If you thought having a kid is the most strenuous thing you have ever done in your life, wait till you have two. It is a whole different ball game. Because now you have not one, but two little ones to deal with who have problems of their own. You could say that your previous experience with a child will come in handy, well you aren’t wrong. But this experience will come in handy for raising the second child. But, looking at the big picture, you are not totally out of the woods yet.
While having a second child has its own benefits, it is going to be a mad circus if you don’t plan properly. Things will get out of control too soon too fast. You are going to be in a whole different situation. It is unchartered territory for you. But, fear not. We have devised a plan for you that will get you through this journey unscathed, almost.
Talk to your first kid.
If you are still planning about a kid, then talk to your first child too. Know what they are thinking. They may be excited to have a sibling. Or maybe not. Not everybody is going to be super happy to share parents. If they are, then congratulations.
If not, well, that is what you are going to have to talk about with them. Don’t dismiss their feelings. Children don’t always talk nonsense. They may have some serious concerns about a new member. Or it may be something you might think is silly. Whatever it is, clear their doubts. Get them on board with the plan.
If your child is not convinced yet, don’t push it. Go with their pace. Don’t force your decisions on them and expect them to suddenly like your plan. Try to make them see the positive side of it. Explain to them that having another child is in no way going to change your love for them.
Let them know that they will always be loved. The only difference will be, now all three of them will also love someone else. Someone who is going to look up to them as their role model, children love will love this idea.
All three of you have to be on the same page.
When your child is on board with the plan, then they are also going to start planning as an older brother/sister. And it is not necessary that you guys also have the same idea. For example, they might think that when the baby arrives, it will sleep with them right away. Or they will have plans about doing activities together with the baby, that aren’t going to be possible just yet.
Instead of saying ‘no,’ try saying, “Wow! That sounds fun, but the baby is going to be very small to be able to do all this. You can wait a few years and, then you guys can do this together.”
While making plans for the baby, always ask your first child what they think. It isn’t like your first time anymore. You and your partner decide everything.
You three have to make the decision together, as a family who is ready to welcome a new member into the band. And who knows, they might even have some great ideas. Go shopping together. Prepare the house for the baby together. Together is the keyword here (in case I didn’t make it clear already).
Are you healthy?
It is a very crucial factor for planning a second baby. Your body (if the person reading is a mom, if not, think about your partner) has gone through, no easy way to put it, agony. Has your body healed from its past experience? And that is only one part of your health.
Your body being baby ready is only a part of the concern. You need to ask yourselves, are you fit enough to handle two kids? Age comes with its own set of health problems. As an added bonus, you aren’t as energetic as you were during your first time (if you still are, well done!)
You and your body both need to be ready to go through the strain and stress. Think about all the sleepless nights. Will you be able to do this all again? If the answer is yes for all these questions, then go ahead.
Be financially ready
Your finances are going to take a big hit. Raising kids is expensive. And there is already one in the house. You have to do right by both of them. Make a plan. Think about all the milestones that will burn a hole in your pocket and devise a scheme accordingly. Nothing is impossible with a little planning and organizing.
Go on a trip, just the three of you.
It is the last time you are going to be alone with your first child. And, no matter how much we try, the second child is going to take up a lot of your time. Your first child will feel neglected. So try to make up for the time you will lose. Have fun with your child. Do what they want to do.
Take a trip to a place they want to visit. Pamper them. Keep this trip as much as baby-talk free. If your child mentions the baby on their own, then go ahead and have a conversation. But, don’t spoil their fun time with you by always talking about the baby.
Jealousy, the green-eyed monster
Jealousy is something every parent dreads will come between their children and create problems for their coexistence. Yes, he ( or is it she?) will definitely pay a visit. And it is going to be essential that you handle it well. Or he (again, it doesn’t feel like a she, does it?) is going to become a permanent member of your family who will settle down between your two kids.
Your approach is going to be of the essence. Your first child needs to know that they have become an elder now and that they have to become responsible for their sibling. They need to know that they are not competing with the second child for your love. Make the dynamics clear to them. It is the three of you who will love this baby together.
Teach them sharing.
Don’t try to buy the same toys for both the kids. Teach them to share. Try to explain that, this way they will have more variety of toys together. And these toys don’t belong to just one of them, so they can use this as a way to have a collection together and form a ‘toy alliance.’
But, if this bothers them too much and nothing else is working, then don’t try to force it. Just buy another one. This way, there won’t be too much negativity between them, and jealousy won’t be an issue.
Despite how much you prepare, there will be surprises. And, you will make mistakes but, it is okay. The way you mend your errors is what matters. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
P.S.: There is a movie that will help your child understand the situation better. The name is ‘Boss baby.’ It is an animated movie and one of my personal favorites (yes, I am an adult and I watch animated kids movies, go ahead judge on. ) Do watch it if you haven’t already.