10 Thoughts on having another baby

12 Sept 2018

Going from one baby to two feels like a huge change and adjustment to make. I keep thinking about every single scenario that might arise when we are a family of four. Things that might change, things that might be harder, how I will manage, how it might change the relationships and dynamics of our little family. Thoughts that I am sure every parent expecting another baby has, some silly little worries, other big worries which keep me up at night.

A picture of a travel cup

001. What about Willow? All she knows is being an only child and having her mama and daddy to herself. Will she be upset by having to share us, or jealous, or even resentful? Luckily, she'll be nearly 3 by the time our baby arrives and she seems to understand the changes that will come, that a new little baby is coming to be a part of our family, which we make sure to talk to her about most days, but does she really understand how much is about to change?

002. How can I love anyone as much as I love Willow? I'm not silly, I know that of course, I will love this baby just as much as I love Willow, but when you love someone more than you've ever loved anyone or anything else, it seems impossible that you could love someone else just as much.

003. How do I manage two?! Willow is, luckily, a very easy-going toddler and quite independent too, but I do worry about the inevitable times when she will need me whilst baby also needs me. Anyone know how I can clone myself or even grow another pair of arms!?

004. How on earth do you do bath and bedtime with two? It takes both my hands and full attention to bath Willow at night and get her ready for bed. If our baby is awake, how am I going to bath Willow and get her tucked up in bed with a newborn? I'm picturing myself wearing a sling 24/7 at this rate...

005. I won't be able to sleep when our baby sleeps. I was definitely one of those mamas who slept with Willow when she was a newborn (and even up until her naps stopped a few months back, if I'm totally honest!) which was great because not only was I exhausted from night feeds and newborn life in general, but I was also recovering from an emergency caesarean. With Willow no longer napping, there is absolutely no opportunity for me to nap when our baby naps.

006. I only have one pair of eyes. Although Willow is happy to play independently, I still keep an eye on what she's doing and make sure she is safe. When we're out and about, she gets my full attention, especially if she is walking rather than in her stroller, which she does more often nowadays. I'll need one pair of eyes for Willow, particularly with her walking when baby arrives as we won't be using a double buggy and another pair of eyes for baby. See my problem?!

007. What if I breastfeed? After having such a miserable breastfeeding experience with Willow, I am a little apprehensive about trying to breastfeed again, but I want to give it a go - just with less pressure this time. If I do manage to successfully breastfeed, will I have a baby glued to me 24/7? How can I be a present mother to Willow, if I'm constantly breastfeeding? Will this ruin our relationship, because I'll always have a baby attached to my breast?

008. What if we never have a decent night's sleep again? Oh I know, for many parents this is already a reality, but we've always been so lucky with Willow sleeping so well and it's not something I've been afraid to talk about before either (did you catch my feature "I'm not sorry our daughter sleeps well."?), so what do we do if this baby is the opposite? I keep picturing every possible scenario that would result in terrible sleep and I'm convinced we'll suffer, as punishment for Willow being such a good sleeper. I'm no good on no sleep!

009. What if I simply can't manage? We knew we always wanted more than one baby, we've both had fairly big families growing up and so two children was a happy compromise we both feel happy with, but what if I can't manage two? What if I'm a better mother for one than I could be for two? What if I'm a better partner as a family of three than I will be as a family of four? What if I simply can't keep on top of everything whilst having a toddler, working, running a house and having a newborn?

010. And what if everything just so happens to be perfectly OK? I keep thinking about the negatives we might experience when our newest arrival joins our family, but what if actually, everything turns out just fine? What if they do sleep and breastfeeding goes OK or I'm happy to formula feed? What if Willow takes sisterhood in her stride and it makes us all closer as a family. What if we nail the perfect routine and at the end of each day I can give myself a high five for getting through it unscathed? Or even, if we do experience some difficulties but actually, it isn't as hard as I keep thinking it might be and we manage, I manage. What if everything is perfectly OK?

What thoughts ran your mind before welcoming baby number two? If you have a bigger family, did you have the same thoughts and worries will each new baby or just the jump from one to two? Some people have told me going from one to two is easier than you'd think, whilst others have told me it's much harder than they expected. What was your experience?