One of the first questions people asked me when Maddie joined our family a year ago was, “So what’s it like having two kids?” At the beginning, I wasn’t sure how to respond. One year later, I think I have a clearer answer.
Before she came along, I had figured out how to manage grocery shopping, tidying up the house throughout the day, and washing the dishes after each meal with one kid just fine. With her arrival, I couldn’t even accomplish one of those tasks by the end of the week. It took me a good 6 months to get to a point where my existence wasn’t in complete chaos. Perhaps some of that stemmed from our month-long adventure at the hospital. But still, I know my limits and functioning on little sleep, along with the neediness of another little person, definitely threw a wrench in my previously well-oiled works. My routine was altered, but that isn’t what I would say defines my experience.
Prior to life with Maddie, I couldn’t imagine how it would feel to love another child as much as I loved my Renny. I remember inwardly scoffing at a dear friend for her melodramatic foolishness when she expressed this same sentiment before her second was born and it wasn’t until I actually had a kid that I even considered it could be an issue. But when the time came to expand our family, I began to empathize with her question. Millions had done it but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around how it worked. But as all parents of more than one child know, it just does. Some kind of internal switch is activated and the love you feel for the next baby is just as powerful as what you feel for the first. It’s a miracle, I believe. But even that change is not what I consider the primary focus of going from one child to two.
So, what part of this transition has impacted me most? Watching my two babies positively interact with one another. The jewel in the crown of parenthood is seeing your children genuinely love and care for each other. My heart always melts when I see Warren place his arm around Madeline, or when she crawls over to give him a sloppy kiss on the cheek. And there is nothing, nothing like hearing them laugh together.
What is it like for me having two kids? It’s a roller coaster ride. It’s a 3-ring circus. It’s laughter and mayhem and worry all rolled into one. It’s love multiplied exponentially. Going from one to two kids has been an adjustment, to say the least, but one that has blessed me more than I could have ever expected. To know that I am witnessing and fostering an eternal family bond brings me joy greater than I can express.