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 Vicki from Mummy to my Little Cheeky Monkey.
Tell me a bit about yourself, your family and your blog.
I’m Vicki and I’m 32. We live in Newcastle upon Tyne and have lived here for three years. Before that we lived in Northumberland and before that we lived in Surrey (before the kids). I have been married to Andy for almost seven years and next August we celebrate ten years of being together! We have two boys. James, who is five and Freddie, who is two. My blog has been going for three years. I started it when James was nearly two to record our memories of him growing up and all the stuff he did! Then I obviously used it to record my memories of my pregnancy with Freddie and did updates on him every month from newborn till he turned two. Now I am updating on the boys every six months.
What age gap did you have between your first and second children? What’s their relationship like?
The age gap between the boys is three years and three months. I think it’s a good age gap for me as James was at nursery every morning, so I got a few hours one on one with Freddie and was able to take him to baby groups. At first the relationship between the boys was nonexistent! James absolutely hated Freddie when he was first born. In fact James didn’t like anyone who was smaller than him! He was actually terrified of two of his friends at nursery as they were smaller than him. But once Freddie got to about nine months old, James seemed to start warming up to him. Now they are five and two they are the best of friends. Freddie gets so upset when James goes to school but when it gets to near the time to go and collect him he is banging on the door shouting “see J”! Even when we are outside the school he is sat in his pushchair shouting, “where J?” and “I see J!”
What was the hardest thing about having a second child?
The hardest thing about having two is trying to split yourself between them when there is only you at home! James was in nursery five mornings a week when Freddie was born so we were picking him up at lunchtime and I was on my own with them till Andy got in from work. It was all about timing so I could spend time with them both!
What was the best thing about having a second child?
Seeing the bond they have. Now that the boys are older, they are the best of friends. I can safely ask James to watch Freddie while I go and prepare tea or make a cup of tea. Freddie is his brothers shadow once he comes in from school!
Were there any products that made life with an older sibling and a newborn easier?
The best products we had were the infant to toddler rocker from Fisher Price, a baby bean bag from Beanbag Planet and of course the Angelcare bath support! The bath support was a godsend! Especially as it meant we could put both boys into the big bath together and it saved time especially when Andy was at work and I had to start bath time on my own.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone expecting their second baby?
The best piece of advice I got was to cook meals in advance! The last two months of my pregnancy with Freddie whenever I cooked a meal, I made extra and put it in the freezer so once Freddie was here I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking too much once Andy was back at work after his paternity leave. Another tip was to use a slow cooker. I could prepare a meal the night before and throw it in the cooker and either switch it on a bedtime or switch it on first thing in the morning and come tea time we would have a nice hot meal! I still use my slow cooker a lot now!