There’s no question all parents love their kids equally, but when it comes to raising them, things can be quite different after you’ve already done the parenting thing once…
Expecting your first child is an exciting time. Everything’s new – emotions, experiences, knowledge… It can be a whirlwind. But when the second one comes along – well, not so much.
You still love them just the same, but you’re so much more experienced the second time around. You’re also much more exhausted because you’re already caring for another child that your parenting style might become a bit more – how de we put this – practical.
1. Pregnancy announcement
First child: You watched countless clever pregnancy announcements videos on YouTube, read about the most original ways to break the news to your family, and perhaps even attempted a viral video if in recent years.
Second child: You blurted it out right after something completely unrelated. ‘Are we still on for Zumba on Sunday? Oh yeah, I’m pregnant by the way.’ Fletchers, who has the time?
2. How your family and friends react to the news
First child: ‘OMG! OMG! OMG! I can’t believe it! OMG! Congratulations!’
Second child: Not one OMG. Or a card. Thanks guys.
3. Choosing the baby’s name
First child: You read lists and lists of baby names, researched their meaning, made sure neither you nor your partner had any exes with the same name, came up with a shortlist, had long discussions to pick the top three and then finally settled on one.
Second child: As long as it’s easy to spell, that’s fine by me.
4. Getting ready for the baby to arrive
First child: How many parenting books can you read in nine months? Need to know EVERYTHING!
Second child: It’s like riding a bike. Once you’ve done it once…
5. Baby proofing
First child: You bought the most elaborate baby-proofing products to keep drawers shut, doors locked, make baths safe… Once you finished, you could barely get around the house yourself.
Second child: An older sibling is the most dangerous threat in the house, so what’s even the point?
6. The menu
First child: All homemade with organic and locally-sourced produce. Sugary treats were the devil and you would never feed your kid that.
Second child: There you go sweetheart, here’s a KitKat.
7. Trying to soothe them
First child: The quietest sound made you run to their cot faster than Usain Bolt.
Second child: You’ve become immune to incessant newborn baby cries.
8. Recording the important moments
First child: You recorded and kept everything, quite literally – from videotaping the first fake words (no, oohmmuduyo is not a word) to keeping the identification band they gave you at the hospital.
Second child: Turns out first steps aren’t as cute the second time around.
9. The first time they got ill
First child: Remember frantically googling every little symptom and having a panic attack every time they sneezed?
Second child: It’s probably nothing, go play.
10. Dressing them
First child: Baby clothes are cute. So cute that you ignore the fact babies grow out of them before you’ve even finished dressing them in their adorable new outfit.
Second child: Hand-me-downs all the way.
11. Parenting style
First child: After a LOT of research, you trialled everything from never saying no, to never yelling, to timeouts.
Second child: The goal is to keep your child alive and healthy but you no longer care how you get there. Bribing is always a winner and timeouts don’t work.
12. Birthday parties
First child: Their first birthday party was definitely fancier than your wedding.
Second child: Hope they like last-minute pizza parties.
First child: You had so many scares you could basically drive to A&E with your eyes closed back then.
Second child: You’ve finally come to the realisation that children are made of pretty resistant material.
14. The nursery
First child: Numerous trips to B&Q for beautiful wallpaper and hours spent carefully assembling the cot.
Second child: They’ll sleep anywhere. Here’s a pillow.
Does any of this ring true for your first child compared to your second? Let us know in the comments below!