Friday, April 12, 2013

"Easy" is Relative


I've recently noticed something my husband does at social events since we had our second baby.  When people ask us, "so is two way harder than one?"  He cheerfully replies that "it isn't that bad actually.  Way easier than I thought it was going to be."  Sound familiar?  That's likely because their wonderful, tough wives are the ones who feel the majority of the effects of bringing a second (or more) child into the mix.

We are the ones who nourish the developing child in utero for 9 (10) months and carry the burden of a healthy pregnancy (don't eat sushi!  avoid alcohol!  are you really going to use that cough drop?).  Yes, pregnancy is an amazing experience, but it is also a lot of pressure!  Then, we are the ones who must exert major mental and physical strength to deliver the baby (regardless of where the baby comes out), not to mention the surprisingly exhausting and often painful recovery time.

Oh, and have you ever thought your body looked, how shall I say, different after having a baby?  How about after that second (or third) one?  Yeah.  Our husbands manage to avoid that minor repercussion too.

On top of all this, if it's your second or third kid, there's the draining experience of feeding the baby (countless times a day) while your toddler runs around the house with a random roll of toilet paper, old fruit snacks, and a leaky sippy cup begging to watch another episode of Lazytown after you got a total of 3 hours of sleep the previous night.

Need I go on?  Sure.  If you are like me, now that you find yourself home with not one but two dependents, you alternate between two pairs of black yoga pants every day, live in the same nursing bra for the first several months, and are lucky if you swipe on some lipstick or shave your legs.  Don't even get me started on that old relic, the hairdryer.

And remember how with one kid, you could just get him/her in the car and run an errand together on a Tuesday afternoon and call it an outing?  The well-meaning husband may not realize it, but it takes way, way more effort to pack up multiple kids in the car and drag to a store.  In fact, it is no longer "fun" (see Post: Fun vs. "Fun).  And that's why I pretty much avoid it altogether.

So, do I mention all of these challenges and caveats at parties?  No.  I don't want to be Debbie Downer; after all, I know we are very lucky to have our two children.  And as I've written before, there are really fun aspects of having siblings.  Our baby worships her older brother-- she finds no one more hilarious-- which is a treat.  And when my son throws her a bone and tells her his version of a joke, it makes my day.

I actually agree with my husband that bringing a second into the mix is not as completely life-altering as bringing the first into the world (hello, Parenthood).  But, is two "pretty easy?"  Ha.  Worth it?  Yes.

(And if my husband is reading this, love you, Honey!)

Frantic Mama
(Find me on Facebook as "Frantic Mama" and on Twitter @MNFranticMama).