Greetings and a late Happy New Year! Hopefully you are making progress towards your New Year’s resolutions; keep up the good work! Generally speaking, I am not too big on resolutions myself, but this year I have one: to survive and make it to 2016. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, I hope so…
Our family’s 2014 holiday season was surprisingly easy and stress-free. For Thanksgiving we flew to visit my parents in Texas. Waking up early at 4 am for the early morning flight with a toddler was shockingly easy. We had a wonderful time in Texas and celebrated my son Oscar’s 3rd birthday with his cousins and extended family. Next we celebrated early Christmas along with my brother-in-law’s graduation with my wife’s family in Mississippi. 2014 came to an end when my father-in-law (a notorious recluse) visited us for Christmas. All told, the holidays were relaxed, fun, stress-free, and easy-going. In fact, for the last year or so parenting has become routine, natural, and – dare I say it – easy. It was a long and difficult process, but we considered ourselves masters at this.
You probably see where this is going. This just became a multiplayer campaign…
That’s right: we are expecting again. In another six months (sometime around June 2015) we will be parents of a newborn again. While the news of our first child’s impending arrival caused me and my wife fits of stress and anxiety, this new child has been a complete 180. Before we pored over books and the Internet; now we are relaxed, or perhaps too busy with the first.
We are veterans now: we’ve gone through this before and we know what to expect. Indeed, the most important milestone we’ve gone through is the genetic testing and not the gender announcement. Only after we get the results of no issues do we inquire as to the child’s sex – for the record, we’ve having another boy!
Of course, like any parent, I have anxiety.
Like a nerdy parent, I am able to express my anxiety in weird ways. Such as, what is the marginal cost of having one more child? In terms of time, effort, stress, sleep, would adding additional children follow a linear relationship? Does it double, triple, maybe only 50% more (this one, please)? Or is it exponential; do the children combine into more than the sum of their parts, becoming an infantile Voltron? Or maybe (hopefully) it will be easier, not due to him, but to us. After all, we have experience now and parenthood is no longer the unknown. Plus, they can totally play and take care of each other, right? Did we actually consider this before we made this decision? Should we have?
So, there you have it. That’s why I set the seemingly ridiculous goal of making it through 2015. I still remember the dark days of newborn care, the sleepless nights, constant crying, and juggling of work/life schedules that infants will cause. But I also remember it gets better, and it’ll eventually get fun once again. But until then, I’ll put my head down and work, do what needs to be done. And survive.
Dear readers, what was your second child like as a newborn? Was it harder or easier? I would love to hear your experiences and advice in the comments!
Sam Chow was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta. A 5th grade field trip to Space Camp started his lifelong love of technology and engineering. He juggled working in Huntsville while studying for his engineering degree at Mississippi State and moved here full-time in 2001. He and his lovely wife Connie were married in 2006 and currently have a five year old and a two year old, a dog, and a cat. In his spare time he enjoys training and watching mixed martial arts, watching old foreign films, reading, and video gaming.