Sometime (when you’re pregnant, awaiting bundle of joy #2), somewhere (while you’re just minding your own business), someone (whether you ask for it or not!) will come up with this corker, ‘Ah you’ll be more relaxed this time round’…
Now, let’s see, ‘relaxed’. It’s quite a considerate way of putting it, actually. Others might say you’ll be little distracted, others may comment on how ‘busy’ you’ll be, some may be bold enough to use the word ‘slapdash’. Us? Well, we prefer to think being ‘relaxed’ with second kid (and third and so on) merely comes in the form of well-crafted shortcuts.
Of course, it’s your first-born who gets total undivided attention; is treated to our finest handmade purees; snapped more times in those first months than most supermodels in a lifetime and gets decked out in a fresh nappy every hour of the day (whether they blooming need it or not).
Second kid? Well, uh, not so much. Let’s see…
First Kid: Detailed elaborate birth plan; the ultimate birthing playlist; hypno-birthing classes in advance; one carefully packed hospital bag – ready for every eventuality.
Second Kid Shortcut: Drugs. Earlier this time than the first birth.
Announcing Baby's Arrival
First Kid: Beautiful, personalised birth announcement cards adorned with gorgeous newborn pics.
Second Kid Shortcut: What’sApp.
Getting Ready as a Mum
First Kid: Baby bouncer strategically positioned in the bathroom so Mum can watch and fully entertain baby while showering, dressing groom etc.
Second Kid Shortcut: Netflix. Taught to use the remote.
First Kid: Cotton wool and cool boiled water and a brand new change table. Change table of course is to match all the other furniture and décor in the nursery.
Second Kid Shortcut: Bulk bought baby wipes. Change table is the sofa. Or the floor. (Nursery? What nursery?)
First Kid: Cute colour coordinated outfit each morning, clean onesie post-lunch and a fresh sleepsuit for bed.
Second Kid Shortcut: Dry and relatively stain-free? Do not remove. Ever.
Getting Out With Baby
First Kid: Baby sensory, baby gym, baby ballet, baby footy, mum and baby yoga, rhyme-time, kinder-music and every play-group within a 5km radius.
Second Kid Shortcut: The park.
First Kid: One pram, one sleeping baby, one successful shop.
Second Kid Shortcut: Save yourself. Shop online.
First Kid: A bath every night, with organic baby products and a bath thermometer (for the perfect temperature). Post bath massage with low light and calming, sleep-inducing oils.
Second Kid Shortcut: Twice a week. Three times max. (Pools and sprinklers definitely count as water sources for hygiene.)
Baby's First Christmas
First Kid: A treasure trove of toys, games and clothes. Special ornament for tree to commemorate the occasion.
Second Kid Shortcut: A box of nappies – wrapped. (Like they know). Meant to buy the ornament but now you’re shopping online you’re not at the shops so much. Do it next year and ask the glitter-writing-lady to backdate it.
First Kid: Doting grandparents, eager friends and family and one carefully vetted childcare professional. All vaccinated.
Second Kid Shortcut: Ha. You’re not going out anyway.
Okay, maybe we jest a bit (Netflix is optional, other services are available). But we enter kid-rearing second time round with high hopes, yet with a toddler shouting for a bum wipe, not a clean baby vest in sight and hair which hasn’t seen a bottle of shampoo for days.
Second time around it’s just bloody tricky. Our old friend mother guilt might just rear her ugly head when you cut the odd corner. But, hey, sometimes not all parenting needs to be by the book. (And, you know what? That just might mean a bit more time to enjoy the awesome little people you made. That’s winning right there!)