Persephone: Parent

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Number Two/How?????

on October 6, 2014

I read a blog by Mum of Boys, and, well, oops, I didn’t plan a second, but, here are my thoughts (my initial thoughts are – What? I won’t be welcome at under-1 groups? At all? Or at my mummy friends houses? How will playdates go for Elvis? How will they go for Robin? Holy, crap.)

  1. Apparently the second pregnancy will be harder, there’ll be no lazy cuppas with other pregnant mums-to-be and you’ll be covered in food, dressing more practically
  2. Being unwelcome at Mummy groups – or your toddler and “been there done that attitude” won’t be welcome
  3. More sleep in the hospital than in the few years leading up to then
  4. You will welcome visitors, simply to entertain the toddler
  5. You will be up and on your feet much quicker, if only to get the toddler out of the house!
  6. You will not sleep when the baby sleeps, you’ll be watching toddler TV
  7. No morning lie-ins after a night of feeding
  8. There will be no time for friends and a social life, even online
  9. You’ll “miss” the developments of the second as they appear from out of nowhere whilst your attention is on the older child
  10. You will not, even for one second, regret the decision to have number 2.

Okay, well, I’m not sure that any of them have been my prime worries (until now). I think my biggest worries are how on Earth am I supposed to treat two children equally? I’m an only child and pretty much every single “adult” I know (ie, they have grown up children) of more than one children, I have very little “respect” for as a multi-parent. I don’t know of many people with siblings where their parents actually treated them equally. Not that I’ve watched grow up, can take notes from and learn from. I have cousins that are treated completely different – where the older is a self confessed slacker, but treated as an outcast for it despite how they are happy in themselves. I have family members where one sibling was bought a house to encourage him to stay on the right path, the others were simply expected to. From the simple issue of giving one child the bigger bedroom, to later bedtimes, how do you treat two (or more) children the same?

For one thing, Elvis got my undivided attention for 13 months before I went back to work. I started taking him to baby groups at 10 weeks old, began swimming lessons at 11 weeks old. I did a group or activity at least 4 days out of 5 every single week other than school holidays. I found a group of mummies who had boys within 6 months of his age to spend afternoons with, lunches with. We might not see each other as often anymore, but we did during that first year.

Robin will never have that. S/He will not get from 8am-5pm of just me. S/He will not get every baby group going. Neither of them will ever get my totally undivided attention ever. How will that affect Robin? How will that change Elvis?

We’ll never know how it affects Robin, s/he will be whoever they are and we won’t notice changes based on Elvis. Elvis, though, he could change dramatically with the arrival of his Sis-Bro. Will it be for the better? I mean, obviously, any changes that happen to him cannot be stopped. We can not change the fact that he will have a Sis-Bro before he turns 2. At least he might be too young to understand and remember any resentment he might feel at the beginning?

As for the 10 things I should have considered before getting pregnant with Robin, well, I dressed pretty practically with number 1 and never had lazy cuppas with other mum-to-be’s. I did, however, have a very nice lazy few months of parenting during my maternity leave. That won’t happen this time around. When a group ends at half 11, I’ll have an hour to gossip before I have to collect Elvis from nursery. And, if anything, being so restricted clothing wise for 2 years has encouraged me to go out on spending sprees already!

2. I don’t plan on taking my toddler to baby groups. Groups run locally tend to be divided by year age ranges. I would never take my over-1 to an under-1. Luckily, one under-1 group a week is run on a morning when Elvis will be at nursery. So, will I still be welcome? I hope so. I hated the “been there done that” attitude of some mums. Not normally a second-timer, not normally a 6month older mummy. I hate the generation above me that know everything and offer constant advice. I hate the mums whose children are only a few weeks older who already know everything, and need to tell me so all the time. The second-timer mummies that I met tended to be very laid back and never forced it down your throat that they’d been through it all before, that they knew how to deal with everything. Maybe because they knew that their two children were so different that no mum knows everything.

3. I get plenty of sleep, thanks (ignoring my bladder) and I hate hospitals, so don’t sleep there. Which leads into number 7, hopefully I will have morning lie-ins when hubby takes Elvis off to nursery at 0730. Knowing me, Robin won’t like napping in the morning like Elvis did so, yeah, maybe my own naps will be replaced by toddler TV. At least at the moment I like Raa Raa and Timmy Time, as does Elvis! And we’re only talking a few months… right? I do worry about my lack of sleep and that there will be a second child to watch, but I will be taking full advantage of Elvis spending all morning at nursery.

4. I will welcome visitors who want to wash up, cook dinner and hold both children whilst I nap/shower. I didn’t welcome them last time, I plan on taking full advantage of them this time!

5. Within 5 days of my C-section, I walked half way across the city to get to the hospital as I knew my son wasn’t feeding. Then I nearly fainted – hello, major surgery! So, being up and about for the sake of my toddler is really not a concern. Plus, there’s paternity leave!

8. I haven’t had that much time for friends and a social life this time around, again, not really something to worry about.

9. I’ve already started missing Elvis’ developments! I do hope that I will keep my diary as well as I did with Elvis. Surely that’s only fair to Robin? This is a worry of mine, as it links to treating them both the same. How will I feel when both ask when they first walked and I know for Elvis, but have no idea for Robin? How do you treat two children the same?????

10. I never made the decision to have number 2. Sorry, Robin, if you ever read this. I don’t know when I conceived you — I do for Elvis. I don’t know when you’re definitely due — I did for Elvis. I actively tried and paid to have Elvis — you were a complete surprise. See, they’re already being treated differently. How do I make them equal?

HOW??????

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2 responses to “Number Two/How?????

  1. I don’t think the issue is really treating them equal. I don’t treat all the kids the same, they aren’t the same child. Alex loves to cuddle before he goes to sleep. Nick likes to sprawl out with a teddy bear across his chest and not have anyone near him. Zoey will play if I lie next to her, she likes to snuggle for about 2 minutes and then be alone to go to sleep and Emma is only 6 weeks old but she won’t sleep in her bed unless she is touched until she falls asleep. I cater to their needs. That’s all any Momma can do. All four of my pregnancies had different circumstances and different emotions, that can’t be helped. As for keeping track of their developments as accurately, you notice a lot more then that other blog leads you to believe. I know when each of the kids crawled, sat up, smiled, walked, talked etc. And if you miss the first time, write down when you notice it… no one knows the difference anyways 😉 You’re doing fabulous!

    • Persephone says:

      Thank you. I think it’s the unknown and knowing very few people that have multiple children. Those that I do know with multiple grown up children treat them disgustingly different and I worry that it stems from very early on in life. I guess I’m also assuming that Robin will be a clone of Elvis, just as Elvis is a clone of Daddy! 🙂

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