I’m expecting baby #2 in a few weeks, something my husband, son and I are incredibly excited about. We’re having a girl this time around, which means I get the joy of parenting children of both genders.

Since this is our second time around, we’re very prepared mentally and emotionally for what having a newborn in the house is like. We have all the baby gear, clothes and blankets are washed and put away, we know what to expect with breastfeeding, and are prepped for getting zero sleep the next couple months.

But what I’m not prepared for is parenting two kids instead of just one.

With one kid, my husband and I could tag-team each other when one of us needed a break. We each currently get a weekend morning to sleep in, and having one of us gone for most of a day is no problem. The two of us can work together to reason with our toddler, presenting a united front against one strong-willed kid.

But with two kids, I know it’s not going to be as easy. It will be a lot more divide and conquer — one of us watching the newborn while the other entertains the toddler. Alone time will likely become a pipe dream. Running errands as one parent with two kids will require much more corralling and discussions about proper behavior. And when both kids are sick or having a bad day… I don’t even want to think about those situations.

I’m thrilled to be having another child and letting my son be a big brother, but it’s only dawned on me recently the big adjustment we’re ALL in for. I’m sure we’ll have our good days and bad. I know as they get older, they’ll be able to play with each other and entertain each other, but I also know they will fight (like my sisters and I did). Plus, there’s the added layer of making sure to keep things fair and not favor one kid over another based on age or gender all the time, but still let them be individuals and encourage their interested in different activities.

Parents with multiple kids, I ask you, how much harder is it to parent two kids versus one? How long does it take for you to mentally (and physically) adjust? Is there any way to be prepared?

I’ll be gone for a few months on maternity leave, but I’ll see everyone again in 2016 and will be sure to give an update on what I’ve learned about parenting two kids versus one.

Kira Cox

Hi, I’m Kira. I joined Verity in early 2012 after a seven-year stint as a newspaper reporter. While I never thought my career path would veer off in this direction, I am loving my time at Verity. I recently moved from being a member services representative at the Alderwood Branch to being the marketing coordinator for the credit union.

I’m originally from Texas, but I have lived all over the country and the world, including Boston, Massachusetts, Anchorage, Alaska and Sydney, Australia. But in all my travels, the Pacific Northwest is the only place that has felt like home.

When not at work, I am usually home with playing with my son, husband, dog and three cats. During the rare times I don’t have a to-do list to plow through (and it’s not raining too hard), I can be found digging in the vegetable garden, training for a half-marathon, or grilling in the backyard.

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