Second Child Reality: When Your Baby is No Longer THE Baby


Second Child - Big Sis

My husband and I had a plan. We had discussed a second child and had “scheduled it in” for after our summer festivities, family events, and vacations had concluded. But, in life – especially when it comes to family planning – schedules aren’t promised. In fact, they’re often laughed at. Life often happens in the middle of the calendar events. It happens during the in-between, the downtime, and the unexpected. As such, during our final vacation of the summer, I found myself at the sink of our condo, staring at two pink lines, saying “what?!”

After the initial onset of surprise, disbelief, and a mix of excitement with “holy crap, we’re doing this again,” my first thoughts turned to our first and only child. I was equal parts excited for her to become a big sister and also sad for what that meant. Our baby would no longer be the baby. All the time that we had shared, just us, would change. With a second child, our singular focus would shift and be shared. I had been saying to my husband for a while, “it will never be like this again.” And it was true.

I’ve fought with time ever since becoming a mom. Fought between wanting a small stage to be over – the transitions and the teething – and wanting things to just stand still, to stay exactly the way they are. I’ve resisted change despite all that would be gained in return. I’ve grown sad in these times because I’ve known it would mean something would be lost in exchange for what would be gained. I know that hushed cries mean that she doesn’t need me as much. I know that held hands will grow fewer and further between. I know that one day I will set her down and never pick her back up again. And while I also know that it is a good thing, because she is growing into an independent person who is ready to be a big sister, my heart still hurts for those flashes in time that are simply gone.

While there’s so much of me that looks forward to those first, fresh moments of holding our second child and realizing the dream that my husband and I, timing slightly off aside, wanted and always envisioned for our family, it also means so much will have changed in that moment. While I cannot wait to experience motherhood anew, to watch my husband become a daddy again, and watch our Little Miss become a big sis, I’m also terrified of messing up a good thing. I’m terrified of having to re-learn life as a family of four, to figure out what parenting with a one-on-one defense looks like, to roll the dice on potentially having a bad sleeper or eater or the thousand things that can totally turn your world upside down.

But then. Our world was turned upside down. By the most precious thing I ever laid eyes on. All the pieces of “what were” laid scattered and we had to figure out how to put them back, what fit, and what was no longer needed. While we lost our independence as a couple, so many hours of sleep, our sanity (and sanitation at times), our ability to just go, money, date nights, golf rounds, nights out with friends – did I mention the cost of childcare? – the list continues.  While we lost a lot; while a lot changed; while so many aspects of our lives look different and I do miss it at times; here I sit holding onto all of those pieces the I traded it all in for.

Sure, with a second child, I anticipate it to be harder at times. I expect it to feel heavier at times. I anticipate feeling completely, helplessly out of control at times. But, I can get through “at times.” Because there are the other times, that I will desperately long for once again. When the snuggles are twofold. When our hearts immediately grow and become better. When our blessings are doubled, the laughter gets louder, and I can’t believe that life can be so good when you give yourself up to it.

Schmidt party of four (and a half, because the fur-sis Ellie counts too!) is starting to sound pretty good to me. I’ll let you know the reality of that come April 2020 ?.