I wrote this post in the first month of our blog (18 months ago!), but I didn’t post it. This was the one I didn’t feel comfortable sharing until we were more synced up. It didn’t feel right to shout about how great two was while you were going through so much City Mama. Now that you are about to join the “more than one club” I will share. Two is the best! Get ready.
Through my whole second pregnancy I was a little terrified of adding a brother to our bunch.
Until our second was born we were a family of first-borns. Since both my husband and I are the oldest children in our families I always felt a little superior about that. How would a youngest child work in our family? I worried that our second wouldn’t get the same kind of attention we gave our first. And he doesn’t. He still doesn’t have a nap routine, he has to grab his sleep when he can on the go because we have a life to keep now, but instead of the intensely focused quantity of time Ellis got, Calvin gets much more quality parenting. I actually think he may have the better end of the deal.
An acquaintance with two children once told us that two was “double the work, but not double the joy.” That idea really haunted me. Fortunately we have found the opposite to be true.
Having two children is a little more work, but it isn’t double because you already know so much. With our first we basically problem solved, fretted and figured it out for the whole first year. There was joy for sure, but there was an overwhelming learning curve that overshadowed our adjustment to parenting. Fortunately all that knowledge conveyed to our second child.
Two is WAY more joy. Probably because we can relax and enjoy it more this time.
I’m not saying it is “easy” the second time. I haven’t slept for longer than 90 minutes in the past 4 months, but the difference this time is that I know how relatively brief this period of time will be so I am not struggling against it the way we did with Ellis. This time I know that Calvin will eventually sleep happily on his own through the night.* I am not going to spend two years worrying about making that happen.
We won’t be pushing our luck with a third, but I am so glad that we got to put some of our knowledge and skill to work again with another child. I don’t think of Ellis as the dress rehearsal exactly, but I know our performance improved in the second act.
*We all sleep soundly through the night now.