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Second Child Syndrome

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Daily I get asked by interested friends how the pregnancy is going? I usually answer with a "Good, I feel good. Everything's fine." And the subject changes to Soren's latest feat of toddler strength and superior mental capablities. I can't help but feel bad about that. Another lady in my office is one month ahead of me with her first pregnancy. She is indeed glowing, placing a protective hand over her perfectly round belly. She beams with happiness whenever asked about how things are going. I remember those days. I feel bad because I just don't have the time to dote on my new pregnancy. To be honest four months is a weird stage for me. Not yet showing enough for it to be obvious; it just looks like I eat too much. Nobody is opening doors or offering to carry my groceries yet. I lug a toddler on one hip and a gallon of milk on the other. I try to sit down at night and think about my new baby. I usually end up wondering how a mom with two kids gets the grocery shopping done (I mean where do the groceries go in the cart?) or how the sleeping arrangement with the new baby will be. Will we need another crib? Is Soren ready for his toddler bed? To be honest, I'm so busy with work, chores, and toddler needs that I don't really think about being pregnant much. I sort of forget. I don't want it to be this way. This baby was just as planned and thrilling as the first. I don't want my second baby to suffer from second child syndrome. I really want to try to keep up on baby books and photo albums. But most moms tell me it's pretty natural to let things slip. Everyone has told me that my feelings are normal and there are articles to back it up. How do other families divide time and attention between two? As an only child myself, I'd really like some practical suggestions.