Life

Baby Times Two – 15 Week Update

Sale PSA: Platform espadrille sandals from Chloe, now under $200, a very pretty colorblock shift dress from DVF, now 60% off (I also like this maxi dress, gorgeous on the right frame, also 60% off), a pretty reversible double face coat from Lafayette 148, now 40% off, and black ankle cuff sandals from Pedro Garcia, now 30% off. 

Since baby #2 is almost four months old now, I thought I would provide an update about how we are managing with a family of four. I would say that this period has been filled with many ups and downs – ups when you think that things are just getting better, and downs when you remember all the “other” things about having a newborn. Overall it’s been good, and I do love having a new baby in the house (I smell her head constantly).  Here are some of my thoughts:

Crazy hair, wearing brother’s clothes

 

1. Timing:  I still believe that it probably would have been a “wee” bit better to have children a little bit apart. While I know that there are advantages to staying in the diaper phase and getting it over with all at once, and having kids that will be able to relate to each other in age when they are older, the sheer physical/mental demands of having two so close can be pretty intense at times. I remember asking other people with children close in age if it was the right decision, and since most of them were already past the baby stage, they were all like, “sure!” because by that point, their kids were playing together. But I just wanted to also document how it is now, the fact that you will have days that you just feel like you are going to fall over, and that the cycle will repeat, over and over again, where relief will seem very far in the future.  If I were advising a friend, I’d say three years apart are a good space. However, either way…

2. You make it work: This is true. I mean, you have to, right? Well except for the people who freak out and run away. I know this sounds super cliche, but I never thought I would have been able to fit so many things into a day that I do now. I used to roll my eyes when I heard women describe motherhood in this way – it sounded so condescending, like all of a sudden you get more efficient when you have kids, and of course it isn’t necessarily true – there are tons of super efficient people without children, and very inefficient parents. But for me personally, I’ve been able to make all kinds of stuff and circumstances “work” which I never dreamt I’d have to before children. There’s no other choice, so you make do.

3.  Money: I get quite a few questions about how having a second kid has impacted our finances. With all caveating that this is not a personal finance blog (and I would surely rank very poorly on the content scale were it one), I would say that contrary to logic, with each additional child we have watched our finances less and less. This is largely because of a lack of time and a general “I give up!!” attitude. When I can spend for convenience these days, I usually do. For example, I used to cook a lot more…but with two children, I have become a frequent visitor to Chipotle and am also HIGHLY dependent on Munchery (I have tested almost all food services, and this is my favorite…not sponsored, by the way, just my opinion). If you want to try it out with $20, you can use my referral link (thank you in advance if you do!).

Balancing all of that however, is the fact I shop way less, and go out to eat less too….so the money works out, kind of. I think? I’m not on top of things as I used to be…although the one area which I have been definitely planning for has been preschool, since we’ll have two in school to pay for at the same time (another thing to think about regarding timing).

4. Self Care: Is so important. The demands of a young child/children can be super intense, and it’s important to take care of yourself, as well as your partner. I used to not understand how people can “lose” themselves in their children…how they could neglect themselves and their relationships and let it all be about the kids. To me, it sounded like a lot of work! Didn’t these parents want to do something for themselves? But what I’ve realized is that actually, its sometimes its easier in the short run to neglect yourself. You get too lazy to go out for a “date night” for example…because you’d rather just flop over at home in exhaustion. You want to book yourself a massage…but you feel guilty being away and planning it requires some work, too. But all of that is really important. You have to take care of yourself and your relationship with your partner, in order to have a happy family, which I think is what we all want.

Now at the end of this post I think I sound a bit like a downer which is definitely not my intention! I just wanted to be honest, and share my thoughts as I go through the “thick of it”. But let me also just say that two children are often times a joy, and I feel so fortunate and privileged to have this family. It’s amazing to watch my son and daughter grow up and in the end, I do feel it was worth it (sorry to end on a cliche! But it’s true so I have to say it!).

Parents and non-parents alike, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Amy C
    November 6, 2017 at 9:26 am

    What a sweet baby! And YES to all of this. My second child came a bit sooner than we expected, so #1 and #2 ended up being 15 months apart. As a person who had spent her entire life feeling that motherhood was going to be amazing (which it is in many ways) I felt like I had been run over with a truck for that first year with two under two. It’s no joke. That being said, my son and daughter are now 17 and 16, and I’m so glad that they were spaced closely! Little brother followed about 2.5 years after the second one, and he’s now 14. That spacing is a bit easier, but I am willing to bet that 3 years apart is even easier! Boy does it go fast. The days are very, very long sometimes. But it changes, and then you miss it. I promise. 🙂

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 7, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Thank you so much sharing your experience…I love hearing from people who have “made it through!” And agreed on college!

  • Reply
    Amy C
    November 6, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I will also add that looking at putting two kids through college in quick succession is no joke!

  • Reply
    CD
    November 6, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Great post! I am about to have my first child, so I thoroughly enjoy reading these baby updates!
    Would love to hear if you have an update on favorite newborn/baby products. I’m so clueless in this dept.

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 7, 2017 at 8:51 am

      I’ll try to do a post on this! Thank you! And congratulations on your little one!

  • Reply
    Wendy
    November 6, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Hi Katherine! Congratulations on your lovely daughter ! She is gorgeous!
    Sadly, I have no children and more than likely won’t have biological ones. My Mother had 5 daughters. 3 of us in a row!
    She took a 2 year break for #4 and # 5 was a Happy accident 3 years later. The youngest 2 are the only ones that went to college. They paid for their education through loans and scholarships.
    I don’t know how my Mother made it! She cooked and cleaned and took great care of my Father . She was born and raised in Mexico. She never had any of us watch the younger siblings.
    Finances were sometimes tight but I would trade having 4 sisters for a Harvard education. Don’t worry, you will do an awesome job and have awesome memories!

    http://www.wannabeliz.com

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 7, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Thank you so much Liz and your mama sounds amazing!!

  • Reply
    Wendy
    November 6, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I’m sorry! Huge typo! I WOULD NOT trade haveing 4 sisters for a Harvard education!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 6, 2017 at 10:25 am

    My girls are 2.5 years apart and they play and get along beautifully for the most part. I am also able to delegate tasks to my oldest (increasingly more so now that she is 8) to watch/help her sisters e.g. to shower/read/help with homework. I love point #2! I used to get alot of “I don’t know how you do it” but the point is you have to make it work right? I mean what’s the alternative?? Having a super supportive and hands on husband totally helps 🙂 The daycare fees were a nightmare for a few years yet staying home was not an option. Those years were pretty bleak financially since we had not bargained on having two surprises. With the kids in daycare/after school care, lunch dates are the way to go!

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 7, 2017 at 8:52 am

      I love seeing photos of your beautiful family….I hope I can be as good of a cook as you later!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    November 6, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I’m currently pregnant with my second baby, due next month at the end of December! My daughter will be 19 months old. We didn’t plan for a second one in such close succession, so this post was oh so timely for me. Thank you for sharing! I know I’m in for a wild ride here soon, and it’s nice to hear from someone in the thick of it currently. Any more tips or insight, feel free to continue sharing!

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 7, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Congratulations!! And you’ll be in for a ride but you will survive 🙂

  • Reply
    Jill
    November 6, 2017 at 10:52 am

    My son and daughter are 4.5 years apart. I could not have had them any closer because my son was wild and I could not imagine (at the time) having a second child. Plus I wanted to train for and run a marathon (I ended up running two). Now they are 15 and 10 and sometimes it feels like I have two firstborns because of the age gap and gender difference. They have both gotten a lot of their own time with me! Managing everything will get easier for you over time. I used to hate it when people would tell me that, I wanted to tell them to zip it, and yet it has turned out to be true.

    Your daughter is adorable. I love her hair! You are doing an amazing job keeping up with the blog while raising your little ones. My hat is off to you my dear! xx

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 7, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Thank you so much Jill!! Thank you for sharing, hearing from parents like you makes me feel better 🙂

  • Reply
    ZT
    November 6, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Hi Katherine, your daughter looks much like her brother when he was that age! Your kids are beautiful.
    I have never commented even though I’ve been reading your blog for about 5 years now but I thought I’ll share this piece of information with you since you’re one of those mums who love smelling a baby’s head (my youngest is now 17 and I’m still smelling his head everyday! Lol).

    http://www.basenotes.net/perfumenews/3099-demeter-recreates-the-smell-of-a-babys-head-with-latest-fragrance

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 7, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Thank you for commenting and for sharing that link!! I will have to try this fragrance!

  • Reply
    Mai
    November 6, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    Love your blog and these posts in general. I had my first two 20 months apart and I loved it and thought it was a great age gap. They are both rambunctious and stubborn little boys, but they are sweet and for the most part we have a blast together. I loved them close in age because I felt the transition was quite smooth. The older one had not enjoyed single child status for long enough to know any better – it was like his little brother had always been there. I have always emphasized to them that they are each others best friends and will be so forever. They take it to heart and while they definitely have plenty of tiffs and fights, overall they love each other and love spending time together.
    I actually think 3 yrs is the hardest age gap because the older child will be cognizant enough to realize her loss of single child status, yet not quite enough yet to understand what it means to have a sibling and a baby in the house. To me, I think either less than 2 yrs apart or 5 yrs apart is the way to go :). at 5 years they are capable, they get it and are super helpful and just simply adore their little baby.

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 7, 2017 at 8:49 am

      That is an interesting perspective! And I’m so glad to hear your experience about the two of them being best friends 🙂

  • Reply
    kk
    November 7, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Hi, love your post about baby and life in general. I have 2 girls, 2.5 years apart. I really think its quite perfect timing, they played really well together and super close. With this age gap, I felt I had a little bit more time with the older one before no 2 came along and yet they are still close in age. Even at 2.5 years apart, at times, I still felt guilty to spent most of the time with the newborn and not enough mommy time with the older child (because she is still little). I can’t imagine how I would managed with 2 under 2.

    As a full time mom, I agreed 100%, make time for yourself, take 1 hour here and there, go for a massage, a facial, gym, yoga, etc. A feel better mommy is better than a grumpy mommy.

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 7, 2017 at 8:49 am

      Thanks so much and love the bit about a grumpy mommy! So true.

  • Reply
    Nvie
    November 7, 2017 at 3:36 am

    My two boys are 5 years apart and I’m not even sure if there a thing as a good gap. They fight like any brothers with closer age gap. Good thing is eldest is more independent now so it’s a bit easier but managing kids are not just feeding and clothing them. There’s the emotional factor, spending time with them, helping them with homework, after school actitivies and the list is endless.

    I work full-time and spending time with them can sometimes be very routine, dinner, homework, wash up, bedtime story before they sleep. I don’t have a social life besides work life at work, that keeps me sane.

    Having an equal partner ie the husband doing his part helps a lot. Boys listen to him better than me and I no patience with them as I don’t have 25 hours a day, you know what I mean, I want things done fast but when it comes to kids, it will never be your plan but theirs.

    Most important is we adapt according to
    situations and be less rigid. At the end of the day, every mom goes through it and survived. So whenever there’s a bad day, I just take two steps back and think about how grateful we are with two healthy boys.

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 7, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Nvie it sounds like you have a beautiful family, and you have a lot of wisdom 🙂

  • Reply
    irina
    November 7, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Good morning – She is a carbon copy of Featherboy at this age, no? So pretty, and the hair! I would definitely would love to see more post on point # 2.

  • Reply
    Brook
    November 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Katherine she is just beautiful! I do not have kids and don’t intend to but I still love your posts about motherhood. It is refreshing to read about the experience from someone who is honest about both the good and the not so good. Thank you for your candor in this and all your posts.

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 10, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Thank you so much Brook!

  • Reply
    Diane
    November 10, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I have no children of my own but I am one of four children born within a 5 year spread. My parents got a bit worn out when we were teens but it was having all four of us away at college at the same time for a number of years that was a bit tough. Luckily, they had prepared financially for our undergrad years, but there was still considerable sticker shock as both the boys went on for professional degrees.

  • Reply
    Candice
    November 11, 2017 at 5:39 am

    You’re daughter looks like her big brother! So pretty. I’m 4 months pregnant and my son just turned 3yrs old this month. Thank you for your very honest insight on having two kids. I remember your post on travel overseas will be on hold till grade school/elementary years. Hopefully we can still travel when the second one is a toddler already. You have a beautiful family.

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 13, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Thank you!! And congratulations, I wish you a comfortable pregnancy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Bee
    November 17, 2017 at 10:33 am

    What a darling girl! She looks just like her brother!!
    Great discussion – my mom friends discuss this all the time. I suppose many of us are type A and trying to “optimize”, whatever that means when it comes to family planning! I definitely think there are pluses and minuses on both sides of spacing.
    PS – I recall you got a lovely gift to commemorate the birth of baby feather. Hopefully you’ll share if there is a new addition to your closet to celebrate your new addition 😉

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 17, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      Thank you Bee!! Yes there really is no optimization is there?

  • Reply
    Lesley
    November 17, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    I share the same sentiments as you do. My boys are 23months apart. Baby will be 7months tomorrow!! So, I agree with you on all of the above except you explain it so much more eloquently. Today was day #1 in awhile that we didn’t have a tantrum from the toddler and it is..a relief…lol. I love reading your blog. You have some of the best content (a little bit of everything that i love).

    • Reply
      Katherine
      November 17, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      Thank you!! And I completely understand about the tantrums!

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