Only 7 weeks into being a mother of two, and I have a pretty good idea of why secondborn children are more laid back.
While some recent studies have shown that birth order does affect IQ and personality, there doesn’t seem to be much more about this from a scientific standpoint. Here is my personal experience and observation.
#1 “Nobody make a sound!!!”
#2 Big brother screams in her ear, she does not wake
#1 Diapers and wipes at the ready so fast baby is still pooping when I am changing him
#2 “I will be right with you baby girl, right after I take the red marker off of your brother’s hand (so he doesn’t color the walls)
#1 Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Screams bloody murder because he knows I’ll be there in less than a second
#2 “Oh you are up! I didn’t hear you make a peep”
#1 “This is so fun. Let’s give you a daily bath from day one”
#2 “I think she needs a bath, when was the last time I bathed her?”
#1 “Let’s get cozy and I’ll nurse you until you fall asleep”
#2 Getting cozy? Not for this mom. I have mastered the art of nursing and feeding my toddler his dinner at the same time
#1 Rocking/nursing to sleep
#2 Fusses for a bit while I am with the toddler, quiets down. When I check on her, she is sound asleep.
These are funny, but the more serious side of this is that I have struggled with how to give attention to my two children. It is not an issue if one is content while the other needs something, but the reality is that this rarely happens; more often than not both need me at the same time. I have asked friends who are moms of two or more, and the answer is that you learn to manage each situation as it comes.
Now I nurse the infant before the toddler’s dinner, and I am “wearing” my daughter a lot more than I did my son. Not only is it super comfortable for both mom and baby, but I have both hands available to do other things with the big brother. During long nursing sessions, I get books or paper and crayons to have my son right next to me for some quiet activities.
Moms of two or more, what is your experience with how you cared for your firstborn as compared to your subsequent children?