In some ways, having a second child has been much different than I anticipated. I kind of thought I knew what to expect since I already have a child, and much of what I remember feeling and doing in the months after AJ was born has been the same this time around. What I was not prepared for, though was the differences. I briefly mentioned last week that my girls have very different personalities, which plays a role in that, but it also has to do with the simple fact that this time around, I have a preschooler to care for as well.
Caring for a baby when you also have a 3 year old at home to look after is challenging. The surprising thing though, is that it is no where near as hard as I thought it would be. I won't sugar coat things, I was terrified before Amelia was born. AJ was not what is known as an "easy baby" and I was really worried that I would have another challenging baby and a strong-willed preschooler to balance.
I should have listened to everyone who assured me that things would be fine. All those parents who told me that their kids couldn't be more different from each other, they were on to something.
Aside from personality differences in my girls, I also have to comment on the parenting differences. When AJ was a baby, we were home every day from 10-11:30 and again from 1:30-3:30 so she could have her two solid naps. Part of that was due to the fact that I could schedule my errands during other times, but it was also because she needed those naps. AJ has always been dependent on getting enough sleep.
Amelia does not seem to have that same need. Not that we would know! We are so busy with play dates, school and errands that we are rarely home during the morning hours. Its in her nature as a second child, she will spend her early life being toted to her sister's activities, fitting naps in during the commute when she really needs them.
As hectic as all that sounds, I also find myself wondering what I ever did when I just had AJ. There are some days when Amelia wakes up from her nap before AJ does and I find myself wondering how to entertain her. I think I depend on AJ to keep her occupied and when I'm alone with her, it feels strange. Its interesting that three and a half years ago I couldn't imagine what my life would look like with kids in it, and now, only five and a half months after the birth of my second child, I can't imagine my life without either of them in it.
1 day ago