Full Time Work Out of Home parents: what was harder, 0-1 or 1-2 kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just reading this thread in the general parenting section, asking what was harder: going from no kids to 1 child, or going from 1 to 2 kids? It sounds like most of the parents answering are stay at home moms, and I'm seriously seriously wondering if the equation changes when you're a full time work out of the home mom/parent.

I'm asking because I'm preggers with #2 and work full time and am freaking out cuz DH will be around *less* with this new babe than when our toddler was a babe!

So folks, what was YOUR experience (if you've got 2+ kids now): what was harder, going from 0-1, or 1-2? And why?
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#2 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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My experience is that going from 1-2 was/is more a change than going from 0-1. It wasn't that bad with only one child. I was easier to go shopping and get things done, but with two it's more of a challenge. I'd rather NOT go out than have to take two kids into a store. However, getting things done around the house seem to be getting easier. I don't have to entertain both kids all the time. DD is still really young and wants me in her sight all the time, but it is getting better. DS is also much better at staying engaged in an activity longer than 30 seconds. DH isn't home much either (mostly out at night time). Bedtime is challenging because I nurse dd to sleep and lay with ds until he's asleep. I wouldn't change it for anything.

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#3 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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I used to work full-time but now work part-time. My part-time schedule is two full days a week. On those two days, DH and I divide and conquer. One takes one child to where they need to be and the other takes the other. This summer, we had all three children going to three different locations for child care on the days I worked. It was a hassle. When school starts, my two oldest will be at the same location so DH will do that drop-off and I will drop-off the baby. I usually do the pick-up of all three.

Actually, I do most of the preparation for child care -- packing lunches, bags, fixing bottles, etc. Dh helps with getting the children dressed, fixing breakfast, etc. We have to be at work at the same time.

With all of that said, having two children was much harder when juggling work duties. The change from 0-1 was harder from an overall life change perspective. The change from 1-2 was more difficult to me from a logistics perspective -- getting out the door for work, getting grocery shopping, food prep, and housecleaning done. Does that make sense?

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#4 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 12:14 PM
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I said in the other thread that 1-2 was harder, and I worked full time when they were little.
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#5 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So far you guys are confirming my theory... in the other thread, overwhelmingly (I think the thread is now 3 or 4 pages) people said going from 0-1 was much harder. So far you guys have all said with working it's 1-2 for you.

I know it's a matter of opinion, and there can be so many variables (like the temperments of your kids, availability of other family supports, childcare stuff), but my gut is that 1-2 is harder from an exhaustion/energy/logistics point of view.

And yes I'm continuing to panic!
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#6 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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I think 0-1 was much harder, which is interesting because #2 is the more "challenging" baby. Yes, going to the store, etc. with 2 is harder. But I've learned a lot with #1, so I'm better at it this time. I babywear confidently, shop more efficiently, have my supply of quick/healthy meals, know what to look for in daycares, etc.

The first time around, I was worried about being "mommy-tracked" at work, concerned about how to sustain BFing while WOH full-time, struggled with the work-life balance, and battled serious PPD. This time I know I've proven myself as a valuable asset in the office since entering momhood, the pump is my best friend, I've relaxed and put family first, and I've had an anti-PPD plan since I got my BFP!

For the record, DD2 is definitely the more challenging baby; but I still think this transition has been way easier. So DON'T PANIC!

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#7 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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Just wondering if you guys think that the age of #1 matters.

It seems to me like it would be harder if the first is a toddler still. Ds is 3 1/2 now..and if we conceive this year, he'll be 4 when #2 would be born. I'm hoping with his age, it will be a little easier as he's a pretty good little helper guy!

Student nurse Mamma to Kaylum (3/01/2007) and wife to computer nerd DH .

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#8 of 20 Old 08-13-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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0-1, definitely harder. When DD came along, we had to pack more things, do more laundry, etc...but there was nothing actually new to do. There was just one more little person to include.

0-1, though...huge life change. Childcare, work schedules, doctor visits, everything was a lot of work to figure out.

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#9 of 20 Old 08-14-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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2 kids was harder for me because ds1's daycare didn't take infants. So I had two drop offs and pick ups every day. And once we got home, my time was divided between an infant that didn't take many bottles during the day and just want to nurse and a 4 year old who wanted to tell me and show me all about his day. DS2 nursed all night long so there was the exhaustion part as well.

When I had my first, I was working part time so that helped a ton. It took me awhile to get back into a routine after having my second. He's now 4 and I'm still doing two drop offs and pick ups. But we have a good routine going now and at this point, it's much easier to deal with all the extra stuff that pops up.
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#10 of 20 Old 08-15-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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There's 5 years between my first and second and 17 months between my second and third. Going from 0-1 was harder than going to 1-2 for me. Going from 2-3 has been the biggest challenge of all though because the younger two are so close in age. Its a wild ride getting all 3 kids ready (fed, dressed, bags packed) in the morning and out the door!!!
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#11 of 20 Old 08-15-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
I think 0-1 was much harder, which is interesting because #2 is the more "challenging" baby. Yes, going to the store, etc. with 2 is harder. But I've learned a lot with #1, so I'm better at it this time. I babywear confidently, shop more efficiently, have my supply of quick/healthy meals, know what to look for in daycares, etc.
I agree with this. It makes for busier days, but things seem easier, having already done it once! I find I'm more relaxed about everything this time around.

I also agree with the PP who said age of #1 makes a difference. While my 3 year old is a challenge most days, he can still get dressed on his own, use the bathroom, etc which frees me up to wrangle the other one and get us out the door. Having more of a toddler (under 2) would probably not be so smooth.

Mama of 2 sweet boys, Miles (Jan 3/07) and Avery (Nov 28/09) My fast and furious HBAC
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#12 of 20 Old 08-16-2010, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD will be just over 2 when DC2 is born... so I think it's gonna be hard.

But I am panicking a little bit less given most of your answers!

Thanks everyone for the responses! I guess like everything else, no matter what I worry about now... it's just gonna be what it is when the new babe gets here. But it does help to read some of the things you guys figured out to make it easier. Thanks!

Mosaic, may I ask what your anti-PPD plan is? I didn't have PPD with #1 but I was also well-rested and in much better physical shape when I had her. Now I've been chronically under-rested for 2 years, have had many other emotionally draining things to deal with (not kid-related), and have hardly gotten to walk or exercise at all, plus my worries about how to manage both kids with DP working more than before.... so I'm a little worried about PPD. Mind sharing your plan with me?
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#13 of 20 Old 08-16-2010, 10:58 PM
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I work FT. I thought going 0-1 was hard, a seismic change in our lives.
Now I realize 0-1 was a breeze, literally a pleasant walk in the park.
Ds1 was a very energized high needs kid, like a kid on 100% caffeine.
Only problem is, ds2 by comparison is like a kid on speed.
1 + 1 does not equal two.... Something exponential.
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#14 of 20 Old 08-16-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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I do not work outside the home. I do homeschool our second grader and I treat that the way I treated teaching before I had children. So maybe that changes things for me. I don't know.
I think 1-2 is wayyyyyy harder. I actually brought up the question last week at my knitting night. I only asked two moms but they were both sahm. Both homeschool so maybe that is the key. Anyhow, they both said 1-2 is wayyyy harder.
For all of us, one baby was my old life but with a baby along for the ride.

:Mama to 2 :
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#15 of 20 Old 08-17-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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I WOHM full-time, and I'll put in a vote for 0-1 being rougher than 1-2, far and away. When my first son was born, I had way more guilt about going back to work, stressed myself to the point of exhaustion with worry that I was not being a 'good enough' mother, baby reverse cycled with nursing so I was a very depressed, walking zombie for about 15 months.

1-2, I know how to take care of a baby, know they won't be insecurely attached if I am at work (they just need responsive care, doesn't matter if it's from dad or grandma or a daycare provider), have much lower expectations for myself on the housework and parenting fronts, this baby sleeps more and nurses less at night (though he's been getting worse in this dept. as he gets bigger but does not want solids much yet, so I am feeling the pain of sleep dep. during the day now), I have better social support...

Maybe you will get a mellow, easy-going kid and it will seem like a breeze, or maybe you'll get a high-needs baby who would wear you out just as badly if he/she were the only one in the house.

Doula, WOHM, wife to a super-fun papa, mama to the Monkey ('07), and his little brother, the Sea Monkey ('09).
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#16 of 20 Old 08-18-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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my feeling is 0-1 kiddos is harder in terms of learning how to be a parent-- its the first time for everything with your little one so its all new and can be frustrating in that way and the back at work guilt I gave myself was the worst!

That being said, 1-2 kiddos is harder in a very different way, for me anyway, yes I am a more confident mama, I know how to BF, babywear, read the cries & cues better this time around, and I know my LO will develop just fine while I'm working to pay for daycare What I'm finding now is that my older one is more of a challenge to meet his emotional needs. So that makes it really hard because I don't want to short change either of them, I find myself feeling stretched a little thin these days. But it makes a huge difference that my DS is 3 and now can go to the potty, get dressed etc.

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#17 of 20 Old 09-26-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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Going from none to one was a much, much more difficult transition than 1-2. Though DD1 is also a much higher-needs child than DD2. My routine changed little going from 1 to 2 children, where work was concerned.

DD2 was always "along for the ride" - wherever we went, she did, too. My girls are 27 months apart, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it, too. It makes it easier that they are so close because DD1 is still interested in doing "little kid" things like going to the playground or whatever and they are both entertained by basically the same things.

DD1 is 4 and just started pre-school. She likes it and it gives her something fun and interesting and challenging to do while the baby naps. She was starting to get pretty bored being stuck at home while the baby naps everyday. Starting school has been a bigger transition for the whole family than adding DD2 to the mix, I think!
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#18 of 20 Old 09-27-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
I think 0-1 was much harder, which is interesting because #2 is the more "challenging" baby. Yes, going to the store, etc. with 2 is harder. But I've learned a lot with #1, so I'm better at it this time. I babywear confidently, shop more efficiently, have my supply of quick/healthy meals, know what to look for in daycares, etc.

The first time around, I was worried about being "mommy-tracked" at work, concerned about how to sustain BFing while WOH full-time, struggled with the work-life balance, and battled serious PPD. This time I know I've proven myself as a valuable asset in the office since entering momhood, the pump is my best friend, I've relaxed and put family first, and I've had an anti-PPD plan since I got my BFP!

For the record, DD2 is definitely the more challenging baby; but I still think this transition has been way easier. So DON'T PANIC!
Same thing for me, almost verbatim. I find juggling work and children to be the single most difficult thing I have ever done. Returning to work after my first was fraught with depression, worry about how I would handle things, guilt about leaving my little one, and just total chaos.

I continue to think juggling work and parenthood is the single most challenging thing I've ever done, but I think I'm easier on myself and have a better handle on priorities now. I've also got tried and true systems in place, and am less anxious about parenting.

The thing that's still really tough is getting 2 kids ready in the morning. That's even harder when you are nursing. But, somehow you figure it all out! Just as the love expands, so, somehow, do your juggling abilities.

Mama to 2 mopheaded rascals
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#19 of 20 Old 09-27-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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My goodness, from my perspective, I can't believe anyone would ask! But clearly different families work differently. For us, 0-1 was way way way way harder. That was a total life change. We both have pretty time-consuming jobs and w/o kids, we could work as much as we wanted to. We could do what we wanted on the weekends. We didn't realize it but we had SO much time. And money! The move to having a baby, well, wow. Plus, our firstborn was quite challenging, to put it mildly.

DS1 was so challenging that we didn't have DD until 4 years later. She turned out to be a complete breeze. Plus, we already had the equipment and the practice from DS. Baby is fussing and won't sleep? Get the sling. Nursing? Sure, I know how to do that. Daycare? Of course, we've already got a spot in the place we've grown to love. Sure, two kids are more work, but for us, the addition of child #2 was sooo easy compared to the arrival of #1.
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#20 of 20 Old 09-27-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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I don't know about this other thread, but I can say that neither has been that difficult for me. We had them almost 5 years apart. I work full time as a teacher, so my work days are from 7am to 4pm. DH has stayed home with the kids the first year after my maternity leave with DS and is doing so now with DD, and since he is a qualified teacher, he has even been able to cover my maternity leave and then switch right back to a SAHD. He works part time doing the odd private tutorial in the evening and we get a babysitter/housekeeper to help on the overlap.

DS and DD have both been exceedingly easy going kids, IMO. It helps that I have never been much of a sound sleeper, and have been existing on about four hours of a sleep since I was about 15 with the odd 8 hour stretch once a week or so. The transition was pretty easy for me. I would also say that as far going out, I have been lucky in the milk department and been able to pump upwards of 24 oz of milk a day on top of what the kids have nursed on their own, and neither has ever been scared of strangers, they just quite happily take to babysitters (if they don't it is WEIRD and I know it is a sign that the person is not going to work out and I let them go ASAP).

The worst part for me really was the being pregnant. I get super emotional and EXHAUSTED. My usual 4 hours of sleep feels like sleep deprivation torture and I just want to die. I am super crabbit and then I get down on myself for being crabbit. THIS was worse with 1-2 because I was crabbit with my number one son, often when he did not deserve it. I was short tempered and bitchy. It was not like me and it sort of freaked DS out.

Post partum is also a crazy time for me. But once the hormones settle...it's really not that hard.

But I think I've gotten lucky.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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