The decision to grow your family is huge – physically, emotionally, financially!
Here’s what I’ve heard; the jump from one child to two children is a big adjustment (in all respects) but two to three is no biggy – you’re doing all that multiple mum stuff already so adding another body to the mix is not all that major (physically and emotionally at least).
I have two children, and I’d definitely say that being mum to one child is very different from being mum of two.
The psychological adjustment is a massive affair. I was so used to it being just me and my daughter and although I knew (intellectually) that the change would be dramatic, you’re never quite prepared for the actuality (much like the first time you were pregnant and then your new baby sent your mind and emotion into some kind of shell-shock).
The second time around you know what to expect from your baby; I was really good at managing the practicalities of two children but what I wasn’t prepared for was how guilty I felt for the invasion I had launched against my first-born.
When my oldest daughter came to visit me and her new baby sister at the hospital, as soon as I saw her little face the tears just spilled out – yes, pregnancy hormones and all that jazz but it was more because I knew that her world was about to change for ever. It was no longer ‘mum and me’; my attention would be split and the intimacy of one child was lost already.
The guilt lasted a while, and reared its head ominously as I watched my daughter struggle to adjust to her new life, but I always knew that we had made the right decision (to have another baby).
Although tough for my oldest daughter at the beginning, it didn’t take long for her to realise that she had been given a playmate and companion for life; a sister with whom she will share fun and secrets, an ally against the world.
There is no better gift.
And hopefully one day soon we’ll be able to offer another.