Bianca Gonzalez has been a mom of two for six full months and, so far, describes the experience as "nakakabaliw."
Remember this post of Bianca in November 2018? She had just given birth then to her second baby.
She wrote, "Yesterday was one of those days. I lost my s#!+ and screamed at my toddler when she was being difficult. I cried. Then she cried. We were both crying then my newborn cried because she was hungry and it was time to feed.
"I felt terrible. But it was only 530PM and I still had the rest of the day to deal with. And that night she was still so clingy to me, up til bedtime. Mommy life is [weary face emoji] and [smiling face with heart eyes]!! God bless all mothers!!
"And this picture: I was going to take my selfie to document this memory and my puffy eyes as a reminder to stay patient. My toddler saw me, and seemingly aware of what she did wrong, joined me for the picture to try to make me smile.
"To end: This is just to balance the motherhood stories we see online.. its not all picture perfect, its also a lot of messy, stressful days. All part of the journey."
Indeed, having two kids, especially if you're a hands-on mom, is times two of everything.
The Pinoy Big Brother OTSO host told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in a group interview, "If balancing work and self and kid and husband, and all of these other things are hard with one, with two, talagang doubly hard."
But it definitely is "easier" taking care of a newborn this time around.
"I don't know nga if as a mom, I just got used to it or I know better or talagang good baby siya, but ayun.
"I know a lot of moms na ganun din yung na experience nila, yung pangalawa is an easier baby— meaning, feeds well, sleeps long.
"I remember kasi with my firstborn, talagang until six months siya, every two to three hours gising siya to feed, to breastfeed.
"But this one, as early as two months natutulog na siya ng six hours, so talagang blessing from God in a major way."
PEP.ph caught up with Bianca last May 15, at Sentro 1771 in Capitol Commons, Pasig City, where orange juice brand Tang held its event.
PREVENTING SIBLING JEALOUSY BETWEEN BIANCA'S DAUGHTERS
Bianca is also grateful that her three-year-old daughter Lucia has not shown signs of sibling jealousy.
According to KidsHealth.org, this usually starts even before the second baby is born, and continues as the kids grow and compete for everything—from attention to dresses to toys.
The celebrity mom is grateful because her "older daughter is maalaga sa baby sister niya."
She continued, "May times lang na pag nakikita niya everyone is fussing over the baby, may gagawin siya na parang pa-bida na 'look at me!' para siya rin titignan.
"But nothing out of the ordinary, nothing alarming.
"Nagigil siya lagi sa baby sister niya. We always ask her to share her toys."
Bianca has heard "horror stories of how a panganay will treat the new baby."
But even more crucial are these early signs, which were cited by most parenting websites:
- One of the siblings feels inadequate
- One starts pulling away
- When jealousy starts turning into envy
- When they start competing
Bianca and husband JC Intal are happy that there is no such drama between Lucia and Baby Carmen.
"Minsan lang may selos, but nothing too hard to handle," the ABS-CBN host said.
"And kasi nga, di ba, they always say kapag may new baby, ang mas nakakaintindi is the panganay pa rin."
Though their time has been more devoted to Carmen nowadays, Bianca and JC make sure that they Lucia their undivided attention whenever they can.
"Kapag tulog na yung newborn sa gabi, that's when we both spend quality time with our panganay, so she super looks forward to that.
"Minsan kapag tulog na yung baby, we bring her to the mall, mabilis lang. Magdi-dinner kaming tatlo o sila ng daddy niya lagi nagde-date.
"Na-a-appreciate niya na parang, 'Ito yung time ko. Wala baby sister ko.'"
If the older sibling feel loved, he/she will not see the younger sibling as a threat.
Aside from spending quality time with the kids, there are other ways to prevent sibling jealousy:
- Never compare them.
- Listen to them; let them express themselves
- Nurture each sibling's unique strengths; let them explore different interests
- Create a "cooperative" not competitive environment
- Treat kids fairly not equally. Parent.com gave this example: "You don't have to give two children the same toy. Instead, give them different toys suited to their ages and interests."
IS BIANCA READY FOR BABY NO. 3?
The cager's wife is happy with having two kids for now.
"I think I'm stopping at two kids. I'd like to, yeah," she said.
"My husband would want more, but then again, parang iba talaga sa nanay at sa tatay. Kasi yung nanay, siya magdadala, siya magbe-breastfeed, siya lahat—gigising sa gabi.
"Yung tatay is just half the genes and, of course, the support when the baby is there."
But even if the experience varies between parents, Bianca appreciates that she and JC have a good parenting dynamic.
"When you have two kasi, definitely as the breastfeeding mom, my baby needs me more kumbaga.
"So, since I'm attached more to the newborn, yung husband ko will attend more to the older one. Yun yung naging balance namin..."
Still, Bianca thinks the next baby will arrive much later in their family life.
"Iba yung hirap ng nanay when it comes to a newborn, so I told my husband happy na kami sa two.
"Pero if ever the two are bigger and kaya pa ng katawan ko, maybe.
"But ang mahal din to have kids, e, so happy na talaga kami sa two."
Bianca and JC welcomed their second daughter Carmen on October 29, 2018.
Lucia was born on October 23, 2015.