Welcome to my new guest post series, Ponderings on Two, where I ask a different blogger and parent of more than one child, to share their experience of having a second child. This week, we hear from Emma from Life According to Mrs Shilts.
Tell me a bit about yourself, your family and your blog.
I’m Emma and I write the blog Life According to Mrs Shilts. I’m Mummy to Olly, five and Freddie, four months. I’m currently on maternity leave from my job in Human Resources so hoping to find time to write more about family life on the blog whilst being at home with my boys.
What age gap did you have between your first and second children? What’s their relationship like?
There’s four years and 11 months between my two boys. Ideally we would have loved the age gap to be smaller but mother nature (or my dodgy ovaries) were against us. The age gap has worked out brilliantly though and Olly is loving being a big brother and is really helpful. He chats to Freddie, checks that he’s ok in his crib and wants to help fetch and carry things for him. Since Freddie’s been born he’s fed him and cuddled him but changing dirty nappies is a step too far!
What was the hardest thing about having a second child?
I was worried how Olly would adjust from being an only child to having to share his Mummy and Daddy but I needn’t have worried. He’s taken it all in his stride and loves having a little brother. Obviously, Freddie is only a newborn at the moment so it’s all very new to Olly but as time goes by, I’m sure Olly and Freddie will have a wonderful relationship together.
What was the best thing about having a second child?
The best thing about having a second child is knowing that Olly will always have someone to grow up with. Both my husband and I have a sibling each and love the relationships we have with them and we really wanted Olly to have that with a brother or sister of his own.
Were there any products that made life with an older sibling and a newborn easier?
I haven’t discovered any wonder products yet but one thing that has made my life so much easier with a five year old and a newborn has been my husband. He’s been amazing! He’s a very hands on Daddy and will do everything for the boys and I’m so grateful we’re doing this thing called parenthood together.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone expecting their second baby?
My advice would be to ask family and friends to respect the space you need after having a baby. It’s lovely to have visitors wanting to visit but it’s also lovely being in a baby bubble and getting the space you need to welcome another little one into the family. It gives your older child time to adjust to family as a four and not be overwhelmed with family and friends cooing over the new arrival. We only had our parents and siblings visit during the first two weeks after Freddie’s birth which was really lovely, it also gave me time to recover from surgery and get back on my feet.