When I was pregnant the second time around, I didn’t read one book about it. Why would I? Lord knows it didn’t do much good to read many books during my first pregnancy. But what I did notice was that there wasn’t much out there about the second pregnancy – or really any subsequent pregnancies once you’ve been through it before.
I wondered why because well – it actually seems like there are still lots of questions and unknowns when you are pregnant the second time. Perhaps you suffer from too much information, ranging from the reality of delivery to the reality of life with a newborn. But I know I still wondered about all the other unknowns – what would this baby be like, how would my first child adjust to life with a sibling, how would we manage it all?
That one didn’t haunt me like the general notion of actually being responsible for a life haunted me the first time around, but I sure did wonder how we would manage it all.
I would ask DH this question some nights when it was really gnawing away at me. As usual, he was super laid back about it and just figured it would work itself out.
Well, 8 months in, it has definitely worked itself out and we are managing it, just like everyone else does. But there’s just one thing I didn’t anticipate and sometimes it makes me sad. Often times, the easiest way to manage it is to divide and conquer. One takes DD1 out to some fun activity (which realistically with a 3-year-old is somewhat draining and leaves that parent asking themself this question: was this really worth the effort, let alone the cash?), and the other stays home with DD2. During the week, DD2 is toted around at the whim of DD1’s schedule. She spends more time in the car seat in a week than DD1 did in the first year of her life and the poor kid only gets a consistent nap in the afternoon when DD1 is also napping.
Therefore, on the weekend, when there are two adults around, we must let DD2 have the sort of day that DD1 enjoyed her whole life. So given the realities of a baby’s schedule, all the bottles, the meals, the naps, the poops, etc, one parent spends much of that day at home.
Ultimately it becomes the easier day, so technically that is the “break” that say one parent might have gotten in the days of yore when there was only one child at home. But it means we’re not out experiencing things as a family.
July 4 fireworks? DH stayed home with DD2.
Concert on the boardwalk last saturday night – grandpa is finally back in town – so he got to stay home with DD2.
Santa visits last December? I stayed home while DH went out with DD1.
You get it.
I just didn’t anticipate this one.
I know this will change as DD2 gets older and ultimately has an easier schedule, feeds less, naps less, etc. But for now, divide and conquer is the name of the game each and every weekend.