Full disclosure: I had no idea what to expect as a mom of two. It was one thing to talk about having two kids, or to plan and prepare, but it was another thing to walk through the door and suddenly be responsible for not one but two lives. At first I thought there was something wrong with me, but I later learned there are more than a few very real fears every mom has before she brings her second baby home. Now I know I'm not alone in my feelings, and that every mom is anxious before she takes her second baby home from the hospital or birthing center.
As parents preparing to care for two children, my partner and I did everything we thought we should do before the arrival of our daughter's brother on her fifth birthday. Still, we were clueless... just like we were when our first baby was born. I remember not wanting to leave the hospital I was so scared, and even though I had already been a mom for five years. In so many ways, everything was different. I had to care for a newborn and a 5-year-old at the same time. I had to adjust to living on no sleep, again, and be functional for the benefit of my daughter. And since my partner had to return to work almost right away after our son was born, I had to adjust all on my own.
Thankfully, I learned that while my fears were legitimate, they also eventually faded as I settled into my new role as a mom of two. Being anxious about caring for two children didn't make me a bad mom, or ill-suited for the job. It just made me a human being. So with that in mind, here are a few of the fears every mom feels when she brings her second baby home.
The "How The Hell Is Everyone Going To Sleep?" Fear
As a mom of two, one of my main concerns was figuring out how I was going to make sure everyone in my house was getting enough sleep. Just when my 5-year-old daughter was settling into a solid schedule, we brought a tiny newborn into the house. Brilliant, right? I was constantly worried that the baby was going to disrupt my daughter's sleep schedule, or that my daughter's set schedule was going to interfere with my son's sleep.
It wasn't always easy, to be sure, but we eventually figured it out and everyone was able to get as much sleep as possible.
The "How Is The Family Pet Going To Respond?" Fear
I had two cats when I brought my son home, and one of them was an old, crabby shrew. I loved her, don't get me wrong, but she was mean AF. So I had the same fear that I had when I brought my daughter home: that the cat would freak out as a result of this big change and scratch my baby.
Turns out, she wanted nothing to do with him and left him alone.
The "How Am I Going To Manage My Time?" Fear
I swear there's not enough time in the day. I scrambled to manage our schedules when I had one child, so how in the hell was I going to manage when I had two? Yes, sometimes I had to lug my newborn and his carseat to my daughter's school, but I made it work.
The "We'll Never Have Enough Room" Fear
Babies require a lot of things. So do children. Having to find room for my daughter's things and my son's things was a challenge, to be sure, and trying to make room out of seemingly nothing was incredibly stressful.
The "How My First Child Would Cope?" Fear
Like any mom, I worried about my daughter and how she would adjust to the news. I wanted to be sure I gave her the same attention she became accustomed to, even after her brother was born and I had a newborn to care for. That's easier said than done, my friends, but like her parents my daughter eventually settled into her role as a big sister.
The "How Will I Handle This On My Own?" Fear
I knew it'd be a shock to bring my baby home, but my new reality as a mom of two became very real when my partner went back to work. I suddenly realized I was outnumbered, and that was terrifying. If you're scared for the day your partner leaves for work again, you're not alone but you will get through it.
The "How Much Will My Life Change Again?" Fear
My life had already change drastically when I had my daughter. Could I really handle another drastic life-change? How would I split my time between my son and my daughter? How could I possible love two children so much, and equally? How would being a mom of two impact my life, my relationship with my partner, and my mental health?
All my fears, and all my questions, were valid. They were also necessary. They helped me prioritize what was important and what wasn't, and they reminded me that I was just as important as my children and my relationship with my husband and all the other people and things I value in my life. As a mom of two I found a way to persevere and, now, I can't imagine not having my two children.