No, this isn’t the latest fight announced on the Mayweather vs McGregor undercard. Becoming first time parents was something which we could have never prepared for and changed our lives in many areas. So two and a half years on with our new addition in tow I’ve noticed a few differences this time around as well as some things that apparently never change. At this point our little man is only two weeks old so here I’ll compare the first fortnight of parenting one vs parenting two.
I remember the first time round what a shock to the system the lack of sleep was for both me and my Missus. Prior to this our carefree existence was vastly taken for granted. Our only experience of surviving on a few hours sleep was due to nights out, and watching box sets till the early hours of the morning (“Go on, let’s watch one more!”) When our little girl entered our lives I remember feeling like I wanted to cry and, voice wavering, telling my wife “I’m not going to be able to do this” after just two days. She responded “We’re never going to sleep again!”
This time around, so far at least (touch wood) it seems we’re coping much better. Since getting into a good routine with Ayla, we’re used to getting up at the crack of dawn and surviving on minimal sleep when needed. Although annoyingly, Ayla still only requests me to get up to go downstairs with her in the morning. As Rachel is breast feeding I feel I’ve got the better end of the deal and admittedly I’ve woken up on two occasions stating “Wow, he slept really well last night!” only to be informed that Mammy saw every hour of the clock whilst Daniel cluster fed and she felt like “a bag of s***e!”
If any of you read Bottle vs Breast you’ll be aware of the challenges Rachel faced when breast feeding our first baby. This time around she’s opted to give it another go. I’m told the following –
- It’s still painful.
- She got mastitis which with antibiotics is clearing up.
- She’s worried about Daniel also being a bottle refuser.
- She’s been craving a lager which she doesn’t usually drink.
- Breast fed babies never stop pooing.
Despite these concerns, at the two week point, the breast feeding continues and we’ll see how it goes…
Having a girl first we hadn’t experienced being wee’d on fountain/water pistol style. Apparently the… let’s call it a ‘tallywag’ knows no range and can get you from anywhere in the room. Despite owning my own tallywag for 32-years I was still slightly baffled when Daniel’s vest was somehow soaked from the waist up whilst his nappy remained dry. Top tip: Point the tallywag down when closing the nappy. On the plus side, #2’s are much easier to deal with. I’m not sure if it’s a boy thing but I never heard Ayla make some of the noises Daniel makes out of his backside.
When you have your first child, you never imagine you could love anything or anyone as much as you do them. Yet, when you have your second you realise that the love seems to multiply rather than divide. I suppose before you have a child, you never expect any of the above. You don’t really know what’s in store. However, once the little sibling comes along you’ve been there, done that and wore your blog’s t-shirt (to a certain extent). Due to this, in my experience, I’ve worried less during the pregnancy and the last fortnight. I feel a little more certain of myself as a parent albeit a little scared at the prospect of being alone with both of them (come on, they could tag team me!)
I must say a huge shout out to big sister, Ayla. At the ripe old age of 2 years and 6 months she has blown us away with how she’s adapted to the new addition in our house. Already she shows her little brother love, patience, care and protection. She’s already cheering him on in life – a prime example of this was when he was trying to latch on, Ayla hollered “Come on baby brother Daniel, be a winner! Be a WINNER!!” This I never expected.
Top tip: After four days of carrying a new born, respect the weight difference a 2-year-old will possess when carrying her to bed. You may end up pinned to the couch, limbs flailing everywhere.
Maybe it’s because up until my teenage years I grew up in a four person household. I loved the dynamics each individual relationship would add to the family. Everyone heading out on a morning and reconvening at the end of the day. Because of this I feel Daniel has completed our own family unit and cemented the bond between all of us in the house.