My first kids were twins. Yes, I started out with two children. I always knew I wanted at least one more kid, but actually going through with it was another story. I wasn't sure when the timing would be right. I was worried about how another child would affect the dynamic of our family and I had no idea how I was going to take care of a newborn and two toddlers all at the same time. It seems my struggles were similar to what most parents go through when having another child. It isn't making the leap from one to two or even three to four, but rather just the fact that you are considering adding another child to your home that seems to be the worry. Now that I have experienced my second pregnancy and third child, I discovered it is not as scary as I thought it would be. Here is what I found out:
You know what to expect
I remember sleepless nights, crying babies and struggling with breastfeeding. I didn't know if I was prepared for those things all over again. But knowing these things were coming helped me prepare for them. I was prepared for not being able to breastfeed or for having my days and nights reversed. And what I have found this time around is things were not as bad as I remembered. There are still sleepless nights, but I'm not as tired as I thought I would be. It is like my body knows what to do and helps me adapt. I learned I can do it, and most importantly I am happy to do it.
There are not a whole lot of things toddlers can do to help, but the things they can do make a big difference. Getting a diaper or burp cloth, letting the dog in and out, and even holding the baby really make a big difference. I do not feel like I am getting up and down all the time or have to interrupt a nursing session because the dog has to go to the bathroom. I have trusted my kids to do more things on their own, like put a movie in the DVD player, put their toys away how they think they should go, and even get some snacks out of the fridge. It has helped me let go of some control and given them more responsibilities.
This is not your first rodeo
When things arise, like the baby crying or signs they may be getting sick, I know better what to do because I have gone through it before. It is not nearly as scary this time around because I know what to expect. In fact, both my husband and I feel much more relaxed with this baby. If she doesn't eat every three hours exactly, we don't sweat it. We know what to do if she gets baby acne or diaper rash; we know when to really worry about something and when something can be taken care of with simple fixes. It really is a much more tranquil experience.
I already knew it was possible to love more than one child as I started off with two, but I did worry about how a third child would change things. It is really amazing to see how your love just grows even more when a new child enters your home. My love for my newborn burst forth, but my love for my other children and my husband also grew. This baby has brought new experiences to our home and seeing how the kids interact with her makes me love them all even more.
You may regret not having more kids, but you will not regret the ones you have
Now that I have had my third child, I have already started wondering if I want more. Having this child makes me feel like it is possible to have more. It was not as big of a transition as I thought it would be and I know that it is possible to have multiple ages of children at one time. Sure there are challenges, but the benefits outweigh them.