I’m pregnant with a toddler already at home, and I’ve been having doubts. About coping with a second baby. Which makes me feel like the absolute pits.

Several years ago when my sister-in-law had my nephew I remember wondering why a family might choose to wait to have a second baby. Not in a judgemental way, mind – I genuinely thought once you’d made that leap and if it was in your life plan to have more then there was no reason not to keep going: once bedlam was in full swing, what was there to lose?

The Fear of Being Pregnant With a Toddler At Home Already

Of course, I get it now. Almost constantly in the back of my mind is the nagging fear that despite being better equipped to have a baby – you know, having done that once before – I won’t manage. Because I know what’s in store – only this time I have a toddler to contend with. At the same time. Am I insane?

I think I’ve mentioned this already, but to be clear: this baby was planned. We talked and talked and talked some more before taking the plunge; we want at least one more child; Pixie is probably at about the ideal age (if such a thing exists).

On top of the creeping doubts I also feel guilt that I’m allowing such intrusive thoughts to tarnish my pregnancy. I do want this baby; so why my apprehension?

I compiled many of my concerns when I penned Yes, I Know My Daughter Needs a Sibling. The list has only grown since. Dammit!

Pregnancy

Actually, it probably only seems that way because It. Is. Happening. When I look back at that post I think I covered all bases – except now those worries feel very real, each needing to be resolved – or I at least need to make peace with them. And after much soul-searching I’ve realised that that is the answer I’ve been seeking:

It’s important to acknowledge those fears, to validate them. And then to accept that there will of course be bad days; just as there will be wonderful, magical, love-filled days. Just, in fact, as there are right now. Coping with a second baby will be a challenge, but it will also be a blessing.

We don’t have to be perfect, we don’t have to be super-mum or super-wife; we are enough as we are, flaws and all. For our families, our love is enough.

So when I published that post last week, it was a reminder to myself of why the adventure we’re about to embark on is not just a good idea – but a truly, remarkably, spectacularly brilliant one. My anxiety was missing the point: my family don’t care if I’m not perfect – they care only that I’m present

It will be less of a fine balancing act and more of a clumsy juggling act. And if I drop (one of) the ball(s) from time to time? I shall endeavour to embrace the chaos. Please feel free to remind me of that when I’m elbow deep in soiled nappies, Lego bricks and laundry.

An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is a huge advocate of personal growth, focusing on journaling to increase positivity and facilitate mindful motherhood. With a wealth of experience in breastfeeding and CMPA, Kate is also an expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.

4 Comments

  1. Lizzie Grover Reply

    This made me a little teary. It’s all normal, everything you think and feel is normal. It’s a scary time because no matter how many children you have already, adding another is a huge change. Sure the first child is the biggest change but then you have to learn how to live with 2. But you will learn, as soon as they pop out (oh I wish they just popped out) you hit the ground running with your new life as a bigger family. I felt some awful things with my second, I cried and cried feeling so guilty for bringing such chaos into my son’s life and I was terrified how I’d take to it all and whether we’d survive two tiny children as a family. It seems silly now but the unknown is scary isn’t it xx

  2. Kate Tunstall Reply

    Thanks so much, I’m sure I’ll be the same when baby arrives, it’s just very daunting! Xx

  3. Parenting is hard work and you are wise to recognise that it won’t be the sepia image we are presented with but would we want that anyway? I found having 2 very hard work blighted by post-natal depression. I think if you keep reaching out in the offline and online world you will juggle wonderfully as most of us do if only we valued ourselves as we should. Popping over prompted by the Accelerator group.

    • Kate Tunstall Reply

      Thanks Kate, I’m sure you’re right – I really hope so!

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