Is it much harder going from one child to two?

(17 Posts)
senseofhumourfailure Tue 25-May-10 21:13:56

I'm 12 weeks pregnanct with second child and would be really looking forward to it if DH wasn't being so negative about it.

He says that his life is stressful enough at the minute without having another child to give his time and attention to and is worried that 2 children will just bicker all the time. He actually came out and suggested I have an abortion as "life is great just now and this is just going to ruin it!" shock

Our DD is nearly two and sometimes a bit of a handful but she is loving and totally dotes on her dad and gives him loads of cuddles. I'm a SAHM and DH works long hours so it's pretty much me doing all the childcare and housework, I just think that having a second child won't make things too much harder, other than the initial no sleep baby period. We already have all the baby stuff and enough room and aren't short of cash. We weren't using reliable contraception (withdrawal method hmmm) so pregnancy was bound to happen sooner or later.

Anyway I'm rambling - can you please enlighten me with your comments about how life changed once you had DC2?! Whats harder/different? Did your relationship suffer?

dinkystinky Tue 25-May-10 21:20:35

It is easier in some ways - in that you know what you're doing and after the initial upheaval of bringing baby home things do settle down quite quickly - but harder in other ways, in that you do need to deal with sibling jealousy/rivalry and you need to divide your time and attention between two - but once the baby is old enough to notice and interact with their elder sibling they think they're the most amazing person in the world and watching your kids play together and make each other laugh is the most amazing thing in the world. DH says having DS1 and DS2 are the two best things he's ever done - and I agree with him. It is amazing going from a family of 2 to 3 to 4. Yes, there is a period of adjustment in your relationship after you have DC2 - just as there was when we had DS1 - but once things settled down, DH and I were so much stronger and closer.

I think you need to sit down and have a proper talk with your DH. He sounds like he will actually be the problem -not your second child or your DD - when no 2 arrives as he seems to be begrudging them already. It took 2 of you to make this baby - he needs to appreciate that. And if there are cracks in your relationship already, he may well end up trying to use DC2 as a reason to get out of the relationship.

SilveryMoon Tue 25-May-10 21:24:58

I found that going from 1 to 2 was alot easier in many ways than going from 0 to 1.
Just basically want to echo everything dinkystinky has said <waves>

senseofhumourfailure Tue 25-May-10 21:26:21

The thing is things really are brilliant at the minute, DH says he is really happy, I'm happy; loving being wife to DH and mum to DD. He says he is just worried about another child ruining it all by making things so much harder than now.

Having DD really strengthened our relationship, despite the sleepness nights we both agreed we loved being parents as well as a couple.

I'm hoping he'll warm to the idea over time and he's just a bit worried about change.

moaningminniewhingesagain Tue 25-May-10 21:27:54

It is harder than 1 in some ways, but easier in others. Mine are 3.2 and 17m now and the first few months weeks were very hard work as it's hard to entertain a toddler that's very demanding when you have been up every 2 hours with the newborn.

I had a hard time getting BF started with DS which was very time consuming, lots of cbeebies and peppa pig helpedblush

But they play very well together mostly, make each other laugh, and DD says DS is her 'very best friend'. They are besotted with each other. Both get jealous when the other is having attention from me or DH though.

dinkystinky Tue 25-May-10 21:28:46

Maybe you need to point that out to him Sense - it will be harder at times but it will also be easier at times and honestly, another child really does bring so much joy to your family. I think DS1 was getting abit lonely before DS2 was born - now he has a little friend to play with at home and the two of them really love each other and play together beautifully. I love sitting and watching them play and gang up on DH and me to tickle us...

OnEdge Tue 25-May-10 21:29:14

It is lovely, the only big change is that you can`t rest when the baby sleeps this time because you have to look after no 1. I found sleep to be the issue.

dinkystinky Tue 25-May-10 21:29:26

<waves to Silverymoon>

SilveryMoon Tue 25-May-10 21:32:53

When ds1 was about 12 months, I was 6 months pregnant. I was really worried about the effect the new baby would have on us, our relationships, ds1 et etc etc
I was very happy with life. I enjoyed being with ds1 and i worried about how I was going to find the time for another child, but you do.
Some things have to be juggled about a bit, but it all works out because it has to.

BabbatheHun Tue 25-May-10 21:40:51

I have an almost 4 year old DD and an almost 6 month DS. It is the best thing we did, having a second. It is just so great, i cannot describe how right it feels. They adore each other, and I can already see how they will look out for each other as they grow.

What I have found hard:
Less sleep in the first few weeks/months. With DD, i would just sleep in the day more, DH would take her out, or we would nap together. Now, DD wants me much more, so it is hard to catch up. Honestly, that lack of sleep floored me, but approaching 6 months and I am feeling much more rested (if possible) certainly able to cope fine.
Being unwell, with 2 children. Impossible to feel sorry for yourself or find any time to recover, its just simply getting up and carrying on.

But, it is all over-ridden in the morning, when DD comes into bed and pulls my arm around her, and I am nursing DS, and he opens his eyes, pulls away from me and his eyes light up and his mouth opens into the widest grin in the world and DD crumbles with joy. When he is desperate to stuff food into his mouth to copy his sister and she is making him laugh while he eats porridge.

And you know so much more the second time, much more relaxed about then being held by others, about feeding them (in whatever milk form they take) and then weaning them, and all the stress that goes with it, it is much reduced. The jump was definitely harder the first time as I knew nothing at all. Now, I know a little more than that.

CakeForBreakfast Tue 25-May-10 21:42:23

Not enormously impressed with your hubby's abortion comment, was the second pregnancy unplanned?

My dh was very funny about our dc2 during pregnancy (and actually the early weeks), he was worried he wouldn't know how to love another child as much as dc1 and I think deep down almost felt that loving the new baby as much would somehow be a betrayal to dc1).

He has been a lot less hands-on with the second baby who is now 6months but even so has been totally won over by the lovely little monkey.

Its brilliant, I had a colicky sensitive first baby and a chilled out, happy second baby, so I have found it all so much easier and less stressful than I thought.

Your organisational skills improve with more kids, but really you are right, it will be fantastic and you will love it.

So will your dh, (after a while maybe, but thats ok)

BabbatheHun Tue 25-May-10 21:45:27

oh and I had some reservations while pg, so did DH, not doubts so much, but 'is this the right thing, to upset this wonderful little unit' but as soon as DS was born, it felt absolutely right, and now, we were just talking about it with a friend this morning, now it feels like we are whole. It is like he was always here.

And there is absolutely enough love. I think there are no reserves on love, it is endless. I worried i could not love another baby like DD, how wrong I was, i love DS so much it makes me cry, just like it did with DD, it is the same, it is as strong.

ilikeyoursleeves Tue 25-May-10 21:56:37

That's pretty sad that your DH isn't looking forward to baby number 2. Hopefully he will get used to the idea before he passes on any negativity to the baby!

We have 2 boys 21 months apart (2.5 years and 10 months just now). It is fab and I'm not being sarcastic, DS1 adores his baby brother and they never bicker (not yet anyway). They are learning to play together and it is too cute to watch. DS1 asks for the baby as soon as he gets up and misses him when he goes for a nap. Yes it was hard in the early days but nowhere as hard as anticipated. DS2 is totally laid back which helped so he has just hung out with us and we have just carried on doing the usual stuff with DS2 tagging along.

It takes ages to do anything as it's double work but it's not too bad at all, the positives far outweigh the negatives. And re our relationship, we have bickered a lot due to sleep deprivation but are getting far better now!

senseofhumourfailure Tue 25-May-10 22:00:29

Thank you for all your comments so far, keep 'em coming!

Am prepared for sleep deprivation for the first 6 months(ish) and feeling like a zombie, DD will start pre-school when baby 8 months old so will definitely get a bit easier then if not before.

cakeforbreakfast i wasn't overly impressed by the abortion comment either, pregnancy wasn't planned or discussed but certainly not inevitable if not using contraception! He suggested the same when discovered pregnant with DD, but came round towards due date and totally adores her now. He doesn't really like change, has stayed in same town his whole life, same job for 16 years. Confident he will come round to the idea but his negative views at the minute make me wonder if things really will be hard/less enjoyable with 2 DC.

Off to bed now but will check thread tomorrow.

WilfShelf Tue 25-May-10 22:02:18

No. The big shock is the first one. Second one just fits in and you know what to expect.

Now 2 to 3: bloody nightmare grin

MrsTittleMouse Tue 25-May-10 22:16:25

I think that there's a good chance that this new baby will come along and charm the socks of your DH.

Regarding the practicalities -

I didn't find it harder having a second baby, but then I did find it very hard having the first. DD1 was a really demanding baby and there was no "sleeping while the baby sleeps", because she basically didn't. We weren't particularly PFB with DD1, because we were basically too exhausted, but we were certainly even more laid back about having DD2, in that we didn't really give a stuff about getting anything done, or even hoping that she would sleep through the night. We were well planned that the first couple of months would just be about whatever it took to get us all through in one piece.

Logistically it is much harder having the second. Getting out of the house for a set time becomes something of a military operation. Developmental stages seem to overlap massively, so we had DD1 having nightmares and waking DD2 up, closely followed by DD1 having a growth spurt and needing to feed all night and waking DD2 up. We called them the tag-team, but then we do seem to specialise in children who think that sleep is for the weak, so you probably won't have that problem.

Despite all the scary stuff above, the really good news is that a toddler running around is fantastic entertainment for a non-mobile baby. Gone are the days when you have to think up wonderful ways to stimulate your baby, it all happens pretty much automatically. The second also tends to do things much faster than the first, because they have a role model on hand all the time. DD2 isn't ready for potty training yet, but she already loves pants and practises sitting on the potty. She puts her hand in front of her mouth when she coughs. She is happy and comfortable around large numbers of older children (something which really freaked out DD1).

Also, there is nothing to melt your heart faster than seeing your children develop a relationship with each other. DD1 and DD2 are already sharing jokes and plotting and scheming with each other. They beam when they see each other in the morning. They are desperate to share a bed (over my dead body grin). I have high hopes that they will be fantastic friends for each other, and it's happened really quickly, in the grand scheme of things - DD2 is only one and a half. You will have a small age gap too, so theres a really good chance that they will be excellent playmates just like mine.

angel1976 Tue 25-May-10 22:44:31

senseofhumourfailure - We got preggers with number 2 when DS1 was only 10 months old (hence the 20 months gap!) and it wasn't planned but we did always wanted a second child. I kinda understand what it feels like to be your DH in that I tell people that if we had waited, I might not have had DS2 because DS1 can be immensely hard work but I find motherhood more rewarding now, the baby stage just kills me.

DH would never dare suggest abortion (he would be a dead man!) but he did remark that he wished we had waited a bit. But now DS2 is here, we are both completely in love with him. DS1 was a demanding little PITA baby and now a demanding toddler but DS2 is just completely chilled and so smiley. I knew that having two so close in age will be hard but I didn't expect it to be quite so hard. I think you need to be prepared to 'write off' the first six months of your DC2's life in the sense of not sleeping, being tired 24/7 etc. I feel that this time round, I am both completely mentally and physically exhausted cos it feels so 24/7 (last time I could rest while DS1 rested but now it feels like I am playing 'never-catch-up').

The good things are: I am starting to come out of what I termed 'the haze', DS2 is almost 7 months and DS1 2.3. DS2 adores DS1 and laughs at his antics. Because of their age gap, there is hardly any jealousy on DS1's part, he just accepts that his brother will always be there. Today, I went to pick DS1 from nursery without DS2 and DS1 kept asking to see DS2. I think he actually thinks DS2 belongs to him. grin

In terms of relationship with DH, it really suffered with DS1 (we were both in shock and DS1 wasn't easy like I said, he cried a lot) and I was so stressed out and couldn't relax. With DS2, we kinda knew what to expect so we did more things for us earlier on; it took 21 months for us to let GPs have DS1, DS2 has already had a sleepover at 6.5 months. grin But it is harder for us to plan to do stuff as well, both as a family (so much easier to just go out with a toddler, seems to take us twice as long to get the baby and toddler stuff together) and as a couple (getting someone we trust to look after DS2 as he is still really just a baby).

Good luck! I hope your DH comes round to the idea. He doesn't have a choice. wink

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