The Journey From One to Two


When I was six weeks postpartum after my first child was born, I wrote a list of things I wish I had known. From actually preparing for the potential of a C-Section, to knowing that I would learn to function on 2-3 hours of sleep (total), to the immense challenges of breastfeeding, to what to not buy, and more.

I am now six months postpartum after my second child, and am finally finding space to reflect on the things I wish I had known when going from one to two children. What follows is an honest reflection of what I wish I had known – the stuff people don’t talk about – when going from one to two.

Disappointment Is Okay

I am going to start with a hard truth, because I always feel it’s more important to be honest, especially with the tough moments in motherhood. When we opened the envelope to find out what we were having, I was desperately hoping to see pink ink. When I saw the blue, I cried. And those initial tears were not joyful ones.

After an incredible 1.5 years with my daughter, I wanted another girl, badly. I wanted her to grow up with a sister, just like I had. I smiled through the tears, but inside I was sad. And to be honest, that disappointment lasted until my son was born. Of course, I fell in love immediately, and cannot imagine our life without him. Still, it is okay to feel disappointment in the journey.

You’ll Always Be My Baby

While I had read well over 15 books about birth and parenting before my first child, I read zero as I prepared for my second (though, I returned to a few chapters in Emily Oster’s book). In the few blogs I read, I kept reading a similar piece of advice: help your youngest understand that they are important, but no longer the baby. To me, I knew that wouldn’t work.

When my son came home, I purposefully continued to call my daughter (who had just turned two) my baby. We referred to my son as “her brother”. I am sure it’s a combination of this and other factors, but she loved being called the baby, and had a surprisingly easy time adjusting to having a sibling at home.

Still (Beyond) Tired, But Prepared

Nothing had prepared me for the sleep deprivation that comes with early motherhood the first time around. I wish people would talk about it more, because it is beyond comprehension. Nothing can prepare you for it until you go through it, but we need to normalize talking about it, and we need better support systems in place.

The second time? I was (am!) even more tired, but I had done it before, and knew I would get through it. I leaned into it, watched a whole bunch of TV, and made it through. Six months in, and I am still running on very little sleep. It is not easier the second time, but you are more prepared for it.

It’s Easier And Harder The Second Time

I recently saw a meme that said something like: Don’t worry parents, it will get easier. And then it’ll get harder. Then easy again. And then harder than anything you’ve ever imagined. Those words completely resonated, because they are true. There are days where I feel like I have everything completely under control, and days where I am counting the minutes until bedtime.

Having a second child also gives insight to what parents of two so often say, which is that every child is different. There are days that I wish I could just spend my time with her, and others with just him. It’s hard. Yet, when I see the two of them together, my heart bursts with love, pride, and excitement for what’s to come, as the two of them navigate the world together.

What lessons do YOU wish you had know, when going from one to two?


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