Sometimes second pregnancies are harder than the first. Physically there may not be much difference, but mentally a great deal has changed. Your apprehensions are based on ground realities – you know now what lies ahead. Also the novelty factor is gone. You’ve been this route before and all the discomforts, which were perhaps exciting in a way because of their newness, are now simply discomforts.
In addition, there is the problem of how your first child will react to another baby. After being the center of attention, he is definitely not going to like sharing you, your time and your attention with a new baby. You may also be apprehensive about how you yourself will cope. Memories of handling a newborn, the fatigue, the sleep deprivation will be returning and you may wonder how you’ll find time for both the baby and your older child.
The excitement of having a baby is much less the second time round, especially if there is very little gap between the two pregnancies. Gone are the days when you went shopping for tiny baby clothes, gazed enthralled at baby booties, cots, and accessories and day dreamt of what it would feel like to hold your own baby in your arms. This time round you may find yourself concentrating more on practical aspects like where the new baby will sleep in your already cramped room and pulling the baby clothes of your first child are quickly out of trunks and cupboards.
Running after your toddler is hard work at the best of times. During pregnancy, it’s not only physically exhausting, but mentally exhausting as well as you contemplate a few more years of running after another active toddler. Career plans take back seat again and even if the pregnancy is planned, there will definitely be times when you will resent your condition.
But there are advantages as well: –
- If there is less excitement, there’s less worry as well. After all things turned out pretty well last time.
- Second deliveries are almost always faster and easier.
- You can pull out those dear little baby clothes that you packed away so carefully, for just this eventuality. And its nice to pull out the weather beaten but familiar little toys that your toddler has outgrown.
- You know what to do. The second baby will not be easier than the first but by now your parenting skills have been well honed.
First babies have the unenviable task of turning people into parents while the babies that follow enjoy the fruits.
- There is the fun of sharing the new baby with your first child – at seeing his reaction to everything the baby does.
- New life is always a miracle. Each baby is different and each has their own unique joy.
Caring for babies and small children demonstrates Parkinson’s Law in reverse – somehow time and energy expand to meet the demands made on them. So brush up your parenting with confidence knowing that not only will it bring you joy, but this is probably the last time you have to do this.
For tips on preparing your older child for the new baby’s arrival check out Sibling Rivalry.