Yesterday I went to a newly forming mom's group. Baby Girl was the oldest child there though one mom also has an older child too along with the toddler that joined her. That mom and I were the only two there with more than one child. I don't know if she was asked--and honestly we all were kind of talking over one another and there was lots of child noise--but the question was asked if it was easier to go to 2 children from 1 or having the first child. At the moment, I said that too many other changes were happening in our lives to make a true comparison--that I think it'd have been easier to add children than it was to become a first-time mom. (Which is what the person asking the question thought.)
But after today, I don't think so. Today, Baby Girl went with hubby to his parent's and will come home tomorrow. Which means it was just me and Precious. This is the first day it's been just the two of us in a very long time. And it was really good in a lot of ways. I snuggled her and read her books. I wasn't constantly having to redirect her from whatever it was Baby Girl was doing that couldn't really be played with by her. I didn't have to share my attention with a 3 1/2 year old. When she napped (a marathon nap! for her--2+ hours), I could do laundry and get more things done than I can when Baby Girl is around. When she had a meltdown, I could deal with it more calmly because Baby Girl wasn't making it worse.
Yes, I'm not quite as nervous or panicky about some things. But when I baby-proofed for Baby Girl, it was done. Now, I try--but Baby Girl does have toys that are too small and I try really hard to keep them in the other room, but she doesn't quite get that fully yet and so they make their way back at times. Baby Girl also has things that are 'safe' but she doesn't want Precious to get into. (And I don't really want Precious sharing sippy cups--no need to share germs! Baby Girl is forever leaving hers in reach of Precious.) My store of patience wasn't multiplied when I had another child and I'm afraid that it gets used up more quickly than it could or should. I don't know if that's just because Baby Girl is 3 1/2 and testing limits or if I'm just not patient enough.
I don't know that one or the other is easier. It's just different. And--life feels hard right now most days. I think it's more a function of working full-time (only mom in the group doing that, 1 other works part-time) in my particular vocation and Hubby's schedule. And my pumping schedule--I can't go to bed early and I can't sleep in. (Sometimes I do get to go back to sleep in the morning and I have had a nap or two after the girls are down and before pumping, but not usually.)
Time flies and they grow so fast. As I snuggled Precious today, I don't want her to grow faster. But I want things to change--I want to give her more undivided attention. I think I tend to put Baby Girl first because I feel Precious won't remember as much.
No matter what, it's never easier. Being a mommy is a hard job. Hopefully this group will help us all do it better.