I’m three months into being a mother to two kids (Iris 3 months and Hazel 22 months), and I’ve got to say, it’s way easier than I expected. It’s been so much fun and I’m really loving it! That’s not to say that it hasn’t had its struggles, but I think my expectations for the transition from one to two kids were so low that anything would have been better than what I had imagined in my mind. Haha!
I’ll share our struggles with the transition from one to two kids below, but first I’ll share a little background on our newborn experience with Hazel, because I think going through what we did with her the first time has made this time around much easier.
I don’t have the best memories of the newborn stage with Hazel, so I was absolutely dreading going through the newborn stage again with Iris, not to mention I’d have a toddler to take care of this time. Hazel wasn’t the easiest newborn. I’d hear other moms with newborns talk about sitting on the couch all day, snuggling with their newborn, nursing, and watching tv, but that wasn’t the newborn life I was living. If Hazel was awake, I had to be walking and singing songs. I even had to be walking and singing when she nursed/took a bottle. Hazel wasn’t gaining weight, she had thrush that went undiagnosed for 2 months, she had hip dysplasia and was put in a harness at 6 days old, and she had an array of other scary medical concerns that required a lot of doctors appointments. She saw a total of 6 different types of specialists with regular check-ups with the geneticist ti track her development. As first time parents, it was a lot to deal with. It was scary, it was stressful, and it still makes me cry to think back on that time. I’m still not ready to open up about it and share the full story, but in the end, all the doctors and specialist determined that she’s perfectly healthy 🙂 But even though it ended up being that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Hazel, I was still so nervous that a doctor would have a concern with Iris when she was born and we’d have to go through the same thing all over again. And we also had scare with Iris at my 20 week ultrasound that required me to see another specialist who then determined that everything looked fine. So having that scare, plus all the concerns the doctors had with Hazel just made me nervous about what would happen when Iris was born. It’s honestly made me realize how much of a miracle it is to have a healthy baby. It makes me so thankful to have two healthy babies and makes my heart break for moms who have to go through any type of medical scare or concern or diagnosis with their baby.
Another reason I think the transition from zero to one was harder is because we weren’t in “parent mode” at all. Cody and I were married for 8 years (together for 11 years) before having kids, so we were pretty used to it being just the two of us. We knew that when we had kids we wanted to devote all our time to them, so we wanted to have several years together where we could be selfish before having kids. And although we knew a lot would change once we decided to have kids, parenting is one of those things that you really can’t be completely prepared for. We had so many years of being set in our ways that it took a little bit of time to adjust to our new life as parents (and to say goodbye to our old one).
And the last thing that made the transition from zero to one child harder for me was that I had the baby blues the first time around. Every night for the first few weeks after Hazel was born, I’d cry in the shower, I’d call my mom and sister crying, and I’d cry rocking Hazel to sleep. I’d cry to Cody too but I didn’t want to cry to him too much because he was dealing with the emotional roller coaster of all of Hazel’s medical stuff too, so I tried to stay strong around him. I remember feeling like I loved Hazel more than anything in the entire world, but also really wanted my old life back. I wanted to be able to sit on the couch and not have to constantly be walking around the house (at one point I called my mom crying and said “I don’t even know who got kicked off Dancing with the Stars this week!” Haha!), I wanted to be able to speak normally and not have to sing everything to keep her from crying, and I wanted to sleep through the night. I seriously thought life was going to be like that forever. I remember my sister telling me that even though the newborn stage feels like it’s going to last forever when you’re in it, it goes by fast. She was so right! Also with having a c-section, I was limited on the things I could do, so I just felt stuck. Then you add in all the medical stuff we were going through with Hazel, and basically, I was an emotional wreck, but trying my best to be strong through it all.
Compared to all that we went through with Hazel, this second time around with Iris has been a breeze! I was prepared to have to be walking and singing non-stop, and for Iris to at least have hip dysplasia (she was breech just like Hazel was). But Iris is happy to let me sit down and talk in a normal voice, and she doesn’t have hip dysplasia. I was also prepared for Hazel to struggle with the transition since I’m a stay at home mom and she was used to having 100% of my attention all of the time. But she has been so happy to be a big sister, and to share Cody and me with Iris. I think it helps that Hazel talks really well for her age because she can speak her feeling and we can understand her feelings more easily. Of course, she had her moments every once in a while because she’s not even two yet, but overall she has adjusted really well, and is so sweet to her baby sister. P. S. Read my tips for helping your toddler adjust to a new baby.
The biggest struggle for me with transitioning to two kids was that I missed Hazel. I remember sitting on the front porch swing when Iris was just a few days old, nursing her while talking to my sister on the phone, and watching Hazel and Cody play in the front yard, and I just started crying because I missed Hazel so much. I had a c-section so for the first several weeks, I couldn’t physically play with Hazel like I used to. Plus, Iris was nursing non-stop so I barely had time to do anything other than feed Iris. But that phase of postpartum life quickly passed.
For Cody, he said his biggest struggle was also those first few weeks because he was the main one responsible for taking care of Hazel since I couldn’t do much. He would also get up in the middle of the night to get Iris out of her crib and bring her to me to nurse her, then he’d put her back in the crib. Overall, it was exhausting for him to be Hazel’s main caregiver, plus help take care of me and Iris. But he was amazing and we all appreciate him so much!
Iris and Hazel are growing so fast, and now we’re like “we need another baby”, but we’re also like “nope, two is perfect”. Haha! We honestly don’t plan on having more kids, so we’re just trying to cherish each stage as much as we possibly can.
Do you have more than one kid? If so, which transition was the easiest and/or most difficult? It seems like everyone had a different answer because every baby, family, and situation is so different.