Going Green with a Second Child

exhausted mothers and green challengesHaving  our first child was a completely humbling experience.  My husband and I, two normally competent people, found ourselves up to our elbows in parenthood and more exhausted than we ever knew we could be.  Now with our second we know it’s possible to be even more bedraggled and groggy.

It’s so hard to manage a newborn and an almost three year old!  Our little one needs to be held ninety percent of the time while our older son is struggling for attention and challenging his limits.  In the midst of this happy/crazy drama, cloth diapers need to be washed, the compost needs to go out and the garden has to be watered.

We have a ridiculous amount of support.  My husband is home with me this summer and my son still goes to daycare since we have already paid for it through September.  Yet even with all this help, I can’t believe how tired we are!  How do some of you manage to single handedly manage a green lifestyle and caring for multiple children?  How did people do it years ago when their spouses didn’t help?  How do single parents do it?  Once again, I find myself smack in the middle of a fresh batch of humility.  Kudos to all of you who don’t get applause for the heroic feats you manage on a daily basis!


  1. Its funny bc with my first I felt that way. I didn’t even feel like myself until right before I got preggers with my 2nd. I jumped onto the green wagon when my first was only months old. Although it was difficult, I did a little at a time jumping into cloth diapers and organic food first.

    With my second I thought my life would be impossible. I expected the worst. See with number1 I felt I couldn’t put him down and that he was very needy. I was fortunate bc he naps well and sleepswell at night. The problem is he plays like a rockstar!!!! Well baby number 2 is Mr. Chill. He is calm and relaxed and all smiles. He sleeps awesome and through the night. IDK why I was so blessed.

    My husband use to be a Division I college coach so with number one he was always traveling. He hated being away and missing milestones so he left his job started his own business and took a Division III job. He is home all the time with me and the boys. He plays with the oldest all the time and we go on tiny family trips with the family. We go to the farmers market every sunday–its a family thing.

    I heard horror stories of the first getting jealous but that has not happened. My son actually likes his little brabra. I think it is bc he is so young and mommy and daddy like him so he does. We will see what happens in the future with that.

    I couldn’t do it with out my husband. He has made this much easier on me. I still get nothing done around the house though.

  2. I too have been struggling with trying to live the “green life” with a new baby. I have a 4 year old, 2 year old, and 2 month old…two of which are in cloth! At first I just felt overwhelmed all the time (I still do at times), but I now feel like I have somewhat of a pattern now. It may be that the baby now takes an actual morning nap so I get that time to get things done (and type on peoples blogs). I HAVE to do diapers 2 times per week so the baby has had to live in the sling. The sling is my total lifesaver at the moment. I just plop her in and hang the laundry out, scrub toilets, and even get most of the folding done. I have also had to come to the conclusion that my house will not live up to my expectations for the next few years. It just isn’t possible with three little ones hanging around and creating a total mess for me. One tip that has totally helped me is that we are suppose to spend time with our kiddos…housework can wait…our kiddos cannot! So spend time with both of your precious ones…they grow up fast!!

  3. Charlie was 20 months when Megan was born.

    I spend a lot of time reminding myself that you eat an elephant one bite at a time. Also, you’ll find that in the next few months, things will start getting much easier. The first 3 months were killer and things got gradually smoother from there. I also remind myself a lot that we were never meant to raise children in an isolated fashion. The current trend to mommy staying home with tiny ones is a relatively new one and needing help is totally normal.

    I also gave myself breaks when I needed them. There were days that both children wore disposable diapers because I just hadn’t gotten to do the laundry. My son watched more tv than the APA would have liked. Some days we eat snacks that are NOT on Dr Sear’s favorites list. I drink coffee. On particularly trying days I will pile both in the minivan, flip on the DVD player and drive to sonic to get myself a sundae- by the end of the 30-40 minute round trip I have made a hefty carbon footprint but I also have made it through the day which is sometimes more important.

    I used a sling extensively for the first couple of months and then switched to the Ergo. I had a swing and/or pack-n-play on every level to “park” the baby.

    It will get a little easier every day. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

  4. Becky,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wisdom! I think in the back of our heads we all want to be “wonder-moms” but sometimes it’s just about survival. We’re within weeks of the three month point and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it does seem to be quite a long tunnel!

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