The Second Child Syndrome

It was nearly 5 years ago next month that we found out we were pregnant with our first. We were excited, anxious, scared, and nervous all at the same time.

We immediately got started in on the nursery and gathering the necessities for our first child. We were painting the nursery within just a couple months of finding out the news.

We had a crib picked out and a theme, that eventually changed after finding out we were having a boy.

There wasn’t a week that went by that we took a picture of my wife’s belly as well. There was an excitement watching it grow week by week knowing the end result. I still look back at those pictures and remember the those feelings I describe above.

But here we are, 20 weeks pregnant and not much has been done to prepare ourselves for baby #2. With the exception of endless names thrown around if we have a girl and the theme for nursery regardless if it’s a boy or girl.

The nursery still sits cluttered with boxes and endless amount of crap that we shoved into it when we moved not anticipating getting pregnant this quickly.

Being a first child myself, I knew of the second child syndrome only because my sister would bring it up. I never experienced it for myself. She would claim that I got preferential treatment from our parents. Again, I never noticed. She would also claim that she was sometimes not thought about. Those claims might have some sort of truth only because I kept reminding her that she was the unwanted one.

Yeah, I was that older sibling. I’m not exactly proud of it but my sister and I have moved on from that phase in our lives. In fact, I would say that we are a lot closer now than we were growing up.

Each passing day that goes without some progress on the nursery, or without a picture showing the growth of the baby in my wife’s belly is a constant reminder that the second child syndrome exist.

I can do what I can to mitigate that once the baby arrives. In fact early on, my son will be the one who feels that the second child is the one getting preferential treatment because pretty much, it will be able to do what it wants. Including, but not limited to, farting in church and it being perfectly (only because it is 6 weeks old) fine. It is going to be able to put our son’s new Christmas toy in it’s mouth and even though we will tell it, “no” and it won’t quite understand, it will all be fine.

Just because we don’t have the nursery painted, or more pictures of the baby belly, doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to love it any less that we love our son now. We are going to love it just the same and we are going to make sure that it knows that we love it just as much.

Hopefully, we are getting the second child syndrome out of our systems before it’s born. Or maybe we are recognizing this early that the syndrome is hitting that we can do whatever we need to do to prevent it from becoming a real thing when the baby is here.

The Rookie Dad

The Rookie Dad is father of 2, husband, TV Producer, runner, and co-founder of Dads Round Table and a contributor to Traveling Dad and Good Men Project.

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