Mrs. Bee and Mrs. H and S have both given their perspective on adding a second child to the family. Now that we’ve been doing this for a month, I feel like I can weigh in too.

Having two is such an adventure.  It’s so fun to see the interplay between Little Jacks and Jack Jack, and life feels very rich.  With the increasing complexity comes the need for more organization, patience, and tolerance for imperfection.  The other day I had a crying toddler in one arm, a screaming baby in the other and a dog that needed to go outside *right then* nipping at our heels.  I could have totally lost it, but instead I just had to kind of step back from myself for a minute and chuckle.  These are the times we’ll remember!

So what have I learned?

– Unfolded laundry never killed anyone.  Just be happy that it’s clean!

– Keeping both children safe and free from harm is the number 1 priority.  Little hands can be very enthusiastic with pats and hugs and unwatched toddlers can get into all sorts of trouble (especially with crayons).

– It takes a village.  It’s a cliche, but it really does.  Last time around we refused most help.  This time, we’re like, “When are you going to be in town?  Great!  We’ll have a few errands to run while you are here.  Think of some good meals!  Look forward to seeing you.”


– Sometimes, you’ve got to say no.  Extra responsibilities at work? “No!”  Cooking for the potluck, “No!”.  Caring for a friend’s dog, “No!”… Well, ok, I said yes to that one… but she’s really cute!  We’re happy to show up and do the minimum necessary.  Any more right now is not to be expected.  We’ll definitely pay it forward later.  No need to be Martha Stewart right now.

– Quality moments are more important than a clean house.  I’d much rather take 10 minutes and read a book with Little Jacks while Jack Jack is sleeping than make sure the floor is mopped and all the dishes are done.  If we have enough clean bottles, then dishes can wait!

– There is less downtime than ever before, so organization is key.  I know I’ll be running from alarm clock until lights out, so it’s important to achieve some very specific tasks during that time.  The bills need to be paid whether there are 2 children or one child.  Everyone needs to eat which means shopping and cooking.  There must be seasonally appropriate clothes for everyone to wear, which means sorting and cleaning.  Achieving these goals means lists and routines.  While I’m great at lists, routines are not my strong suit.  I’m currently developing this skill!

– You must still maintain a social life.  Yeah, we’re mainly hanging out with friends who have children right now, but we’d go crazy without that additional adult input.  Add some personal time for each of us under this heading.  Mr. Jacks still needs to get out for runs and I still sneak moments here and there for Hellobee and other interests.

– A little bit of crying never killed anyone.  With Little Jacks, we had the opportunity to be present for and soothe for every discomfort.  When there are 2, someone is going to have to wait for a few minutes.  It took a little while for me to realize that this really is ok!  Having 2 kids is a great lesson in patience for parents and kids alike (and for the poor dog).

I’m sure there is more that I’ve learned so far, but Little Jacks and Jack Jack are both waking up from naps and I have a dinner menu to plan.  I’d love to hear what you’ve learned from 2! (And if you have any suggestions for an easy, healthy dinner I’m all ears).

Just to prove that I’m absolutely not lying about leaving the laundry unfolded sometimes!