My wife is pregnant and we’re expecting baby Number 2 in April 2015! I’m over the moon with excitement. And, I have some fears.
About six years ago, when my son was nearly four months old, I started blogging and documenting my daily fatherhood experiences: being a new dad, being an at-home father with few resources, and the adventures our family went on around the big city that is New York, N.Y. When my wife returned to work after maternity leave, and I was flying solo with our son most of the day, I discovered that writing about my journey was therapeutic.
For the past few years, I’ve spent most of my time creating experiences for the NYC Dads Group, helping launch and nurture City Dads Group’s across the nation, and dabbling in many other exciting initiatives surrounding fatherhood. Consequently, I haven’t carved out time to write, and I’m hoping to steal a little time back each week to jot down some thoughts and musings on being a dad-to-be for the second time.
First, let me say that I ordered a few (overpriced) cheesy t-shirts to make a formal announcement to our friends that my wife was pregnant. Of course, we called our family members and close friends when we were ready to go public with the news. However, kind of like a birth announcement, I wanted something visually exciting that we could share with our friends that stated, “holy crap, after six years, we’re crazy enough to jump back into the parenting pool.”
Now, let me be frank. That photo is a precious and wonderful moment captured in time where I look calm and collected with the news that we’re expecting another baby. Not even close to the wild shit that’s scrambling inside my brain because our son is older, sleeps well, and has begun to gain his independence.
How am I going to get through all of those sleepless nights again ?
How am I going to manage all of the screaming and crying again?
How am I going to reset the clock and be successful in the role of full-time, at-home father with two children?
How am I going to handle all of the wild phases such as potty training, climbing out of the crib and throwing food at me? Again.
How will I be able to get some alone time with my wife while we’re juggling two kids?
How will I be able to keep my temper in check at those moments when I’ve had it?
How will we be able to live in our current home with a larger family?
How will I be able to love another child as much as I love my son?
How will another mouth to feed impact our finances and lifestyle?
Most of these are a stark contrast from my original fears and concerns of becoming a first-time dad more than six years ago: breaking the baby, finding time for myself, being isolated, and finding a welcoming network of parents to share best practices and vent frustrations to name a few. The reality is that I managed pretty well the first time despite failing more times than I care to admit. Still, being a second-time dad has me nervous.
The bottom line is that I’m fortunate to have an incredible parenting partner in my wife. I know that welcoming another member to our family will be very challenging at times … but oh, so worth it!
I’m curious to hear from other parents. What were some of your initial fears, concerns, and hopes when having your second (or more) child?