We were just asked by some friends which was more difficult–going from zero kids to one kid or going from one kid to two kids? Our answer: “both” and “neither.”
Adding both kiddos to our family seemed so natural, liked they both should have been around forever. The transition to motherhood was easy, as if it was the career I had been searching for. Having one child meant adjusting to being a parent–how to nurse a baby, how to bathe a baby, researching vaccines, sleep schedules, and learning that my time is not my own. Having two kiddos now means re-learning how to parent a newborn and juggling life with a demanding toddler and newborn.
Having your first child is not easy. It’s stressful learning how to be a parent. Having your second child is not easy either. Hazel plus Ambrose does not equal twice the amount of work–it’s more! It’s stressful learning to allocate my time between my firstborn, my newborn, my husband, and me. It seems that someone is always attention deprived–Hazel watches way too many movies now, Ambrose spends too much time staring at the ceiling by himself, Mike comes home to chaos and no dinner on the table, and I smell like breast milk, spit up, and like I haven’t showered in days. “Sleep when they sleep” is impossible because they hardly ever sleep at the same time (if they take a nap–lately both have protested naps). The house is in disarray. Errands still need to be ran. I’m constantly flustered. One plus one definitely does not equal two.
Both the beauty and the sorrow of this all is that “this too shall pass.” I will get more sleep some day soon. I will be able to shower, make meals, and tidy the house. But, my kids will grow up too, and I don’t want this to be a time of survival–one in which I wish time away. They each get only one childhood–I want to enjoy each coo, each “first”, each request to cuddle, and each humorous statement (When asked what she wanted for lunch today, Hazel said “No tuna, just cookies.”).
God tells us that there is pain in the bearing and raising of children. No one said this would be easy. But, the Bible also tells us that children are a blessing. If having two kids is more than two times the work, I imagine that having two kids is more than two times the blessings.