What people don’t tell you before you have baby number #2 – Guest Post – Angelique Ruzicka

This week’s guest post is written by Angelique Ruzicka, from www.mombabbles.com. Angelique is a married mom of 2; all the way from Cape Town, South Africa.




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The Second Child Syndrome

I thought that having one child qualified me to have another with ease, and to handle the 3am feeds like a ninja teaching a six year old entry level kata moves. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t consider myself a ‘sensei’ of motherhood; but I figured it wouldn’t be as tough as it was the first time, and that having some experience would count in my favour.

Also, when you announce that you’re having a second one, most people tend to cheer you on by making you believe that having another is a simple “copy and paste” exercise. The sad thing is that I believed them!

You’ll convince yourself that you can handle the 3am feeds, the incessant crying and being covered in regurgitated milk. But I have to admit that by the third or fourth week I was a ‘mombie’ – a zombie mom. The living dead. So exhausted, all I could do was muster a moan or a groan and shuffle around.

You won’t remember as much as you think you will. You’re often left thinking: Did the first one scream as much? Did the first one poop as much? How much Nurofen am I supposed to give? You Google: Will lack of sleep kill me? I’ll save you asking Siri by pasting the first result to the search here: “It’s possible that given enough time, sleep deprivation can kill you. While no human being is known to have died from staying awake, animal research strongly suggests it could happen.” Confused? So was I…

And while you’re tired and exhausted, another downside is that you’ll have fewer people offering to do the babysitting. I get it though. It’s easy looking after one, while two or more can be akin to controlling a bunch of angry electric eels in a bag.

The good news is that it does get better. And the second time around you know that the light is just at the end of the tunnel. The first time you don’t believe you’ll ever see the light again, but now that you’ve been in the trenches before, so to speak, you know it’s there…and it’s just a matter of time.

Soon they’re crawling, walking, talking and looking forward to going to school.

The eldest then plays with the youngest and vice versa. It’s cute, funny and often times hair-raising. And with all this play and banter most of the guilty feelings of not being able to award both of them the same kind of attention melts away.

For me, the worst part was really getting used to the initial sleepless nights. It’s a killer because I’d got so used to sleeping uninterrupted. Our eldest slept through the night from month four and we’d had two blissful years of good sleep until we decided to start all over again.

You’ll get through it and soon the mombie phase will be a distant memory. This morning I looked at my Fitbit stats and I’d slept for a glorious eight hours and fifty eight minutes before the children woke up! Ah, bliss!

For those of you who are currently at your wit’s end, pacing the corridors at night and shedding as many tears as the baby, perhaps you’ll take comfort from something I read last year on a parental advice website, the Sister Lilian Centre. “The best thing to do when you’re in the middle of a sleepless stage is to make peace with it and just do the best you can. Often the long nights are made worse by fighting it, leading to feelings of despair and loneliness – but you are not alone!”

So if people tell you it’s easier with the second one – ignore them, because it’s not always true. If you’re currently suffering in the early days of motherhood perhaps you can take comfort from the fact that there are other mothers doing the exact same thing as you. But if that’s not enough I have one final tip: Eat chocolate – lot’s of chocolate! The highlight of my 3am wake up call was engulfing the Top Deck slab I’d put on the compactum earlier in the evening.

Be good to yourself and be kind. Oh, and you’re only a ninja mom once you’ve mastered the art of creeping out the nursery at 3am, without waking the baby… and remembering where the creaky floorboards are!

Best – Angelique

You can find Angelique on –

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Angelique’s Blog – Mom Babbles

With Love

One Messy Mama

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16 thoughts on “What people don’t tell you before you have baby number #2 – Guest Post – Angelique Ruzicka

  1. Squirmy Popple

    I’ve been pondering whether I should have a second child lately – people say it’s easier, but as you said, that might not be the case! I can’t quite wrap my mind around how I’d manage the needs of a newborn as well as a toddler, though I know that people manage it all the time. The other thing I worry about is sleep – my daughter didn’t sleep through the night until 12 months and I don’t know if I can handle another year without sleep! #fortheloveofBLOG

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  2. Squirmy Popple

    I’ve been pondering whether to have a second child lately. People say that it’s easier, but as you said, that’s not always the case! I have no idea how it’s possible to manage the needs of a newborn with a toddler – I know people do it all the time, though. I also worry about sleep – my daughter didn’t sleep through the night until 12 months, and I don’t know if I can handle another year without sleep! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Squirmy Popple recently posted…Parenting: the art of forgetting selectivelyMy Profile

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  3. Angela Watling

    This is a great post. So many people have said the second is easier because you remember it all (apart from one friend who said it was really tough for the first couple of years). We only have 1 but some friends are discovering that it’s not just a repeat of the first one right now. I’m fortunate in a way that my daughter still doesn’t regularly sleep through at 21 months so I don’t remember what regular uninterrupted sleep is like anymore… But it’s also made me realise I couldn’t deal with 2 small people interrupting me at the moment! It’s good to be reminded that it does all improve in the end though. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Angela Watling recently posted…‘Meal of the Month’ – Thai-style chana dal – October 2016My Profile

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    1. One Messy Mama Post author

      I have 4 and can’t remember a night in the last 5 years that they have all slept through. Pregnant with the 5th and it feel like sleep will evade me until they are all out the house and in varsity 🙂 .. Its good to hear it does improve, holding thumbs for that day though 🙂 xxx Thanks for reading !

      Reply
  4. Themotherhub.ie

    My son was three and a half when my daughter was born and I had forgotten everything – plus they were like chalk and cheese. I found the second harder if anything #fortheloveofblog

    Reply
  5. Claire

    We are almost through the first stage, little man is almost sleeping through! I am lucky though, big brother adores him and there has been no jealousy, which I was concerned about! x #fortheloveofBLOG

    Reply
  6. The Pramshed

    I really like the analogy on sleep, and that is very true. As soon as you learn to except that this is a phase the easier it becomes. I have one child, and they sleep through the night. Weirdly the other day I was missing the frequent wakings in the night. It can’t be easy having a second child, but as you say at least you know what’s ahead of you and you know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    Reply
  7. Nige

    Our twins are nearly five we never get a nights sleep great post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    Reply
  8. Emily

    This was an interesting read, as a mum of twins, I find it hard to juggle my time between my girls. I couldn’t imagine having another in addition to the twins, or having two of a different age actually! Thanks for joining in with #ThatFridayLinky

    Reply
  9. Jade - Raw Childhood

    My second was born a week before my eldests 2nd birthday. Sleep deprivation is very real! I also have uni to contend with as well as food allergies and reflux! They have just turned 1 and 3 and life is getting easier again, they both sleep through so i suppose thats a plus.. me on the other hand.. still up till 4am doing assignments! #thatfridaylinky

    Reply
  10. Helena

    She is sooo right. Like the comparisons she’s come up with. My health nurse said I could deal with the second in my sleep. While there are a few similarities there are also differences eg. colic.#mg

    Reply
  11. Mackenzie Glanville

    oh gosh the cranky floorboards I remember worrying about that. It is just as hard for sure, the only thing that felt better was that I knew it was going to be so tough. My first baby completely overwhelmed me, the tiredness felt like it nearly killed me, and so I went in with ope eyes for baby number 2. Baby number 2 was easier in that she was an easier baby, not easy but easier. Baby number 3 was not so easy! yes I went back for baby number 3! #mg

    Reply
  12. Angelique Ruzicka

    Thanks so much everyone for the kind words about my post. I’m so glad there are so many moms out there that can relate! Keep up the good work and remember, you’re doing much better than you think you are!

    Reply

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