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I’m Scared to Have 2 Kids

I wrote this post a couple weeks ago, but I’ve been holding off on sharing it.  Do I want to be this honest with my struggles and fears?  I’m still not 100% sure, but I am sure that pretending I have it all together isn’t going to be helpful to anyone.  Perhaps you can relate to my story and confession.

It was a Friday night after a hard week filled with roller coster emotions.  I felt out of control of my feelings. Thank you, pregnancy hormones.

But it was Friday night and I was still a mother to just one.  My husband was on his way home to join me on the front lines.  It was a relief.

He walked up to the house with a serious look on his face, “There is a situtation at work.”

“Do you have to go back?”

“I don’t know yet.”

We sat through a tense supper while he explained the problem.  We both dreaded the idea of him having to drive all the way back to work, which is an hour from our house.  In the end he decided to leave while Grace and I were still eating.

I surprised myself by crying as he kissed me good-bye.

“You crying?” Grace asked.  “You sad?”

“Yes, I’m crying.  I’m sad that Daddy has to go back to work.  Sometimes I miss Daddy while he is at work.”

Later in the meal Grace asks for more sausage.

“Take one bite of peas and then I’ll give you more sausage.”

This shouldn’t have been a difficult request since Grace likes peas, but Grace is 2.5 years old.  She can be super stubborn.  I have no problem matching that stubbornness.

Five minutes later and the peas have been eaten despite tear stained cheeks.  I feel exhausted and defeated.  Is the lesson worth it?

Was that extra bite of veggie worth the melt down?  Certainly not.

Or perhaps it truly is worth the lesson to obey and listen to Mom.

Or maybe I’m just being mean.

I’m terrified.

How much worse would this evening had been if baby #2 was already here?  My husband is gone after a hard week, my patience is shot, my toddler pushes my buttons at the wrong time, and my newborn literary is crying out for attention.

How mean will I become as a mother to two?

Grace is this precious little soul who is madly in love with me.  She wants me.  All of me all of the time.  I’m scared that the lack of sleep, lack of personal space, and lack of alone time will result in a crabby, short tempered mom.

In the end, I know I can do this.  I just want to do it really, really well.  I adore my little Grace.  I can’t imagine how wonderful it will be to have those feelings doubled with double the kids.

It is a hard job raising little ones…

UPDATE: Two years later I wrote an update on this post, sharing the 3 biggest struggles I experienced and my questions about having a third child. You can find that update here: I’m Scared to Have 2 Kids: an update 2 years later

Photo by Cicely Berkey


  1. Oh, friend… honestly, I didn’t even have time to have these worries because 1 & 2 arrived so freakishly close together and #2 was so stinkin’ early. BUT… I hear what you’re saying. And they’re legitimate fears. The oh-so-wise Jessica Fisher told me that going from 1 to 2 is a big transition because you transition to man-on-man defense… you’re no longer dealing with 2 parents to 1 kid. Then, when you have more than 2, you learn to take on “zone defense.” And it’s true. But you learn. And, while there are tough days, that’s nothing new– there are tough days with one child or, for that matter, no children. There are also amazing days. And there are ways in which it is EASIER to have more than one. You are going to be a great mama to two– I am totally confident in that. And, on the days you doubt, you just let me know. I’m happy to be an ear and to help build you back up. 🙂

  2. I feel ya. Pretty much everything you said is EXACTLY what I’m feeling and thinking right about now. Our #2 arrives in mid-July. My sister had three babies in 2.5 years. She’s rockin’ being a mom to three littles, so I’m hoping that having an older child (3yo) will help? I dunno. This is such uncharted territory. I’m scared too, but I know that we will be okay. 🙂

  3. I remember having those exact fears, and to be honest I’m not even sure if I can be much of an encouragement because I’m still learning how to balance 2. The one think I’ve noticed is that they adjust. Claire adjusted when Caleb came around. She also became a huge help! I know you will do amazing! I’m sure of it! Thanks for sharing your honest feelings, just don’t forget that you have a great group of friend around you here and in the great big blogging world. We are here for you.

  4. I had those fears when I was pregnant with my 2nd, and my first was about the same age. I still have those fears some days! My oldest is strong willed, short tempered and one of the most completely loving children I’ve met. My 2nd is 9mo and not sleeping through the night, and my 3 now 3.5y/o isn’t now either. It’s hard. Some days you will be the crabby “mean” mommy, there will be meltdowns over veggies, not having the “right” spoon to eat cereal with or something of that sort. BUT those days are few, and the days that you will all play, love and learn together, or when your 2nd is a little older and you hear them talking to each other, loving on each other; it’s worth it. Listen to your gut, sleep when you can, and if you can’t beat them, join them!

  5. Hugs! I had those same fears both times. Yes, the early weeks are hard. There’s a good bit of adjusting for everyone. The cool part? It’s not like anyone is losing anything (though it seems like Grace will be losing a special place with mom and dad). You are all being stretched. You are all growing. The love in your home will be multiplied. You are giving Grace a fantastic gift – a sibling to grow with and love and teach and learn from. They will help each other (and mom and dad) become more like Christ through both joys and hard times. Yes, it is uncharted territory for you. It is frightening. You can do this – with God’s help! You are starting an amazing new adventure! At 2 1/2, Grace will be such a big help and you’ll see such a sweet relationship form between your little ones. I am so excited for you (and praying for you)!

  6. YOU will really be fine! We all go thru those emotions-when we got home from the hospital with baby#2- i MADE my husband carry her in- b/c i didnt want my son to be mad at me- so i went straight for him and gave him attention first. I was so terrrified- how will i share the love- BUT it will all work out just fine. of course i am in your boat with you again- i have a 2 yr old and a 3 yr old and 1 on the way and i’m scared to death-but i know my kids will help and love to help and get me stuff and it will be all good. As for -when your tired- it will be easy to get both of them to nap at the same time- your baby will sleep all the time…you’ll be so surprised at how easy it will be.
    congrats and relax

  7. I’m pretty sure the 1 to 2 transition was the toughest. After that… what’s one more? 😉 There are tough days, for sure, but I always have and always will maintain that the best gift I give my children (aside from my own strong marriage) is their SIBLINGS.

    Your heart will overflow as Grace changes right before your very eyes. Yes, there will be “growing pains” involved, but that little girl will learn to be a helper, to play independently, to manage without mom’s full-time attention. It’s lovely!

    And then one day you’ll look over and your children will be playing… TOGETHER. Making each other laugh. Loving on each other. And it’s beautiful.

    1. Amy,

      I remember reading ‘the best gift I give my children is their siblings’ on your blog or in a tweet a year or so ago and it has stuck with me! I completely agree, the gift of siblings is amazing!

  8. Audra sums up a lot of what I would say. I wanted to add that soon Grace will be 3 yrs old and, for my kids, 3 was a breath of fresh air. My first was very difficult, but shortly after she turned 3 life with her got so much easier. She started to understand the “why” behind a lot of things and with that understanding came cooperation rather than resistance. She was more agreeable and happy and so was Mommy 🙂 Age 3 was when I finally thought I could handle another baby. Had I known how much easier mothering would become in the 3’s I would have been open to the idea earlier. There will be some adjusting, but I think one of the greatest gifts we can give our child is a brother or sister. Hugs!

  9. I have 4 and hands down the 1 to 2 transition was the toughest. after 2 it’s easy peasy:)) That is not to say 2 is a nuclear disaster. It’s is just a transition to learn how to truly juggle…but it’s normal to be scared. Within a few weeks you wont’ remember life without 2:)

  10. I had the same fears when my daughter was born last November (son was 23 months old at the time). It really is not near as bad as your fears predict it to be at all!! I promise. God makes it work out perfectly – and for me, its actually been better raising 2 kids than 1 because I have the little precious newborn (or smiling laughing 3 month old) to look at during those toddler temper tantrums!

  11. A little over 4 months ago, I had these same thoughts daily! I was concerned about the adjustment for the whole family but especially for my (then) 20 month old! I felt like there was no way I could be a good mama to two babies since there is just one of me!

    The moment Weston was born, all of those worries melted away! The first time Paxton saw his baby brother, my heart exploded with love for my two boys. I just seemed to know what to do.

    Now, it hasn’t been easy. There have been some trying days, especially those early weeks when we were settling in to a new normal. But, overall adjusting to life with two has been easier than I expected (we tend to expect the worse!)

    There are still moments that I feel like I have to choose between children (like when they’re both crying) but I know their cries, so I scoop up the one with the more immediate need and then comfort the other. Frequently, I’m ‘buried in children’ snuggling with them in my bed or on the couch but they both are soothed by mama being close and I don’t feel like I’m choosing.

  12. I think Amy is right when she says the transition to two is the hardest. After that… what’s one more? There are times when it’s more than difficult but they are outweighed by the times when your oldest will surprise you in ways that affirm how you’re raising them. There will be sibling fights, hugs, grudges, and love. And remember, if you need help don’t hesitate to ask for it. I learned to ask for help more with my second than my first and I’m sure once I have #3 it will be no different. You’re a strong woman and a wonderful mommy. I can’t wait to see how both you and Grace grow with your new little person.

  13. I had identical concerns when #2 arrived 8 days after #1’s second birthday. The morning after #2 was born, my husband called me in the hospital to announce that he couldn’t go to work, as planned, because #1 had been awake crying for me all night long. I lay there in bed and cried, wondering what I had done. Maybe my firstborn wasn’t ready to share me. Would I be able to devote the same love and attention to the new baby that my oldest had always enjoyed? The day I left the hospital, I was absolutely terrified. I spent the entire morning before my release trying to hide my tears from the hospital staff, because I figured they already thought I was a little south of sanity anyhow. When they did catch me sniveling, I attributed my tears to post-baby hormones. Once I got everyone home and settled, however, we found our pattern. The rhythm of our life changed, but not for the worse, we all adjusted, and I know we’re all better for it. You’ll find your new groove, and it will be fantastic. 🙂 Congrats!

  14. I am expecting my second in a week I have a two year old boy and we are super close I am having the same exac fears it brings me to tears constantly. I just want to thank all of you this is seriously some of the most comforting advice I have read and I feel much better ( well at least for now we will see when I go into labor how I feel lol)

  15. My second child is nearly 10 months old my first is just over 2 years older than him. It is tough. Definitely a rollercoaster still. But your first will be older and you will be wiser. My daughter loves to help me with my son and believe it or not that really is a help. I still rely heavily on my siblings though and my mom is on speed dial for a shoulder to lean on. very blessed that we live so close to family.

  16. We having #3 any day now. I think when days are hard, I try to remember we are called to be moms. We are equip to do it. It is hard, yes! But we can do it!

  17. I have 3 and sometimes it isn’t easy. I know I’m always really happy when I hear my husbands car beep and footsteps coming! There have been a few times he walks in and I’m like ahhhh help me please!! But everyday is a new day and everyday gets easier. Things might be hectic for a few weeks, or months… But in a few years you will be sad nobody wants to hang with mommy anymore! 😉

    1. Ahhh, yes… that glorious moment when Daddy comes home! 🙂

      Thanks for your encouragement, Dana. It is hard to imagine a day when Mommy isn’t #1, but I know it is coming. It will be sad!

  18. Oh how I know what you mean!!! I just found out yesterday that I am pregnant with my 2nd. Unfortunately though I work full time so I only get to see my 2.5 year old little boy when I get home. I was thinking about this yesterday when I found out. I love my little boy so intensely. He will be almost 3 when this one is born. Meaning he has been the center of my world for 3 years. Is he going to handle this well? Am I going to handle this well? How are we going to do it? I know I really wanted another baby but did I really think this thru? Can I really love the 2nd as much as the first? Will I still have enough time for him even when I have been up all night with an infant and I am exhausted yet he wakes up refreshed and asks mommy to play cars with him or to chase him… can I do it? Oh the questions….I absolutely know where your at and am soooo glad I am not alone!

    1. Mandy, I actually wrote this post over 2 years ago. My son is two and my daughter is four. Now that I’m on the other side of this I can tell you that it IS possible. Life does get crazy with two, but there is always enough time and love for everyone. My children are in a wonderful stage where they play together. It actually makes my life easier!!

      Yet all those fears and all those questions I had two years ago and you are having now… They are all so real and valid. We wouldn’t be mothers if we didn’t worry about if we were doing it right or how we are going to handle it all. Take a deep breath, Mandy. You can do this. 🙂

    2. My thoughts exactly! Just found out I’m pregnant and my #1 is almost 2. I feel everything you feel. Glad I’m not alone

      1. Joy, I think part of the stress comes from how young your little one is right now. Two is just an exhausting age. As your children get older, it will feel easier and easier.

        I wrote this post a few years ago and now my children are 6 and 3. They play together all the time and it is LOVELY! The same can happen to you. 🙂

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