“My husband and I have an amazing 2-year-old daughter. We are so happy with our family of 3, but lately have been discussing having another child,” she writes.
“Both my husband and I want another child, and we would love to give my daughter a sibling. My issue right now is I’m terrified I can’t handle it. After the birth of my daughter, I suffered from PPD [postpartum depression] and the weight of the responsibilities of motherhood was suffocating to me. I’ve luckily gotten past that, but as a life-long sufferer of anxiety disorders, I still do battle with anxiety daily.”
“I don’t know what I’m in for”
The young mother added that comments from friends telling her how much harder life will be with a second bub were not helping.
“Recently when speaking to friends about wanting another child, a few of them have commented about how ‘I don’t know what I’m in for’ and ‘two kids is unbelievably much more difficult than one.’ This is sending my anxiety into overdrive already anticipating that I won’t be able to handle the demands of motherhood with another child.”
The mum then says she’d love to hear from parents of two kids, and if the jump from one to two children is really that difficult?
“0-1 was much worse than 1-2”
The good people of Reddit offered some supportive advice to the mum, which we thought we’d share for those in a similar situation.
For most, the jump from zero to one child was way harder than one to two.
“0-1 was much worse than 1-2,” one parent replied. “With my 2nd, I felt untouchable from the moment I was in the hospital. I felt very vulnerable with my 1st with all the unwanted criticism and advice that you get. With my 2nd, everybody left me alone to parent my way.”
Another shared: “Dad of 3 here….the jump from 1 to 2 was not as scary as the jump to 1, you know what you’re doing this time. The only time it can be hard is when you need to deal with both kids at the same time. I assume that your 2 yo would be at least 3 by the time the potential newborn comes, which is about the age gap my 2 daughters had. I felt it was a good gap in terms of 3 yo being more independent, toilet trained etc. I felt the 2 to 3 kids jump was far, far harder.
“Seeing as you know how you felt with the last baby, you at least can plan this time….make sure your spouse is ready to make sure you get time away from the kids to not be overwhelmed etc. I think your friends were just being dramatic about it, even if they weren’t, they’re different people who cope differently.”
“My kids are 4 years apart and I love the age gap”
Others echoed this advice but chose to wait until the age gap was wider.
“After a traumatic postpartum experience with my son (severe ppd/ppa) my husband and I decided to wait for several years to try again. My kids are 4 years apart and I LOVE the age gap. My son was able to help (minimally) with his sister, he could feed and dress himself independently, as well as entertain himself when I needed to tend to the baby,” another mum shared.
“Talk to your Obgyn about your concerns. Talk in detail to your friends with 2+ kids. I feel like a lot of people almost ‘enjoy’ complaining or magnifying the exhaustion – it’s like how they relate to other parents. Everyone wants to be the most tired or most overwhelmed or most busy – but in a way that makes others somewhat envious.”
Sounds like pretty good advice to us.
If you or someone you know are suffering from depression and/or anxiety – during pregnancy or after having a baby – PANDA are at the ready to provide support and advice. PANDA National Helpline – Mon to Fri, 9am – 7.30pm AEST – 1300 726 306