My husband always makes fun of me by calling me an A student. The kind of nerdy overachiever that likes to get all her homework done on Friday night so that she can enjoy the weekend. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Why not kick back and revel in your glorious weekend without a tedious deadline looming for Sunday night?
It doesn’t take a genius to guess that I decided to approach pregnancy in the exact same way. Instead of spacing out our kids by two years or more, we opted to pop out two in a row, just 16 months apart.
The general feedback that we have gotten from friends, family, strangers, and the pediatrician is that we are indeed crazy. Granted, we both work at home, so we can tag-team those little monsters and make sure they don’t drive us completely insane. Or, that’s the hope”¦
If you’re considering having two kids under two, or even under 18 months, I’d love to encourage you that it can be done without feeling like you’ve made a terrible mistake. Of course, help from a partner or spouse makes a world of difference. I also hear from other experienced moms that it gets much easier with age. For get-it-out-of-the-way type A personalities like myself, rapid-fire childrearing may be the way to go.
If you’re on the fence about procreating in the fast lane, here are 10 reasons why it may be a decent-to-good idea:
1. You can embrace pregnancy fatigue
Being pregnant while my first son was too little to understand anything that was going on turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In my last trimester, I was a tired beast that napped an extra hour every day. As luck would have it, so did he. Win-win!
2. You can reuse all of your baby clothes
This is an added bonus if you have two children of the same sex. We have two boys, and I feel like we didn’t even skip a beat in reusing all of the newborn onesies, blankets, and socks. We also didn’t have to buy anything for the second baby, except a new crib and car seat.
3. You’ll still have your wits about you
Or maybe you won’t, depending on how baby #1 treated you. For my husband and I, we were still fresh in all of the baby knowledge we attempted to learn the first time around and could apply it successfully to baby #2. Well, successfully is a strong word.
4. You can become better co-parents
It may be strange to say, but I actually felt the parenting load lessen when I had my second baby. My husband has always been very hands-on as a work-at-home dad. But now, we’re pretty much responsible for one child each. To me, it feels 100 percent equal and a lot less stressful than attempting to juggle one crazy baby between the two of us.
5. You can do it better the second time
Well, again, that’s the hope. As any new parent does, I felt like I majorly screwed up on a lot of baby stuff. This time around, the goal has been to sleep train harder, to not respond to the baby right away so that he’s a little more relaxed, and to be less rigid about his schedule. So far, so good”¦
6. You can be nicer to yourself
Perfect example: breastfeeding. I am still breastfeeding my second son, but I’m not so worried about doing it perfectly. After just four weeks or so I got sick of regular nursing and went to exclusive pumping. I learned this lesson with the first one that the hassle of trying to force a baby to nurse just wasn’t for me. Pumping made it easier to split the demands between my husband and I, and it also soothed my anal-retentive personality because I could see exactly how much the little sucker ate (pun intended!). I felt guilty at first for not being a breastfeeding earth mother, but meh. It’s just not worth the hassle.
7. You’ll focus less on your first baby
I don’t know about you, but I was absolutely obsessed with my first son – making sure he was happy, well-adjusted, and not screwed up. My husband finally pointed out that I shouldn’t project all of my inner turmoil on this poor little toddler. The only thing that snapped me out of my baby-focused-trance was throwing another baby into the mix. Now my attention is divided, in a good way.
(photo: Beverly & Pack)
8. You’ll push your first child to become independent
I felt so guilty about enrolling my 16-month-old in half-day daycare to give us some kind of relief, but the joke was on me. He totally loves it and races into daycare every day to eat sugary sweet Fruit Loops at a little kiddie table with all of his tiny toddler friends.
9. You’ll give your kids the chance to be close friends
Okay, okay, this one certainly hasn’t played out yet, but that’s what everyone tells me about having kids close in age. Only time will tell if the two brothers will be great friends or the epitome of sibling rivalry. So far, my older son has started kissing the baby good night before bed, which melts my heart”¦
10. You can laugh at all of your friends that are getting pregnant
There is no better feeling than popping out your final baby and knowing you are completely done. I personally wanted to get the rigorous pregnancy process over with so that I could focus on parenting. I know other parents out there have a totally different perspective. But as soon as my second son was born, I wanted to celebrate – not just his life but the return of MY life as a person who will never be pregnant/hormonal/ragey again!