5 Things Nobody Told You About Having Your Second Child

Having children is a wonderful experience no doubt about it, but when it comes to our parenting we all have doubts and fears that crop up from time to time. Having just got through all the ‘when are you having another one?’ comments from friends, family, and strangers in shops, let me give you the inside scoop on the stuff nobody talks about openly…

1. When you’re pregnant at some point you will cry that nobody will love your eldest anymore.

They will and they do, trust me. Babies are cute, but they don’t do much. Your eldest is probably developing at an incredible rate learning amazing new skills every day and becoming their own person and family will be just as interested in this as they always have been *whilst* doting on the new baby as well. You will find friends eager to include your eldest in the whole thing, talking to them about being a big brother or sister and maybe even putting a little something in with the baby’s gift for them too. Friends rock.

2. You will worry if you can love the second child as much as your first.

You absolutely will. Love is an amazing thing that you cannot measure out into jars or share out like skittles, and mum’s are awesome at it! You will have that rush of love every time you look at your second just as you do when you look at your first baby, and it will knock you off your feet.

3. You will be just as excited about development milestones

Watching a tiny human learn how to crawl and walk never gets old. You may have heard other parents blithely say it all blurs into one on your second baby and yes, you may not be able to remember exactly how old they are in weeks and hours but it won’t mean you feel any less invested in their physical and mental and emotional development. It’s all joyful second time around too, and you have another tiny person to celebrate it with too!

4. You will have a ‘what have I done?’ moment

Nobody really says this out loud but I’m sure we’ve all been there. I hold my hands up and say I definitely have. Some days are just harder than others and there might come a time where you’re stood outside the car wondering how one of you is supposed to get two of them and the shopping out, and in which order. It does get easier, promise.

5. Your heart will swell when you see them together

When you see your eldest trying to comfort your crying baby, or the two of them cuddled up on the sofa or playing a game together, something in your soul will go off like a firework in a way you never even knew possible.

Parenting is hard, whether you have two children, or one, or six, but there is always some beauty to be found in amongst it. A sibling bond is an amazing thing to feel part responsible for helping to cultivate. If you are pregnant on your second, don’t kick yourself for having these type of thoughts – you won’t be the first or the last. Siblings are awesome!

 

Should I Cut My Baby’s Hair?

I’ve been thinking about taking my little boy for his first hair cut. It’s one of the ‘firsts’ parents talk about and write in memory books. Beb is 15 months old and he’s still got that fluffy baby hair (I love it!) but it’s long enough that I find I’m side swiping it across his forehead to get it out of the way. I feel a bit unsure about getting his hair cut though and it was this feeling that got me thinking about children’s hair cuts in general.

Little Boys with Long Hair

Hanging around in the home ed community a lot lately, I have noticed a lot of the boys have long hair. Not long-ish, or grunge-y type long, but waist-long flowing golden locks. I’ve met so many boys with the same hairstyle I began to wonder if it is a home-ed thing? And if it is, then why? Why long and not blue or spiky or anything else?

Should You Cut Your Baby's Hair?

I like sharing pics of the back of his head on Insta.

I started thinking about Beb’s hair and when I should get it cut. The word should was what struck me. ‘Should’ according to what? Well-meaning advice? The infamous red book? I decided just as soon as it got a bit long I would take him for his first hair cut. He’s going to hate it. I just know. Then like a bolt from the blue it clicked into place. Maybe the mums of the boys I have met being the awesome thinking outside of the box type people they are, have chosen to disregard the unwritten rule book of children’s hair cuts. And maybe there are some very good reasons they have.

Rights and Decisions

Perhaps it’s more than just a hairstyle. Perhaps the thinking behind it is to enable their children make decisions about their own appearance and not enforce perceived norms upon them in the meanwhile. I mean, who decides boys or men have to have short hair? Do I have the right to decide for my child how he will look, or what is the ‘right’ way for him to look?

I know this thinking will probably face some criticism, after all I choose his clothes everyday for him and so forth. I do make a lot of decisions for him and on his behalf, some of which he is generally unhappy about (nappy changes spring to mind). But while he is busy being a baby and later, a child playing or running around a park, not thinking about his hair or other people’s opinions of his hair, would it hurt for me to wait a while and let him make his own decisions about his appearance? Is his first haircut setting me on an oblivious path of only being able to consider my child’s autonomy when it suits me?  It’s such a minor thing, hair. I wonder if leaving his hair to grow out until he wants to make his own decision on it allows a stronger message to reach my kids about making our own personal choices.

Should You Cut Your Baby's hair

Another picture of the back of his head.

Prejudices

Maybe these Mamma’s have gone before me and reached the same fork in the road and have considered their actions the same way I am. Isn’t that always a comforting thought to remember people have walked the same path before you?

A simple haircut that seems a small thing has thrown up a chance to consider my parenting, and to help my children navigate their way through society’s pre-set ideas about how they ‘should’ look. I had a real a-ha moment there in my kitchen thinking about kids with long hair. Suddenly I had even more respect for the women and families who are encouraging their kids to be who they are by actions and thoughts as well as words. What an amazing gift to their children.

As a famous company strap-line says, ‘There’s more to life than hair, but it’s a good place to start.’ I’m glad Beb’s first hair cut got me thinking about these things. I still even after this soul searching will more than likely take Beb for his first hair-cut. What can I say, I’m not strong enough to confront society’s prejudices so openly quite yet? Maybe that’s another blog post.

 

Validation.

My husband said something really interesting to me the other day. It wasn’t so much what he said so much as the way he said it that struck me.

He told me that he thinks that what I do being a stay-at-home-mum is much harder than what he does going to work. Ahh how lovely, right? Which is what I usually think and carry on with my day but this time it was something about the way he said it that made me realise he actually genuinely means it.

The conversation was nothing to do with our home life, he was talking to a friend at work about paternity leave. This friend and his wife are sharing maternity leave so he was asking for advice about how much time would be good to take off work. So they were chatting about it and Rich said I wouldn’t like to stay off too long (back hackles up) because what my wife does is much harder than what I do (phew rescued yourself there son). Now, I have heard him say this before and always just thought that’s nice of him. But I could see he really meant it this time (mostly because he was laughing that said person was naively shocked that stay at home parenting is hard). But I was quite taken aback. I realised that all this time he’d actually meant it! And I felt really proud of myself!

Gin

Some days are easier than others.

Rich gets a lot (a lot) of validation at work. He works hard and is good at his job. As it’s a sales job when he hits his targets he gets bonuses, if he wins a big account his phone buzzes with well done messages from his team, there is a camaraderie and ‘in’ jokes and nicknames and so on and so on. But sahm mum’s don’t get that. Nobody ever walks past me doing the laundry and says “great job Kate, I see you are going out of your way to boil wash the sicky muslin, well done not slacking and just doing a quick 40 wash.” I don’t get a text message from my mate calling me Mrs Wonderflaps saying “Well done you’re killing this whole motherhood thing” and I certainly don’t get vouchers at Christmas or a bottle of fizz. But did I ever get that kind of pat on the back in my old job in the office? Not really. Do any of my hard slogging wonder mummy friends get any kind of notice in their day jobs or their home lives “You just helped that older person with dementia get the right care package and you’re an amazing mum too, here’s a £100 bonus.”

Award

He actually got a real life trophy.

I had my first ever PR invite for the blog a couple of weeks ago (keep your eyes peeled) and I was so excited. It felt good to have a little validation from outside the home. As a stay at home mum a pat on the back isn’t usually on my radar. I love staying home with my children, and I truly feel so happy to be able to. We work as a team in our house and I really do feel like that. But there was definitely something special in realising that my husband thinks I’m awesome. There was definitely a spark of excitement to receive an email about my blog because it’s something only I have done. And there was definitely something special about nagging my 6 yr old to keep her room tidy because I just cleaned it and getting the reply “Thanks Mum”.

Dear Bear and Beany

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The Not-So-Wonderful

The not-so-wonderful things about having a baby.

So we all know the snugly baby cwtches are totally lush and the cute little baby noises they make when they’re sleeping or practising talking almost brings a tear to the eye but let’s take a minute to talk about the bad and possibly the ugly side of having a new baby in the house.

Hair loss- What is that about? I’m constantly covered in the stuff. It’s like I’ve just walked through a cobweb, especially in the mornings, not to mention the amount strewn about across the floor. But the worst part is peeling them off the baby. They get caught in between his fingers and in his neck. I actually shaved the underneath of my hair in an attempt to abate it but to no avail.

Teething – Urgh teething. Poor babba. Just come through already and let my little man have some peace! There is a Christian song that goes “Your love is relentless.” Replace the words ‘love is’ with ‘teeth are’ and that’s what I’ve been singing to my baby all week.

Cradle cap – Itchy and unsightly this stuff just kind of makes my stomach wretch a little bit every time I have to brush it. Sorry boy, it’s true.

My skin – 5 months of broken sleep with ne’er a chance to catch up = bad skin. I always thought the skin care industry was a bit of a con but that will teach me.  I’ve noticed in all the pictures of me and babe my skin is a sort of greeny/greyish hue. Enough said.

Kissing the baby – A man in the park KISSED my baby on the head! I recognised him from a toddler group and said hello and then he kissed the baby! It was slightly offset by the fact he is a grampa-don’t ask me why, let’s not get into that. There is a theory that suggests the reason babies are so irresistibly kissable is because we pick up some natural flora and fauna from the skin to skin contact and mum’s amazing breast milk is then tailored to fight any bugs. New rule:  if you’re not making milk for my baby, please don’t kiss him. Side note: And touching his hands too…2 words people, hand hygiene. ‘Aww he’s holding my finger.’ Yep, he’s 5 months, he’s grabbing just about everything within reach right now, he doesn’t particularly care if it’s your hair or your hand that just touched the lift button, or the public toilet tap or your phone that you take into the toilet with you. And guess where his hand is going straight after touching yours? Yep into his mouth. Mmm tasty. I’m going to start packing a fly swatter in the nappy bag.

Not being able to do some things – Admittedly this is a temporary hiatus but worth a mention. Swimming with your 6yr old and baby? Sounds fun but baby’s lips are going blue because he’s so cold. Daddy gets all the awesome fun brownie points now mamma. No more rainy-day Saturday am’s at the cinema because everyone knows cinema & babies don’t mix. Just generally going anywhere is a bit of a hassle, there’s something really irksome about getting a baby in and out of the car. In and out, in and out….Abseiling? no.

I’m sure there are many more and many more things again that are so awesome about having a baby. I love the laughing, I think there’s nothing on this earth more joyful than a baby laughing, especially when it’s your own. What have I missed? Comment below.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

 

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