Family Dynamics: Second Child Syndrome
Many years ago, I had a colleague who was pregnant with her second child and who seemed entirely incapable of talking about the second baby except in the context of her firstborn. She talked about how nervous she was for her first child when the second baby arrived, how her routine would change, how they could incorporate her into the planning for the new baby. She made it seem like the event of her older daughter becoming a sister was more momentous than the new baby being born into this world in the first place.
I thought she was a lunatic. That was before I had kids. And certainly before I had two kids. Now that I have two amazing kids of my own, I see the world in a whole new way. And Darcy Shapiro captured it perfectly in this blog on the Huffington Post. It is the most honest account I’ve seen about the often irrational emotional journey that comes with welcoming baby #2 into a family.
So, while I am so grateful this season for both my amazing kids, I encourage anyone who is struggling with the decision to have a second baby or is expecting their second baby (or third or fourth or fifth) and is worried about how it will disrupt their already perfect family, to read that post. And at the same time, for all those families that are perfect with one child, I encourage everyone (including their friends, family, mothers-in-law, et al) to read this fantastic post of 8 Things Never to Say to a Parent of an Only Child by Suzanne Murray.
Thanksgiving is all about family and gratitude. And I feel so lucky to be able to grateful that today, I have the perfect family for me.