A close friend of mine is due to have her second baby in a few weeks time. Naturally, she’s a little worried (okay, freaking out) about how she’ll handle having twice the load. I know exactly how she feels. Before the birth of my second child, I was panicking too.
One child was a handful, how as I ever going to manage two?
To my surprise, when Baby No.2 entered the world, my own world didn’t turn upside down. The reason? There were certain things I’d forgotten about newborns. They were:
1. Newborns sleep. A lot.
When my first-born was a baby, there’d be days I wouldn’t even have time to shower until 4pm. Looking back, what the hell was I doing with my time? Even on a bad day, where she may have only had three sleep of 40 minutes each, that gave me two hours of time to myself!
Give me two hours now and I can do a load of washing, cook dinner, take out the rubbish, have a shower, put on make-up and then sit around wondering what I’ll do with the next 1 hour and 50 minutes.
2. Newborns don’t weigh a thing
By the time I had my second bub, my first child was nearly three years old and almost 15kgs. Holding my newborn in my arms felt like picking up a set of weights… but someone had removed the dumb-bells!
For the first six months, I carried my baby almost constantly in a sling. As a result, he slept a lot and I had two arms, two hands and ten fingers free to deal with my toddler.
3. Newborns don’t talk back
It seems obvious… of course, newborns don’t talk! But when you’ve become accustomed to daily negotiations with a strong-willed toddler, you really appreciate this fact.
I can guarantee any outfit I picked out, or dinner I served, or book I suggested for my toddler was rejected in favour of what she really wanted. With my newborn son, I could have dressed him in a pink tutu and he wouldn’t have protested. No, I never tried it.
4. Newborns don’t move
Okay, they wriggle around a bit but basically, when they are only a few weeks old, you can leave them anywhere knowing they are not going to move. While I never left my baby alone while I popped down to the shops, I could leave him on his play-mat for the few minutes I needed go to the loo and I knew he wouldn’t try to join me… unlike my toddler who had front-row tickets to every episode of the toilet show!
5. Newborns don’t need much
When I had Baby No.2, I really wondering what I had put in my always-bulging nappy baby with my first-born. Besides a few spare nappies and wipes, I really didn’t have to pack anything else. Plus, his food came conveniently package in two portable containers – my boobs!
So I made a point of reminding my friend about all these wonderful things about newborns. I promised her that life wasn’t going to be twice as hard with two kids in tow.
But I did leave out the other things I’d forgotten newborn bubs: the leaky poo, the milky spews, the sleepless nights, the crying… oh, the crying!
Yet even this, just like the rest of the beautiful newborn stage, is always over far too quickly.