Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
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Which is harder: going from 0 to 1 or 1 to 2 kids?

Since I’ve been a mom of two for more than a year now, I thought I should out down some thoughts about the popular question: is it harder to go from 0 to 1 or 1 to 2 kids?

Otto is 2 years and 4 months older than Lucy, so he was getting out of the super dependent baby stage when we had her. He was actually pretty great at that age, and we potty trained him right after she was born (because I couldn’t deal with his massive diapers compared to hers!). He was in many ways easier then than he is now, the 3-year-old stage has been hard so far.

Becoming parents totally floored us. I knew what to expect but I didn’t know what it would feel like. Being on call 24/7, and having so little time to myself was a complete shock to my system. (I think a lot of people feel that way.) So grateful and so excited and so in love with the cute little thing you just made, but reeling at what it’s done to your life.

Also, the second baby was so. Much. Easier! Not that she was easier, I think she was the same or very slightly worse sleeper in the beginning, and my postpartum recovery was worse with her. (See my baby #2 newborn and postpartum updates here.) But I knew about all the newborn baby stuff and none of it seemed that hard. In fact the baby days went by really quickly the second time around. Now I know for sure that the first two months of the baby's life are just super, super hard, almost all the time. Then it gets a little easier and they get cuter and they sleep better (until the 4-month sleep regression and then it’s really hard again for a bit when you’re trying to get them to sleep or nap). But that’s getting into the details. Lucy's first year seemed to zoom by, and looking back at myself as a healing mom of a newborn I had it together way more the second time. I felt like myself again quicker, and I felt confident and happier compared to with Otto.

I asked Jason this question--he added that 0 to 1 was harder for him because of all the worries and anxieties you have as a new parent. We argued and researched and worried about a lot of things the first time around, whereas now we feel more confident in our understanding of what babies need and do. He agrees that we are more tired and depleted the second time around, though!

So I’m pretty much leaning toward, going from 0 to 1 is way harder. But there are some counterpoints. Watching two kids by yourself is no joke. Lucy is not really walking herself yet so I have to carry her every time I take Otto to the potty, I can’t just work in the garden with both of them because I can’t keep an eye on her enough, it’s hard to carry baskets of laundry with her around, etc. I do wear her in the carrier still, she absolutely loves it, lights up and giggles when I put it on!, But that’s not really easy or freeing either. (I do think it is a new mom/mom of two essential—here’s my favorite one.) Plus the childcare! We can send Otto to my parents for several hours and he plays with them really well; not so with Lucy. She still takes two naps a day so we get some quiet time with just Otto in the mornings, that helps. I'm still working from home so we can manage things little easier, but it’s just way more complicated with two kids, and at different stages.

Otto has been really good with Lucy, but recently has started being too rough with her and it’s been hard to help him understand. They love each other so much, though. After they get up from their naps they get so excited to see each other again! They give kisses and snuggles and he wants to help her with things. Although they also both want to play with whatever toy the other one has, which frustrates them both.

One quote to remember, every single day as a parent: "...this feels hard because it is hard—not because you're doing anything wrong." --one of our favorite sources of parenting wisdom, Dr. Becky. So true! This job is tough no matter what.

Another big change for us is that Jason is now also working almost full-time. He works later in the day than I do so we stagger and it helps with childcare, but it means that I have to put the kids to bed 4 to 5 nights by myself which is exhausting. He does breakfasts well getting ready for his day. All in all we both feel a lot more exhausted and overwhelmed than we did with one kid.

So yeah, going from 1 to 2 kids was hard, too! But you really develop the muscle. It's like I’ve been strength training for the past couple years so adding more weight now (Lucy) isn’t as hard as it was when I had no practice at all. My final answer remains: 0 to 1 is harder. 

Now, which is more amazing and rewarding? I don’t know, I will have to think about! It has all been really wonderful so far.

It's hard. It's so wonderful, though. A few years ago I was crying because I wanted so badly to be a mom, and today I loaded a double stroller into and out of my minivan. So grateful for these kids!

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