We have two kids now, one is three this month and the other is going to be one in September. Here are my thoughts on having two kids.
For starters my wife and I decided to have our second kid two years apart from our first. We thought this would be a good gap. Close enough that they’d become friends. At least that’s what we hope will happen. So far it seems to be going well. Our second one adores the first one and is always happy around her. The first one though gets a bit annoyed at the attention especially when she’s trying to read. This leads to our most surprising find; the first one will cry a lot more than the second one. OK, so this may not be entirely accurate. The second one is a baby so she does cry about food and sleep. When the two are interacting though it is the first one that will cry first while the second one looks up at us with an innocent expression. When this happens we usually rule in favour of the first one. We always encourage her to think of an alternative though. Asking her to find something our second one can play with. She’s generally pretty good at this.
One thing that we’ve found really helps our home life with the two is focusing more on the first one. This eliminates one of the biggest troubles with having two kids, jealousy. Our first one still gets a little jealous but generally she doesn’t because we give her a lot of attention. When I come home I hug her first then the second one. This way she knows she’s still important to us. It also has a carry on effect. Our first one will often give our second one hugs and play with her the way we play with her, often much to the second one’s surprise. As a result of prioritizing the first one our second one has developed a good deal of individuality. She can play by herself a lot better than our second one who I must say was a bit spoilt as a baby and requires a lot of attention. She isn’t good at playing by herself.
This brings me to the other thing we’ve learnt. When our first one was a baby I gave her constant attention. Carried her everywhere, played with her all the time. The result, she wants to be carried a lot and played with all the time. It’s a lot of fun but actually we didn’t need to do that. The second one enjoys crawling around on the ground eating everything in sight. I don’t remember our first one doing the same thing.
We’ll probably have a third one in another two years time. Perhaps three years. Our first will be five or six by then. Our second will be two or three. At that stage our second one will probably need the most attention but the first one will probably feel threatened as well. The third will probably be left to their own devices much like the second one is now. It seems to work for her.