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From one kid to two: Just how much will life change this time?

Yesterday four separate people alluded to how much my life is going to change when this baby is born. That is, when I go from having one rambunctious two-year-old boy to having one rambunctious two-year-old boy plus a newborn baby.

The first was my mother. She came over with breakfast because it was Nick’s birthday. Alex was being relatively good until I told him we had to put away the vacuum and get ready for school (he is obsessed with vacuums, brooms, mops, etc. and I occasionally let him play with the real thing rather than the kiddie versions he has in his playroom). He threw a full-on temper tantrum complete with rolling on the floor and sobbing outside of the closet where I stashed the vacuum. It was the first tantrum he’s ever thrown and I was…thrown. I got flustered and didn’t know how to deal without freaking out myself. My mom remained calm, mostly laughed, but did manage to say: “Oh Erin, you’ve got to relax, what are you going to do when you have two?”

The next was my friend, Chris. I replied a few days late to her email and wrote that things were a little hectic in the Ruddy house. She wrote back leading off with, “it only gets worse with two…”

Then it was Don, the guy who was installing our new dining room blinds (we put up really cheap ones throughout the house when we first moved in and just decided to replace some of the more visible ones). Alex was obsessed with Don and wanted to climb his ladder and play with his tape measure and asked him 10 times, “Watcha doin Don?” When I told him we had to go play upstairs, he said, “No mom, no way mom, stop it mom, do you hear me mom?” and ran away from me. Don -- who, p.s., was no more than 22 -- said: “Just wait until you have two running around here.” Thanks, Don.

Finally, it was the waiter at dinner (like I said it was Nick’s bday so we got to have a date night). I came back from the bathroom and found him chatting up Nick. They were talking about kids and the waiter was imparting some wisdom. The bit I caught: We better enjoy our nights out now because we won’t get many once baby number two gets here. Sweet.

Here’s the thing: This wasn’t news to me. I know your life changes when you have a baby and I’m OK with that (obviously). I’ve been there. But when I think about life changing again -- in new and different ways -- I start getting…nervous. And I’m wondering if I should prepare. If I can prepare. So, I ask those of you who've been there: How does life change when you go from one to two? What can I expect? Any tips for softening the blow? And for any moms or moms-to-be out there, what was the best "life-is-going-to-change" advice you ever got?

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