I am so grateful to have amazing friends who had children before me, who could offer their wise advice to the overanxious first-time mom that I was. And yet, now that I have two kids, I want to yell at some of those very same mama friends, those who had their second or even third child before I had my second, the ones who told me when I was pregnant with our second child that having two was “different.” No, my dears, it’s not “different.” I think the words you were searching for were “hard,” “insane,” and “may drive you both to drink heavily.” Looking back, I honestly don’t know what I was bitching and moaning about when we just had one child. All of those hours lost worrying about sleep (or lack thereof), about every little morsel that he ate, about development and milestones and blah blah blah. What a waste of time. I should have just instead enjoyed how EASY that time really was, back when it was just me, hubby, dog and son. Oh how easily we fell prey to all of the unnecessary and ridiculous first-child worries and woes. Oh how we thought everything was so damn difficult then. And I’m sure, at the time, it was. Our son had a tumultuous first two years of life, and we were first time parents: of course it was hard.
But here we are now, with a son who is 4.5 and a daughter who is 20 months old (yikes! how’d that happen?!), and now we know better. On many levels, we’re wiser, which makes it all the more annoying sometimes. Two kids isn’t double the work, it’s 10 times the work. And that is something no one told me until RIGHT AFTER I gave birth a second joyous time and the madness truly began. Before two kids, it was all “oh you’ll love having both a girl and a boy!” “Oh, it’s so great to have two and watch them grow up together!” “Oh it’s so much easier the second time around!” Yes, those words are all true. HOWEVER, they all failed to mention we would probably never have a “relaxing” night or weekend ever again, our shoulders will ache even more than ever before from double the constant lifting, we’ll be spending WAY more time cleaning up than ever imagined because of double the toys, clothes, junk, food & other odd object smearings all over the place, and that never again will we want to set foot in a grocery store or any other store because taking two kids into a store? IT IS HEEELLLLLLLL. Nobody mentioned any of that. Nobody mentioned that even at such early ages would the two have drastically different schedules that we’d be running around like mad more than before. Nobody mentioned the inevitable constant screaming that would happen with two kids who both want the same thing at the same time…All. Day. Long.
Thanks, friends. Thanks for no warning!
But then… as crazy as it is, there is no other way I would have it. You knew the cheesy part was coming, right? Well here it is. Just as those with one child or three or four couldn’t imagine their lives any differently, neither could we. Our house is louder and our schedules are busier, and we’re always tired and sometimes in physical pain, but it’s almost this perfect imperfection that makes us so very happy and fulfilled. We love that our kids will grow up with each other, having each other for support in difficult times as they get older, to grow up together and get in trouble together and lie for each other or tell on each other. We love that they’ll be siblings, friends, confidants, enemies, cheerleaders all at the same time and in different ways throughout their lives. We love watching them now. Their bond grows everyday, and it’s so amazing… of course they fight and scream and are pretty violent with each other sometimes, but they also make each other laugh like nobody else can, they hug and kiss, and they hold hands. It’s so freakin’ adorable I can’t stand it! These two perfectly flawed little beings are the best parts of my life, and even though having two can be physically, emotionally and mentally draining, it’s also the most exhilarating, soul-filling part of my life.
I do, however, wish that moms would be more open about how much harder it is to have two than to have one. Damn you all for your silence. Hmph.