It might feel impossible to survive pregnancy while simultaneously juggling keeping another child alive. It might feel impossible to manage adoption logistics, while also keeping another child fed, well-rested, and happy. Time goes so slow when you’re waiting for a new baby, but simultaneously so fast when you are waiting for a baby while taking care of the child right in front of you. Your body might hurt, your heart might feel scared, your mind might be racing and the day you’ll meet your baby might feel so far away. It will happen before you know it.️
You might worry that you won’t be able to love or bond with your new baby like you did your first. It’s cliché but so true — your love isn’t divided, it’s multiplied. The love you have for your new child will be different. Equal — but different. There’s always room for more love.You might worry that your oldest will feel abandoned or left behind when the new baby comes. I know I did! While we’ve had many bumps along the way, I now know that my bond with my oldest is even stronger. You get to see this tiny person you love with every fiber of your being evolve into a new role as a big sibling and it’s incredibly special. I’ve been more proud and in awe of Lucy more than I ever have before. Even when it’s hard to find the time, try to carve even a few minutes of alone time with your oldest when you can. Nothing helps break up hours of newborn screaming like five minutes of listening to your toddler giggle in joy during bath time.
This time around, you’ll realize how fleeting each stage is and you’ll soak in each moment differently. Now that you’ve seen firsthand how quickly your oldest grew and changed, you’ll realize just how rapidly it goes. I remember thinking the sleepless nights with Lucy would never end, and now she’s a toddler who sleeps 12 hours a night and tells me “I love you!” before bed. I remember being frustrated that Lucy always needed to be rocked or held and now I see her as a wild, wiggly little girl who doesn’t have time to sit on mama’s lap. This realization has allowed me to really soak in my time with Winnie differently. “Babies (really, really, REALLY) don’t keep” is a phrase I often think of. It all happens way too fast, but this time you’ll know it and you’ll appreciate it in a new way.
Seeing your children together will burst your heart in so many ways — the way your oldest will instinctively hand your baby a toy or pacifier without being asked, their secret languages and looks and laughs that only the two of them know, the way your oldest protects your youngest, the way your youngest stares at your oldest like she’s the most wonderful thing in the world. You’ll look at your oldest and think — how is my first baby SO BIG?! and you’ll look at your new baby and think — I didn’t remember babies being THIS SMALL. Don’t get too hung up on the ‘big’ moments like when they meet for the first time, but instead soak up the small day-to-day moments of seeing your two children together. There really is magic in the mundane.
In a way, it can be more challenging because there are multiple tiny humans who rely on you, and your attention feels like it’s always split. But there will also be an ease to it, because you’ve done this before. You’ll still question yourself and forget all the things you did before, but muscle memory comes back and soon you’ll be onto the next thing. Remind yourself, often, that you’re doing a really good job.
Transitions will be tricky. Getting out of the house with two kids in car seats is no easy feat. Getting your big kid down for nap while one-handedly feeding your newborn feels like an Olympic sport. Getting two kids to *actually* sleep at the same time feels like a miracle. You are capable and you’ll feel like the biggest superhero after mastering some of these tough transitions. Not every moment is pretty, but you’ll eventually figure it out and exhale thinking — I did it!
Sure — there will less breaks. Less alone time. Way less sleep. You’re “on” all the time and that can take a toll on you. try to take some time for yourself — even if it’s just a few minutes. Even if it’s just going to the bathroom alone. It won’t always be this crazy, I promise.
There will be times when you wake up and aren’t sure how you’ll muster the energy to take care of two little ones; when you aren’t sure how life even got this wild and busy and overwhelming. There will be so many other times where you look at your two kids together and think — how is this my life? How am I so very lucky? Acknowledge the former as real and valid feelings, but lean into the latter. This is your life — it’s crazy and it’s messy and it’s absolutely wonderful.
Love, a new(ish) proud, tired, and full of joy mama to two beautiful girls