easy. OK, maybe it wasn't always easy, but I guarantee you it wasn't as painful a process as my current "please dear lord child eat" regiment.

I remember trying to research toddler eating schedules and reading true horror stories from parents whose toddlers refused to eat anything but grilled cheese. I mean, I get it, grilled cheese is probably the best food there is, second only to pizza, but it can't be all that nutritious, right?

And, in addition to now wanting to eat anything and making this Jewish mother irrationally upset, they are so messy. After 30 minutes of trying to get my kids to eat a meatball, 90 percent of the meatball ends up on the floor and the other 10 is in their hair.

Ad failed to load

They Throw Temper Tantrums

Once these kids turn 1, they suddenly have, like, an opinion and stuff. They like and dislike things and make their preferences very known. And when they really, really don't like something, they may just drop to the floor and scream and cry and make a scene, and it doesn't even matter where you are at the moment: the tantrum will happen.

They Are Irrational


Since toddlers have these incredible and rambunctious personalities and feelings they can't quite articulate, they end up seeming rather irrational. For example, one day my son cried for probably an hour because I couldn't give him the car that was just a picture on the cereal box. And I told him it was just a picture and not a car he could actually play with, but he didn't care. Oh no, he wanted that car and he needed that car and I was not able to rip myself into a billion little pieces and give him that car.

People Kind Of Stop Helping You

After the first year of motherhood, people kind of just stop offering to help. Everyone wants to help when you have a newborn, but by the time they turn 1 everyone seems to think that you've got this mom thing down.

I now have an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old and I still don't have this mom thing down. In fact, I'm not sure I ever will.

Ad failed to load

They Are No Longer A Baby


Do you ever look at your toddler and think, "My god, I can't believe I used to be able to hold you and smell you and kiss you whenever I wanted and now you pull away from me probably because you hate me"? No? Must be only me then.

Sometime in the middle of the second year as a mom, you realize your baby no longer wants to hang out with you and snuggle with you and take naps with you. Instead, they would much rather run away from you in a crowded parking lot and try to run into traffic. Because toddlers are a walking hazard, you guys. Godspeed.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack