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 Victoria, whose blog is Lylia Rose.
Tell me a bit about yourself, your family and your blog.
Hello, my name is Victoria and I’m a 33 year old mum of two. I’m married to Ben and we have a daughter Bella age six years and a son called Reuben age three years. We live in south west England in Gloucestershire where we’ve been busily doing up our first owned home together for four years. I have been blogging at Lylia Rose for over five years which has turned into my full time occupation. It’s predominantly about family lifestyle, healthy living, home & garden and making money online/being self-employed. I love blogging so much and my biggest passion is healthy living so I set up a second blog in January 2018 called Healthy Vix that focuses on all things healthy.
What age gap did you have between your first and second children? What’s their relationship like?
There’s a 2 year and 9 month age gap between my two children, so almost three years and it will be a three year school gap. When Bella starts juniors next year, Reuben will start infants. I’m not sure why but I wanted quite a large age gap. Originally I wanted Bella to be at school so I could have time with the little one to myself like I did with her, but I got broody a bit sooner, so we had one year and a term before Bella started school once I’d had Reuben!
At the moment they are three and six years old so they are now starting to really play together well. Reuben’s language is coming on every day which means they can play together much better than even a few months ago. Most of the time they get along, but they do also squabble every day and regularly fight over the same toy!
What was the hardest thing about having a second child?
Just how consuming it is. There’s no break. When the youngest is sleeping then you still have the oldest to look after. It’s also the logistics of trying to get them both in and out of the car safely, say at the supermarket. Getting a two year old out and then needing both your hands to get the baby out whilst you’re praying the two year old doesn’t run off or out into the road and follows your instructions! When you’re out and about on your own it can be quite a handful with two. It definitely gets easier, and helps when the eldest does what you say, but I remember being terrified of going out on my own with the both of them the first few times.
What was the best thing about having a second child?
Feeling like our family was complete and seeing the bond between siblings. We were very lucky to have a girl then boy, which is what I wanted, so I felt a sense of completion as soon as we had Reuben. Seeing Bella hold her baby brother and be amazed by him was so precious to see.
Were there any products that made life with an older sibling and a newborn easier?
When I had Reuben, Bella was already at a playgroup for a couple of mornings each week. This meant I had to walk to the playgroup and back with Bella who was still two and with Reuben in the pram. Bella wasn’t at the stage of listening to me 100% and I feared she’d run off. I also had a four wheeled pram which needed both my hands to manoeuvre and lift up and down curbs. The first thing I purchased which made things easier was a Skip Hop Stroller Handle which Bella held onto whenever we walked with the pram. As I couldn’t always hold her hand this gave her something to hold onto and me peace of mind she was right next to me still. After a few months I purchased a three wheeled pushchair which was so much easier to steer one handed and gave me a hand to hold Bella at the same time.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone expecting their second baby?
Let the eldest help out as much as possible and feel included. Bella used to love feeling involved by getting me nappies or wipes and helping with the baby. It stopped her feeling left out. She also had her own baby to care for which was very cute. We’d change nappies together, for example, with baby and doll lined up ready to change!
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