During pregnancy #1, most of us spend a lot of time worrying about the birth and and buying the right pram. But once you fall pregnant with the second child, there might be other, darker things crossing your mind. Below, a sample.
1. I’m going to ruin my first child’s life. Forever.
This might be a big one if you were the eldest child, especially if you can remember the day your baby sibling came home and everything, everything, changed forever. We all carry our own childhood memories forward. The good news is that children are crazy resilient. Perhaps there will be some tantrums and tough days ahead as your eldest adjusts to his new sibling, but I would argue this is a good healthy welcome to the real world. It’s why eldest kids are tough, bossy, high-achievers. Far from ruining their life, you’re making it a whole lot bigger.
2. There’s no way I can love the second as much as I love the first
It seems physically impossible to love another child the way you love your first. There can’t be enough room for that kind of love, can there? And yet, as soon as that second child arrives, something shifts inside and there’s more than enough room.
Far from lacking love, there will be more of it. And you may just find that the love for your eldest changes and grows along with the expanding family. When you have a new baby to dote on, the eldest becomes the older brother, the helper, the one who starts blossoming into a newly independent big kid. You’ll see him with new eyes, and opposite to your fears, you’re going to love both of those kids in new and wonderful ways.
3. I’m going to play favourites
It’s terrible to think you could have a favourite child. Terrible! And yet, get ready … a study conducted at the University of California last year showed that out of the 768 parents surveyed, 70 percent of mothers and 74 percent of fathers admitted to having a favourite child.
So, there might be a good basis for this fear. Then again, ‘favourites’ could just be a normal parental whim that changes from day to day according to whichever child is being the easiest at that moment in time. In any case, favouritism is something we can control, and hopefully minimise. Fingers crossed.
4. I’ll really miss just the three of us
Life’s pretty great with one. It’s just you, your partner, and your kid. It works perfectly, because two adults plus one child equals EASY. Or at least it’s going to look easy when you have two children and not enough hands to look after everyone’s different needs.
You’ll have your fair share of breakdowns with another new family member, sure, but you’ll also have way more smiles and laughs. The old ‘three’ will be replaced by a louder, funnier four. You might occasionally miss those old golden moments you had with your eldest, but you will definitely never regret all the amazing moments to come with your second.
5. The second is basically going to have to raise themselves
It’s true, we all do things differently second time around, but baby #2 won’t suffer from neglect. Actually most mothers agree that second time around they worry less, relax more, and have a whole different perspective on a baby fitting into their life, rather than the other way around.
There may be less photos, and less fuss with the second, but guaranteed – their first words and steps will still be just as exciting. The great thing is you’re coming to the game prepared. You know how quickly those early days are going to flash by, and you’re ready to soak it all up. Good luck!