How do you handle having two or more kids?

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Photo by Jimmy_Joe, used under Creative Commons license.
I was the girl that was never going to have children, but after a year of marriage my thoughts on that changed. I’m now the proud, happy mama of a nine-month-old. Now the question looming on the horizon is: do we have another?

I grew up an only child and quite frankly, the thought of having two children terrifies me. I see harried looking women carrying an infant and being tugged on by a toddler and it looks like my personal idea of hell. I also struggle with the concept of actually loving another child as much as my first and worry about dividing up time or having a favorite.

I am hoping to hear from other mamas with broods greater than one. What is it really like to have two or more kids? What are the hard parts? What are the best parts? — Diana

Comments on How do you handle having two or more kids?

  1. I’m going to chime in with the whole “not getting along with your siblings” thing. I am the youngest of 5, in what we call “older” and “younger” siblings. My older two sisters are 14 and 12 years older then me, then my youngest sister is a year and a half older, and my brother is 7 minutes (we’re twins). As a kid, my older sisters had problems interacting with us- the last thing a 19 year old wants to do is play with a 7 year old. But in the same front, my youngest sister and I did not get along at all as kids, and I used to dream about being an only child so I wouldn’t have to deal with her lol. On the other hand, my brother and I were very close, mostly because we did everything together.

    So while my siblings are awesome, and especially now as an adult I love to have them there, I have had my ups and downs with having siblings both close in age and far apart in age. To be honest though, I don’t think having siblings is a ‘make or break’ thing. Obviously there are well adjusted single kids and multiple siblings, as well as the crazy ones!

  2. I am a mother of 4 boys, 14, 10,5, and soon to be 4. Its crazy, I started not wanting kids at all, and once I had one-I couldm’t wait to have more. The age span is great- I always have a helper, and for the most part they all play together well. I enjoy having the big family, as crazy as it can get. One thing I had to learn was that I should ask for help. It can get overwhelming at times. but I wouldn’t change a thing!

  3. i think giving your child a sibling is one of the most important things you can do. i have several friends who are only children, and some of the decisions they’ve had to make alone regarding their parents’ health have been so heartbreaking. i love my husband so incredibly much, but i think i would die if something happened to one of my sisters. our shared experiences and history is just something that no one else could understand. i do realize that not everyone is as close with their sibling(s), but i still think it’s worth the risk, work, and stress.
    on a lighter note- think about the next time you’re bored having to play hide and seek/dollhouse/blocks for the 1,000th time with your kid. a sibling will take the heat off of you to constantly provide entertainment!

  4. I have 2 kids. My daughter is 2 years and 3 months, my son is 10 months. We wanted kids close in age. I have 2 sisters, we got along off and on throughout our school years. We are all within 3 years or so of eachother. Today, we get along great.

    The transition to 2 was hard as hell. My son didn’t sleep for his first 8 months, still wakes up 2 times per night. It was hard to balance the attention both got with the little amount of sleep we were both getting. My active daughter had a tough time with the lack of attention at first.

    Today, they get along great, everyone is super cute and happy. I’m so glad we had 2 (probably wont have more for several reasons) and our life is currently awesome.

  5. I have a 4.5 year old and a two year old. We always wanted two, and since we knew that the adjustment to our entire life would be huge we wanted them to go through stages close together. Both nap and go to bed at the same time, attend the same school, have enough interests that cross over that we can do stuff that makes both kids happy. My oldest has no recollection of life before their sibling, it’s like they were always here. I like the close age gap, but I know it’s not for everyone.
    I love watching the kids interact, they’re so different but they share so much at the same time. It’s really cool to get to know them as individuals. Seeing them sing and dance together or getting covered in baby snuggles is heart-burstingly amazing. Seeing so much of my husband in them makes me love him more. It’s crazy how much you can love these tiny creatures and how that love can spill into the rest of your life.
    And it’s also hard. Sometimes really, really hard. Everything is amplified because there are two of them. Neither of them tantrum solo. If one refuses to sleep, the other is probably up too. Some days, they’re just jerks. Getting a sitter is way more expensive so adult time out of the house is rare. Groceries and laundry rule my life. Spending time with friends is hard because your attention is so divided. There are times when I have to think really hard about when was the last time I showered, or have I answered a text this week, or did something that just took care of me. I constantly remind myself that I need to move at their pace, and a lot of times that means that time for myself gets squeezed out. I still work part time (I happen to work in a field where I care for people, so that adds on for sure) so that adds on a whole other layer of stuff. I live in a city with a vibrant art/dining/music scene that I used to be really active in and it’s hard to watch events come and go and feel left out.
    But here’s the thing – the hard stuff (notice that most people’s con list is longer than their pro) seems to come out more strongly because it’s universal and easy to describe. The sleep deprivation, the schedule juggling, the intensity, getting a case of FOMO. But I would argue that it’s because the good stuff is so hard to describe.My little one picking out a record and dancing around fills my whole heart up. Watching new freckles appear on my oldest’s nose fills me with this crazy wonderment. I don’t know how to describe the whole self fulfillment I get from watching these two grow. I had no idea love could be so big.
    It’s a weird kind of duality to live in for sure. But I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be.

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