A new survey has been pinging around various blogs that I read recently and I just wanted to add my tuppence worth because it rang so many bells with me too! The survey has been conducted by nursery brand, Munchkin and highlights the difference between having one child and two, the little things you do differently, how nervy and things like that.
I very often remark on this as it started for me with my second pregnancy. With my first, I was still working so I was very much ‘ooh I can’t lift anything heavy’, ‘no, I can’t attend things away from the office’ and must have annoyed everyone as though I was the first woman ever to be pregnant! But with the second one, I was looking after a toddler full time so couldn’t say to him ‘oh no I can’t left you up’ or ‘no I must have a nap now, go and leave me alone’ (although tempted!!), so I just carried on, supermarket shopping, boxes, whatever.
It’s also a very big education when your second child is born – they are usually very different to the first one and, sometimes, since the toddler requires more attention they do tend to get plonked down because at least you know they’ll be there when you get back (at least for a few months)! Also, I never tended to put the first one down on the floor without a mat, but the second one just went wherever – I actually feel terrible saying all this, but it’s funny how precious you are with the first baby and how the second has to just slot in with what you’re already doing!
The mums that Munchkin spoke to admitted to doing the following five things differently the second time round:
1. Leave to entertain themselves for short period whilst they get on with some housework
2. Started weaning them slightly earlier than six months
3. More willing to accept second hand clothes
4. Spend less money on toys and treats
5. Let them watch ‘older television’ at a younger age than their older sibling
and if they’d spoken to me I would have agreed with all of those.
Speaking for myself I think it’s just that you have to do some of these things – some of which are undesirable for sure – to get through the day with more than one child. You’re outnumbered when they both want and need attention and when they both want you at the same time you’d have more luck trying to sort out the Middle East. When you have one child it’s easy to do things ‘by the book’ and ‘as you should’, when you have two or more you realise that ‘as you should’ is not always ‘as you can’ so you have to do what works for you and your family. If you can get through the day without once thinking you’re a bad mother then you’re a better woman than I!
I’ve not been paid for this post, I’m just commenting on an interesting survey that pretty much summed up my approach to having two kids. If you’d like to find out more about the survey and Munchkin, then please see their website.