From One Child to Two: The Emotional Transition

I feel like I am going crazy with emotions that all revolve around this transition from one child to two.

If you’re curious about what goes through the brain of a 35-week pregnant lady about to have her second child, this post is for you. I’m excited, nervous, scared, anxious, and grateful– feelings I experience every single day. Maybe it’s my hormones, or maybe it’s because a big change is coming, but either way, I know these feelings are completely normal.

From One Child to Two: The Emotional TransitionMy first big emotion-trigger is when I think of my firstborn daughter becoming a big sister.

For four years she’s been our baby who held all of our love and undivided attention. I feel sad that she will no longer get that kind of attention (even though it’s probably a good thing). Thinking of her filling the role as big sister sends me into happy tears just imagining how great she is going to be, and then quickly into a panic thinking about the possibility of her acting out due to lack of attention. I’m sure there will be instances of both!

But to be honest, I think my emotions here stem from just not quite being ready for things to change with our relationship. We have a good routine down, we have a great bond, and we have a strong respect for each other. That’s not going to change. But once Baby comes into the picture, it’s going to be so…different. Our love and attention for her will now be shared and through her filling the role of big sister, she is going to be a different person in ways. I’m trying to hold her extra and spend as much time as I can with her right now!

Speaking of love, I feel anxious that I won’t be able to love another child as much as I love my firstborn.

That sounds horrible, I know, but the depth and amount of love I have for my daughter is unlike any other type of love, as I’m sure all moms can relate to. How will I possibly have the capacity to love that much for another human?! Is it going to be the same kind of love-at-first-sight that I had with my daughter, or is it going to be different? Will I bond quickly, or will it take time?

More of my emotions come from the unknown of how my labor is going to go.

With it just being weeks away, it’s not something I can just ignore or not think about any longer. The inevitable is upon me and it makes me nervous! As a type-A, plan everything possible type of person, I know that I can only plan so much and the rest is out of my control. A healthy baby and a healthy me is all I can ask for and it’s all I want, and I just want to know that everything is going to be alright.

I feel nervous about how my mental state is going to be with two children to look after.

It was hard enough with one infant and I remember thinking to myself often when my daughter was under the age of 1, “How do people have more than one child?” The lack of sleep, the figuring-everything-out, and the huge transition your daily life goes through is a very hard time even without any other children to be responsible for.

I know that I had a really hard time with the infant stage last time around, and I am hoping that, having been through it before, this trying time will be easier than I’m expecting. Maybe instead of being crazy and running around, my daughter will be a huge help and be a sweet and well-behaved child. Maybe that’s wishful thinking?

Even through all of the fears and anxiety I feel every day, I also feel an immense amount of gratitude.

Ultimately, we chose to add to our family because we wanted to give our daughter a sibling. I am so grateful that we’re able to do that and I am extremely excited about our new addition. I know there are going to be a lot of tough days, but I also know that at the end of each day, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Babies are such little miracles and bring so much joy and happiness to the lives of everyone they touch, and I am so thrilled to be able to have that extra love brought into my life and my family’s life again. (Here I go, getting emotional again!)

If you’re a mom to more than one child and have any advice for moms going from one to two, please share! After all, having community and support makes any transition much easier!

(Editor’s Note: Congratulations to the author of this article, Katie, who just had her second baby! Mama and baby are doing well.)

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  1. I remember having these exact same thoughts and as a Mom of 4 now I will tell you the biggest emotional pregnancy/birth was going from 1 to 2. In the end, the more kids you have, the more love you have in your home. The sibling bond is so special to see! One tip I would share is to spend individual time with each kid every day. That may be as simply as reading a book together or baking some cookies. But giving each child some one on one time makes everyone happier. Congratulations and God’s blessings during this time of transition.

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