What I Didn’t Prepare for With My Second Child

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I mentally prepared myself for the fact that having two kids would be harder than one. I expected to be broke and exhausted. I knew I’d need to be more organized, and to leave the house sooner to get anywhere on time.

I meal prepped for those first few weeks. I put pacifiers around the house so I’d have one in every room. I knew that after awhile I’d fall into a routine.

But what I didn’t prepare for, what I never could have prepared for, is how fast time goes by with your second baby.

I swear I brought her home yesterday, but she’s seven months now. I remember snuggling for hours with my first little one, just watching him breathe. With the second, life has moved at what feels like an uncontrollable rate.

It’s been hard to slow down and drink in the baby while simultaneously wrangling a toddler, working full time, and trying to keep ahead of the laundry. How is it that we added one person, but the clothes tripled?

Much like the laundry, the milestones have piled up. I haven’t taken a single monthly photo on time. I looked over one day and she was just sitting there, like on her own, just sitting up. When did that happen?

I remember my grandfather snapping and telling me that’s how quickly it all goes by. One day you’re learning to crack an egg, and the next day you’re watching your son crack an egg. My second child made this even more apparent.

It’s so easy to see her as yet another task on my very long list to get through, but she’s not a task, she’s a person. If I’m not careful I’ll miss it. I’ll miss the tiny baby coos, the first consonant sounds, the sloppy kisses before they learn to pursue their lips.

Don’t get me wrong, that stuff will happen around me whether I’m paying attention or not, but there’s a difference between being there and being present.

I didn’t prepare for how different being present would be. I keep having to remind myself that there will never be another today. One day I’ll look over and she’ll be standing up, walking around, walking across a stage, walking out to her car.

Let the laundry go, I’m going to watch her sleep.

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