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 Sarah, at Boo Roo and Tigger Too.
Tell me a bit about yourself, your family and your blog.
Hello and thank you to Julie for allowing me to share my ponderings on two. My name is Sarah, a thirtysomething year old norther who now lives in Norfolk with my husband and three children. I previously worked in a mixture of roles for the NHS for 15 years before being made redundant. I currently work from home on my blogs Boo Roo and Tigger Too and A Few Favourite Things. This allows me the greatest flexibility around the needs and activities for my children.
What age gap did you have between your first and second children? What’s their relationship like?
There is exactly four years and three days between my eldest daughter and my son. He was actually due the day after her birthday but as she was early I was convinced that he would be as well. Subsequently I went into labour at her birthday party which I refused to acknowledge at the time as we had 54 children at the party.
Their relation is really quite good. Although they have different personalities and temperaments. My eldest daughter is very much a mini mummy so is often found helping with something or taking care of him. My son can be quite grumpy at times and she always seems to bring him round, with such patience for his personality.
What was the hardest thing about having a second child?
Adjusting to the needs of two children was possibly the hardest thing. With my first child I was able to feed her, put her down to nap etc. as required. However, as my eldest daughter was in pre-school I had to adjust everything around the school hours.
Whilst at home I would be often torn between feeds and nappy changes for my son, whilst my daughter wanted mummy to play with her. I soon learned to complete feeding and nappy changes on the floor, whilst playing a game or puzzle with my daughter on the coffee table.
What was the best thing about having a second child?
Whilst adding another child into your family is ultimately the parents’ decision, the moment you see your firstborn peering into the crib at your beside melts your heart. Suddenly you know that this was the right decision and that they will look out for each other despite the trials and tribulations they will have over the years.
Were there any products that made life with an older sibling and a newborn easier?
Having an age between children I fear that there weren’t as many products that made our lives easier than had they been closer together. Nevertheless there are a couple of things we used. Firstly, was a highchair that could be used directly against our dining table (Stokke Tripp Trapp) so that we could enjoy family meals together rather than the highchair being sat to one side. Secondly, was story sacks which I made using tote bags. Each contained a story, a few toys relating to the storyline and then a few activities (puzzle, crafts or colouring). This allowed my daughter to grab one and we’d be able to enjoy it at home, in the doctors surgery or at friends and family houses.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone expecting their second baby?
Lower your expectations of what is achievable both of yourself and of your first child too. Whilst you might be able to attend baby classes and play dates now, this is something you might struggle to do for the first few months with a newborn in tow. Just getting all three of you out of the door will be an achievement some days so take it easy on yourself.