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 Lucy, who writes at Mrs Hs Favourite Things.
Tell me a bit about yourself, your family and your blog.
I’m Lucy and I blog over at Mrs H’s favourite things. I’m wife to Mr H and mother to Little Miss H who is almost five and Little Mister H who will be two in July. I blog honestly about recurrent miscarriage, mental health and finding happiness in the little things in life. I do this to show mums who are struggling that there is always hope and that a rainbow can appear after the darkest storm.
What age gap did you have between your first and second children? What’s their relationship like?
The age gap between our two children isn’t exactly the one we wanted. We started trying for another baby when our daughter was 18 months old. Unfortunately, we had three miscarriages before Little Mister H was born. So the age gap when Little Mister H was born was three years.
At first Little Miss H was smitten with her baby brother. She quickly lost interest when she realised he couldn’t play with her. She was then quite ambivalent until he reached his first birthday.
They now have a lovely relationship. Yes, they fight over toys and sometimes they can be a little rough with one another. But they also love each other dearly and watching them play together is wonderful.
What was the hardest thing about having a second child?
In many ways, the hardest thing about having a second child was the worry that I felt before Little Mister H was born. I wondered how the heck I was going to manage with two children. How would I get them out of the house? How would I manage at bedtime? What would I do when they both needed me at the same time? But these worries disappeared as soon as our son was born. We adapted and we managed. Because we had to.
What was the best thing about having a second child?
Without doubt, the best thing about having a second child is seeing them together and watching their relationship develop. It’s the little moments, like finding Little Miss H reading to her brother or holding his hand when he walks. These moments just melt your heart.
Were there any products that made life with an older sibling and a newborn easier?
We had a stretchy wrap and it was definitely invaluable when Little Mister H was newborn. He suffered from colic and he would always kick off at dinner time. The only way I could stop him from screaming was to cuddle and rock him. But obviously, that wasn’t possible when I needed to make Little Miss H’s dinner and then do bath and bedtime. So I would put him in the stretchy wrap. This meant that Little Mister H could have the cuddles he needed. He was safe and secure. And I had my hands free to cook the dinner and put Little Miss to bed.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone expecting their second baby?
The best piece of advice that I was given, was to always deal with the needs of the older child first. They will be able to remember if you don’t. And mostly their needs can be met quickly and easily.