No, this isn’t an announcement! 😉 Though I am hoping to share an update on where we are with growing our family next week so stay tuned. Today’s Real Talk with Real Moms topic was about going from one kid to two and I didn’t want to miss out, because I have SO many thoughts that I never thought I’d have.
Over the past year as Jeff and I have discussed growing our family, I’ve felt such mixed feelings about the change, some of which I never anticipated! I wonder if any of you can relate? I imagine you can. Having bridged the worlds of “only child” and “big family” myself, I know without a doubt in my mind based on my personal experience, that I want Arlo to have siblings. So while these feelings do anything but stop my ambitions to do so, they did come quite unexpectedly. Here’s a few questions I’ve found myself asking…
Will I be able to fulfill Arlo’s emotional needs while balancing a baby, too?
Arlo’s a kid who needs a more-than-average amount of attention to help him manage his intense feelings, frustrations and energy. I know I joke about it a lot here or on Instagram, but he is determined, intense, strong-willed and independent like I’ve never seen before. And he’s been like that since day 1! When I hold other babies now, I feel like I’m going to break them because they are so floppy in comparison to how strong and solid he was. I’ll never forget seeing his little arms punching up above the bassinet at the hospital. He just came out a fighter, and I know all these skills will serve him so well when he’s older.
Additionally, he’s learning two languages at once right now. While there’s mixed thoughts on whether that delays speech, it definitely seems like it has for him. We feel this way because when we spend a few weeks traveling and he’s only hearing English, his speech grows leaps and bounds. It’s resulted in an immense amount of frustration (for all of us) as he can’t communicate what he needs even though he so fiercely KNOWS what that is. The delay and frustration is worth it to us for him to be able to learn Spanish at such a young age but it’s been tough nonetheless! (And don’t worry, our pediatrician has been monitoring it and we’re continuously checking in to see if we should evaluate him for speech therapy!)
Because of all of this, I feel so sad that I won’t be able to always devote 100% of my attention to helping him manage those big feelings like I do now. It’s soul crushing sometimes! And scary. I’ve never been a mom before, so I don’t know if I’d feel differently if he had a different personality, but I think it’s been a big part of why we didn’t start the next adoption process as soon as we thought we would.
How will our favorite moments change?
Bedtime is particularly special to me with Arlo. We have a very strict, elaborate routine (I know, I need to share it soon!!) and I love every moment of it. Sometimes it hits me that those little traditions will change and it makes my heart ache!
But then I think about how fun it will be for him to share some of those moments with a sibling and form new traditions all together. It’s so strange, anticipating mourning the loss of something but while also anticipating the joy of something new someday.
Will I be able to give this new baby as much devoted bonding time as we did with Arlo?
We spent six months being the only and exclusive caretakers of Arlo. It was a luxury, but we were so grateful for that extra time to continue to form that “bond” that looks a bit different than that of a biological child. Despite not having outside care though, I/we only took about two weeks completely off of working and spent the rest of the time juggling both. I forever regret not taking more.
Now, with a toddler in tow and our business in a different place, I’m hopeful but nervous about being able to devote that same bonding time to our next baby and attempting to take longer off to really soak in every moment and ease Arlo’s huge life shift. It’s especially hard with adoption because you just don’t know when that time will be. You kind of have to continue with your life with a loose back up plan at all times.
What if a future sibling’s relationship with their birth parents is different than Arlo’s?
Every single adoption is different. I think often about how Arlo’s sibling’s story will be different than his and how that might affect them both down the road. Tension, jealousy, tough questions. Even if we hope to seek out a similar relationship and level of open-ness to what we currently have, we never know how things will play out as time goes on. It’s part of the journey and we always knew that, and those thoughts are often in the back of my mind.
What will their sibling relationship be like!?
Arlo loves other kids and I am SO excited for when he’ll have a built-in playmate and friend. Our nanny sometimes brings her son over with her and Arlo FREAKS OUT with excitement, and sobs when he leaves. He also cries when little friends he makes at the park leave, even after only knowing them for 10 minutes. See the big feelings playing out? Ha! It’s so so sweet. I cannot wait to see him as a big brother. He loves to “help” me and I know he’ll get a thrill out of helping a baby bro or sis too.
My siblings were much older than me (10-20 years older) and primarily lived at their mom’s house so I never had that same bond you form when growing up together. It’ll be a whole new world for me to witness and I can’t wait!
How the HECK will I manage two schedules!?
Dude. this has to be the most common one but seriously, wrapping my head around managing two little one’s schedules is mind-blowing. I take comfort in knowing that a few billion people have done it before us. Haha! We’re planning to get Arlo settled in school before welcoming a new baby and I think that structure will be good for helping ease the shock but the thought of just the day-to-day juggling of two nap, food and activity schedules is overwhelming!
I’d love to hear what you thought (or are thinking) about going from one to two kids, and if you felt any of the same things I’m feeling at the thought of it! Be sure to check out the other mama’s posts + thoughts on the topic, all linked below!
And if there’s another topic you’d like us to cover in this series, leave that below too!