Having a second child: Part 2
I wrote last week about having a second kid, and all the curveballs it throws you. You had nailed parenting one child, and were starting to get your life back when along came a new baby, who was immune to all the tricks you’d perfected with the first. Any tiny bits of your life you’d started to get back – weeing with the door shut, drinking hot coffee, the odd trip to the gym – went back to being mere memories. My husband described it as resetting your Candy Crush score – from level 281 you’d somehow gone back to zero again, and you’d have to go through each and every level to get back to where you were before. I think this says more about him than our parenting, but he is right. Each new addition to your family brings new challenges, less sleep, and more chaos.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing. I fell in love with my baby quicker the second time round, healed quicker, gave less of a shit about the small stuff. Having a second child has been one of the very best things I’ve ever done, along with marrying my husband, learning Spanish and discovering Spanx. Sometimes, some of the things that mess the most with your life are the things with the most reward. Take for example, the following….
1 Going out with idiots. Guys who put you down, let you down and leave you out. They don’t call, they forget your birthday and they flirt with the waitress. These guys serve one purpose – they mean when you go out with someone who isn’t a complete tool, you recognise it. Decent guys, I salute you. And you can apply this to bad jobs and bad bosses too.
2 Being fat as a teen. And for bits of my twenties. And after my kids. I’d much rather have been the girl who eats what she wants and has legs the length of Kent. I absolutely wasn’t – but unfortunately loads of my friends were. But at uni, I learned how awesome exercise was. I worked out that the more I moved, the better I felt. I ran a marathon. Then another one. Maths was never my strong point, but the equation food in – exercise taken = everything is mostly not too wobbly was worth learning the hard way.
3 Going too far. Drinking too much. Staying out past the last tube. Dabbling in things I shouldn’t have. Kissing lots of the guys mentioned above. When I’m in bed at 8.48pm wearing flannel pyjamas, using the appropriate night cream, I can look back on the fun I had, safe in the knowledge that I’m now acquainted with 4am for different reasons. It’s worth enjoying yourself before your sleep pattern is disrupted by kids rather than crazy nights.
4 Arguing with your mum. Becoming a parent highlights just what your parents went through to have you. For every labour twinge, your mum had that too. For every nappy changed, your parents did that, but with terry towelling and a massive safety pin. And they did it without CBeebies on demand. It took me some rough times with my mum to work out that she’s pretty decent. I don’t want her to be my mate, I want her to be my mum, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still share some wine with her, as well as cry on her shoulder. She's a mate whether I like it or not.
5 Not having confidence in myself. Caring too much what others think. When a midwife has seen you turn inside out and you’ve written about your vagina on the internet, not a lot else really matters. It’s pretty liberating.
So if you let another kid into your life, congratulations. For us, it was a great decision. The chaos was off the scale, but the payback was so worth it. I just hope you aren’t as crazy about Candy Crush as my husband.
Like this blog? Please vote for me in the BiB Fresh Voice category - takes 10 seconds. Thank you! And if you want more from me, you can follow me on Instagram - terrible photography, shameless self promotion and occasional avo-on-toast.