"Witching hour is torture." 7 things that happened when I transitioned from one to two kids.

When my son was nearing two, I knew I was ready to have another baby. A thought which a mere few months earlier had sent shivers down my spine. 

There’s this nice age between 18 months and two where they’re really discovering the world. They’ve started talking (not talking back), and they become real people with personalities and quirks. The logistics become a bit easier, they’re on one nap, they have less bottles/less feeds, and they can eat a wider variety of foods so it’s not the end of the world if you haven’t packed them a perfectly curated bento box. 

I found going from no children to one child pretty difficult. It was a huge adjustment. I have been working since I was 14 and I really love my job. On top of that, I am an extrovert and I struggled with the monotony of being home alone all day with no one to talk to. And don’t even get me started on the sleep deprivation. 

I wondered if it would be different this time around. There are adjustments, of course, but is going from one to two children really that much different? 

Watch: The horoscopes as new mums. Post continues after video.

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Now that I’m four months in, here’s what I’ve learnt about going from one to two children.


1. It’s more tiring.

This starts with the pregnancy. You’ll long for those sleepy weekends you had when pregnant with your first and miss your 7pm bedtime. Those first few weeks before you adjust to the new routine are the same. There’s no downtime for either parent because you’re dividing and conquering, one kid each. There’s no 'sleeping while the baby is sleeping' because chances are if one’s asleep, the other is awake. This means even less time for yourself and your partner.

For those first six weeks in particular, witching hour is a new form of torture. Everything seems to take longer and before you know it, it’s 10pm and you’re throwing back some lukewarm soup for dinner before the next awake window. 

2. You will miss your first born and it will be an ache that you feel in the depths of your bones.

Even though they’re right in front of you, you’ll miss your first born so much that it hurts. The first few weeks of life as a family of four, I spent the night feeds rotating between binge watching Love Island and crying into my phone while watching videos of my son as a newborn. 

You grieve the time when they were your only child, your baby, and suddenly they seem so much bigger and more grown up and you realise how fleeting time is. They’re also adjusting and learning to share their parents. 

I also found myself weirdly defensive of my son. When anyone would comment about how cute or 'good' my daughter was, I’d agree and then offer up a compliment about him. I changed my profile picture on Facebook to a photo of my daughter and then felt guilty so created a collage of the two of them. 


When we had visitors, I felt eternally grateful to those who greeted him first and gave him a little gift. Usually it would even bring me to tears (thanks hormones/sleep deprivation). Once we could resume our mother-son babyccino dates and spend some quality time together, it started to ease as we all adjusted to our new normal.

Image: Supplied.

3. Be prepared for a behaviour regression.

Sometimes I question my choice to decide to throw a newborn into the mix of the 'terrible twos', but then again... is there ever really a perfect age gap? My son who hasn’t had a bottle or dummy since he was one was all of a sudden requesting bottles of milk and stealing dummies at every opportune moment. 


The tantrums kicked up a notch alongside not wanting to go to bed, or get dressed, or have a nappy change, or day nap. In fact, I find myself questioning multiple times a day, "Is this age appropriate or is it the new sibling?". Of course it requires some saint-like patience to get through these first few months, which can be testing considering you’re not feeling like the best version of yourself. 

My son was quite besotted by his sister when she arrived. I thought I had gotten off relatively easy. But once the honeymoon period wore off, and he realised she was staying, he swung between wanting to smother her in kisses or throw something at her. Usually the throwing would happen when I was feeding her. They have a funny way of knowing when you can’t physically stop them from doing something! 

Not to mention there were days my son decided he didn’t want a bar of me, wouldn’t greet me, wouldn’t hug me, or even acknowledge me. There’s nothing quite as brutal as being rejected by your own child. Thankfully, after a few weeks, he started to warm up to me again. 

4. Two children means twice the amount of mum guilt.

Any mother will tell you that the guilt is unnecessary and that we’re all doing our best, but that doesn't stop the mum guilt from creeping in. You worry that you’re not giving your first born your undivided attention, you definitely can’t give as much to your second as you did to your first and so, the cycle continues. 


When my son was a baby, I’d pick him up and cuddle him at the slightest noise. If he was screaming in the car, I would pull over to calm him down. My whole day was planned around his nap schedules. Now that’s just not possible. 

Before you know it, this child that you once peeled, chopped, and steamed organic purees and finger food for is now requesting Weet-Bix and honey for dinner which you’ve agreed to.

The second child also gets left to their own devices a lot because they’re easier to contain. I’m starting to understand why second children are so resilient. Mine already has less photos, less clothes, and (thankfully) less visitors.

Image: Supplied.


5. 'Me time' is now the time that you spend with the easiest child (which is usually the baby).

When I was on maternity leave the first time, the minute my husband walked through the door, I would hand him our son. Sometimes I’d go for a solo walk, on hot days I would duck out for a quick swim in the ocean, or I would just go into my room, close the door, and scroll on my phone. Either way, I’d get a break and have some alone time. 

With two children, that is much harder and if you have one child on their own (particularly the easier one), that starts to feel like your me time. When your firstborn is at school or in daycare, you’ll even consider those days your 'day off'. 

6. The sickness is inevitable.

My son made it through 13 months of life before being sick. It wasn’t until he started daycare that he had his first fever. My daughter made it three weeks before she had her first runny nose. It was inevitable, a winter baby with an over enthusiastic brother who I could not, despite my efforts, keep away from his new sister. 

It was awful watching her struggle, but thankfully it was never too serious. I’m hoping it means she is given a reprieve from that first bout of daycare sickness because her immunity is much stronger by the time she gets there, fingers crossed! 

7. It’s so much more fun.

So the question about what’s harder going from none to one or one to two? I still don’t have the answer. They’re both hard in different ways. As a first time mum, everything is so new and overwhelming and you’re adjusting to a completely new life.


While logistically it’s harder, it’s also so much more fun. You know the hard bits don’t last long. I know this is cliche but time goes too fast, nothing makes you more aware of this than the moment your first child meets their new sibling because it will literally feel like yesterday you were in the same hospital holding them. I still can’t believe I am a mum sometimes let alone the fact I have two children.

Listen to Me After You. On this episode, Laura Byrne shares how her second child was a completely different ball game. Post continues below.

You’re so much more resilient, you know what kind of parent you are so you can easily block out the noise. You’re less susceptible to people's opinions and judgements, and you have more confidence in knowing what your child needs or where to get information that works best for you and your family. 

And it really is double the love. The instant your new arrival is here, you can’t imagine a time where you ever existed without them. Watching them together has been the absolute best thing I have experienced, which makes it all worth it. 

Feature Image: Supplied.

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