Thursday, October 25, 2012

The DIfference Between Having 1 Child and 2: part 1

A question I often asked veteran mothers of multiples was: "how did your second child change your family?" Neither Ben nor I wanted an only child, and we would love to have more, but that doesn't change the fact that going from one child to two is makes some big changes. I'm not sure what all of them are yet, (that's why this is part 1) as Elias is just now walking and not quite talking, which will both introduce new things, but I have noticed these changes:

Talia is learning the valuable character-building lesson of putting the smaller, weaker person before one's self. She entertains Elias when he cries and I can't immediately drop everything I'm doing to get him, because she cares for him and feels the compassion so many adults have lost for each other. Talia teaches Elias just as much as the adults in his life. One of his first words in the mornings is "Ta!" for "Talia" because he wants to go see her. His smile when he finally does, lights up the whole room! Talia is constantly explaining to Elias how the world works and, either he will learn words faster but not say them as quickly because she doesn't give him a chance, or he will learn how to get his 2 cents in also!

By no means do we find every moment rosy, and I don't know how we would grow if it were. Sometimes having more than one child means that the crying is multiplied. That same empathy that makes children feel each others' pain, also means when one is unhappy, sometimes it makes the other one cry too. This is especially true when they are both tired... but to be fair I have to also mention that the laughs are multiplied as well. Talia and Elias can start giggling at each other and build and build until they can barely breathe because they're laughing so hard. Those moments more than make up for the crying moments.

We haven't really noticed a change in expense yet, since Elias is still barely interested in anything beyond breast milk, we use mostly cloth diapers, and he's still considered a lap child for plane fare... but I know that day is coming. ;)

How did a second (or third, etc.) child change your family dynamics?


  1. I love the character building point! So true. My biggest concern with a growing family is transportation. We need a 4 wheel drive (and found the one with the most seating capacity we could get) and I am concerned we might not be able to go everywhere together once we pass the 4 kids mark. Funny the things I worry about. Flying is crazy expensive when you have twins and they hit 2 years old, lol!

  2. We have three which means we're always one lap short. We try and rotate who sits in whose lap and I try and take them each separately on trips to the grocery so they get alone time with mom. Traveling. Ugh. We're traveling for Thanksgiving and many hotels won't allow five in a room. We're often forced to "upgrade" to suites to accommodate five.