Tips for New Moms: Please, Tell Me It Gets Easier!

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From Kindergarten On
At the kindergarten milestone, you can raise a glass to the reduced costs of child care, if indeed you've selected a public school. An older child can also go places and take part in activities that are remotely interesting to adults, graduating from the interminable Candy Land to competitive checkers, from eating and throwing sand at the beach to chasing waves and squirting you with a Super Soaker.

As highly touted as Baby's first words or steps, the "firsts" that come in later years are astonishingly meaningful and fun. It's incredible the first time Scotty serves as the accolade at church, the first time Brittany accepts a trophy from her tee ball coach, and the first time Gus reads a book to you. I'll personally never forget how enthralled Patrick was, telling me the story of Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad, or how he sang "Food, Glorious Food" for days after seeing his first live musical, Oliver.

Start Over with Another Baby?
'Bout the time you start to adjust, or earlier in the pressure-cooker time frame enjoyed by parents of "advanced age" – as obstetricians term those of us over thirty-five – the baby urge can get rather insistent.

There are definite advantages to having a second child. The sheer demand for extra arms can force fathers to step forward and share more of the house and parenting work. You'll be more confident with subsequent imps, too, which makes the whole baby stage much more enjoyable. And siblings sometimes do keep each other occupied, although they can also bicker and fight, scream and bite so much you become their full-time referee.

Duke and I decided to have a second child in the most tentative of ways. We knew that our leaky boat could easily give way, acknowledged that parenting baby Patrick had taken us within an inch of our lives, but believed we had enough dogpaddling in us to give our son the significant gift of a sibling. Surprisingly, at least up until his rebellious years, Liam brought healing to our household. I escaped a second stint of postpartum hardships and Liam greeted Duke as if he was only a bosom away from being God's gift to babyhood.

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excerpted from:

From What No One Tells the Mom by Marg Stark. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book, visit Amazon or click on the book cover.

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