What I’ve Learned Since Having a Second Kid

The good, the bad…and the gear that makes it work.

mom of two kids*We’ve partnered with Mountain Buggy to celebrate the launch of their new nano duo ™, a lightweight side-by-side stroller that delivers the perfect solution for urban parents.

From the moment you learn you’re having a second kid, the worries start mounting: How could you possibly love another as much as the first? Will you ever sleep again? And how can you squeeze more baby stuff into your living room!? But once you witness that first heart-bursting sibling interaction, you realize nothing else matters. From that first precious kiss to daily hand-holding in the double stroller, those moments of sibling love are worth all the sleepless nights.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy managing two kids, especially when you’re also trying to manage work, your relationship and, you know, everything else. We recently caught up with NYC mom of two Deirdre Maloney, founder of fashion trade show Capsule, about how she juggles her two daughters Lennox (3) and Locke (8 months), and her evolving career. Below she shares all the things she’s learned since having a second kid, and the sibling love moments that make it worth it.

Want to win the Mountain Buggy nano duo™ she’s strolling below? Post a photo of your own sibling love moments on Instagram with the hashtag #ilovemyduo and tag @wellroundedny and @mountain_buggy. We’ll announce the winner on May 31!

Deirdre Maloney and her kidssisters in a double strollerThat my relationship with my husband — and my first baby — could change so much. When I was pregnant with my first daughter Lennox, while I was very excited about having a baby, I was worried about how she might change my relationship with my husband (Def Jam exec Noah Callahan-Bever). When I was pregnant with my second daughter Locke, I worried about how she might change my relationship with Lennox. It’s funny because in both cases, of course, the relationships have changed. And though I do miss elements of the old us, me and Noah, and also me, Noah & Lennox, I love the new us as a foursome the most.

That my big kid would love her little sister right away. My parents and my sister brought Lennox to meet Locke shortly after she was born. Lennox climbed into the hospital bed with me and the baby. She caressed Locke’s tiny feet and sang her the song from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood when Daniel meets his new baby sister: “I really love, I really love, I really love our baaaaby. I really love, I really love, I really love our baaaaaby.”

riding in a double strollermountain buggy nano duoadorable baby and toddler feet

That my baby would be so obsessed with her big sis. With Lennox, I was, and still am, her favorite person. With Locke, Lennox is her favorite person. It’s so awesome to come home with Lennox and see Locke perk up and frantically try to twist her body to see Lennox with her huge toothless smile. I also die whenever Lennox uses her high pitched “Mommy voice” with Locke… “Lockey Bear – you are so cute and so small I just want to pinch your chubby little cheeks!” (Then pinches her chubby little cheeks).

That the right gear means everything. I try to make Lennox walk a lot but she prefers to ride in the Mountain Buggy nano duo™ stroller with her sister. She points things out to her like “Look, two dogs, maybe they are sisters!”, holds her hand, demands I pass her a tissue to blow Locke’s nose (aka smother her) and even gives her little kisses while she’s sitting beside her. She’s very sweet with Locke, so these moments happen constantly.

mom strolling with two kids in the citycute baby in a stroller

That my husband would be such a great dad of two. I have been surprised that while Noah and I have very similar values and goals, we have such different parenting styles. I think I am pretty in tune with the girls and have the strong “mother instinct” to quickly figure out what they want or need, whereas his instincts can be different. When we are together, I micromanage the hell out of him, sometimes to the point that I even annoy myself, but he is so patient and willing about everything. When he’s on his own with the girls he does just fine without my micromanaging, so I remind myself that I need to relax and let him be. It’s so hard though – I am bossy by nature!

But that our relationship requires even more communication and attention. What works well for us is identifying who is responsible for what, just like you do in the workplace. When things get left up in the air, they either don’t get done, or don’t get done well and cause friction. And because we have a good network of babysitters and family nearby, we are able to do date nights, or individual nights out, and even quick vacations, which we both really need for the health of our marriage, and the health of us as individuals. And I am really loving our one-on-one “adventures” with the girls on the weekends. I know it means a lot to them too.

baby in sunglassestoddler kissing baby inn the stroller

That the business/baby juggle is constantly evolving. My business partner (and mom confidante) Minya Quirk and I recently shuttered our agency business after 13 years because we just weren’t into it any more. We stopped working on our fashion trade show, Capsule, when it was acquired for a second time last month. So for the first time in my life, I don’t have a business (or businesses!) that require my around-the-clock attention, and it has been great. Minya and I are launching a new trade show in the gift and home and design space (with a third partner) this August, and we have a few other ideas in the works, but I am working less than I have in a long time. That means more time with my kids, and more time for running and organizing our household. And more time for me! This doesn’t feel like a long-term situation, but considering I barely took maternity leave for either of my kids, I am really enjoying quality time with them and the slower pace.

That it really does take a village. We have fully embraced the “it takes a village” model of parenting. My parents live nearby and are super into grandparenting, so they help a lot. We have an amazing nanny and part-time weekend help too. And of course, we divide and conquer. I am a big schedule person, and until recently Locke was taking 3 naps a day (now 2) and has a pretty rigid eating schedule. Lennox takes no naps and is very flexible (now) so on weekends we try to have a Mommy day and a Daddy day with each kid so we get a few hours of one-on-one. This way, we each also get some alone time to clean, workout, or zone out on the couch for an hour. We do family time for the second half of the weekend days…and try to hold off drinking wine until at least 5pm!

Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids for Well Rounded.

Mom and toddler pushing stroller together


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Jessica Pallay

Jessica Pallay

JESSICA PALLAY is the Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer of Well Rounded NY. She is a Brooklyn mama to Libby and Elsie, and writes about all things pregnancy and new motherhood.

Comments {4}

  1. While the concept of this article is great, I don’t think that someone who has a “nanny and part-time weekend help” exactly represents the average mother of two…

    Parker
  2. Though it was nice to hear another perspective, I do have to agree with Parker on that!!

    Gutierrez
  3. Completely agree, Parker. As a mother of a 15 month old and 5 month old, with a deployed Husband, I go at everything ALONE! I WISH I was able to have a nanny or part time help! It would make things so so much easier! Lol

    Lucy
  4. Nanny, babysitters on call, personal trainer, personal stylist, personal photographer, housekeepers (plural, 2 homes) pool maintenance, groundskeeper, etc, etc. How, HOW? does she manage?? Must be exhausting …

    erica

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