Parents know that there are some quite significant differences between having your first vs. second child and other children. From different approaches to pregnancy to slightly different ways the kids are raised once born. And these changes were beautifully illustrated by Weng Chen – an incredible artist, VR game designer, and a mom from China, currently living in the US.
Weng Chen was always close to the world of art. “When I was about 2, 3 years old, my mom drew me a little mermaid and told me the story,” she wrote on her website. “I was fascinated; it was like magic that the most beautiful picture came from my mom’s pen. I believe that was when I fell in love with drawing and storytelling.”
Now she focuses on drawing comics about her dreams and daily lives, raising her two daughters, Electra, the firstborn, and Ali, the second born, together with her husband. “Messycow comics were started with an impulse. I didn’t spend time designing anything; I just dove in and started drawing.”
Her latest comics explain the differences between the firstborn and the second-born children, and the strips are hilarious. What do you think?
01. Pregnancy First Born Vs. Second Born
02. First Child: Everything Is A Sign the Kid Is Gifted Vs. Second Child: Not Everything Shows The Kid Is Gifted
First-time parents are blown away at all those firsts. Second-time moms have a little more perspective. It’s cool if they want to build a fully functional rocket in the house. They need to clean it all up when they’re done.
We’ll be impressed when you eat your veggies, kid. But don’t feel bad, second kid. A third child must make it to space to get any attention!
03. Changing Hygiene Standards – First Vs. Second Child
Ha! We all remember being neat freaks with the first kid. Our precious baby wouldn’t be getting any nasty germs on our watch. And with the second one … not so much.
Obviously, some of the comics are exaggerated for comedic effect, but they’re still rooted in plenty of reality. By the time baby No. 2 arrives, we’re all about them building their immune system by any means necessary.
04. First Days Of School For The First Born Vs. The Second Born
Regarding guaranteed tears, few things are as powerful as the first day of school. The first day of school is a huge milestone, no matter how many kids a parent has.
But let’s be honest here, the first day of school with that second one is more straightforward. Second-time moms can be happy and still shed a tear or two. Maybe they are tears of joy now, but still tears!
05. First Pregnancy Vs. Second Pregnancy
So many of the topics the artist covers in the series are just as hilarious as accurate. And who doesn’t want to relieve the moments of being treated like a queen (as they should be!) during their first pregnancy?
What pregnant mom with a toddler (or two) sometimes can’t relate to feeling like an overworked old nursemaid? Toddlers don’t care about treating mom like a queen when a sibling is coming.
06. Documenting the First Vs. Second Kid’s Childhood
First, kids get the baby book, the gallery of printed photos on the wall, and enough pictures to fill a million scrapbooks. Everything changes with the second kid, even how we document their childhood.
Picture frames are a no-go when the cloud is always right there! And that baby book is staying blank. Facebook and Instagram count as baby books.
07. First Kid’s Baby Clothes Vs. Recycled Baby Clothes
You were ready to blow an entire paycheck on new baby threads with the first. A white cashmere onesie that is dry clean only? Reasonable!
Listen closely, Mom. It’s fantastic for the second-borns to wear slightly too small, food-stained clothes until they grow into their older siblings’ hand-me-downs (which are also stained) since all those clothes will only fit for about five minutes anyway, who cares!
08. New Toys Vs. Hand-Me-Down Toys
We promise not to have a house full of plastic crap when we expect baby No. 1. We have such good intentions. Only the best new wooden, organic STEM toys for our little genius!
If they were good enough for the first child, they’re damn sure good enough for No. 2. And bring on the plastic toys — now we know they are easier to clean and just as good for imaginative play as the box they came in.
09. Screen Time First Child Vs. Second Child
“No TV until at least age 2” sounds familiar. Add that to the “good intentions, didn’t happen” list. It’s not that we don’t care about the second kid — it’s that we’ve learned how to relax.
No matter how chill, distracted, or different moms may seem with their firstborns vs. their second-borns, the love is always there.
10. New Vs. Second-Time Mom Breastfeeding Stress
The talented mom shows an ever-changing attitude toward things like breastfeeding. So many of us stress ourselves out trying to make feeding work with baby No. 1, and way too many believe the myth that breastfeeding doesn’t hurt.
But with baby No. 2, we’re less likely to stress about milk production when there’s some excellent formula. Moms of two or more know how to embrace the idea that “fed is best.”
11. First Kids Are Overscheduled & Second Kids Aren’t
As a first-time mom, you are so worried about your baby hitting all the developmental milestones that you’ll sign up for anything and everything. Music time, swim lessons, Mandarin for infants? Just take our money!
Who knew the produce aisle at the grocery store could be just as educational as endless mommy and me classes? Um, second-time moms know that! Music time is now listening to “Baby Shark” on infinite repeat for free.
12. First Vs. Second Child’s First Photos
Chen also clarifies that some things about parenting never change — like that picture of our firstborn as a baby we keep front and center in our wallets.
We didn’t have time to take a new one for the second baby, OK? But no shame in our second child game; that’s what our phone is for! Just keep swiping for more adorable pictures!
13. Organic Baby Food For The First Vs. Edible Food For The Second Child
Because being a mom isn’t challenging enough, first-timers commit to being unpaid organic chefs, too. Thoughts of cooking a perfectly nutritious, homemade meal from scratch every day disappear with baby No. 2.
Second-time moms know that calories are essential, whatever form they come in. If the little one is happy with a steady diet of dinosaur chicken nuggets and leftovers from the back of the fridge, it’s cool with us.
14. Parenting Books Vs. What Parenting Books?
First-time moms are convinced there is a solution for every problem if they have enough baby books. Sorry, Dr. Sears! Those parenting books go out the window for real-world lessons when the second baby comes.
Learning from the school of hard knocks, baby. Second-time moms know that the solution to almost every baby problem is to chill out, wait some time, and it will eventually pass. No books are required.
15. When The First Vs. The Second Child Gets Sick
It feels like the end of the world when your first baby gets sick for the first time. It can be challenging for a first-time mom to accept that all kids will get sick eventually, no matter how germ-free you keep your house.
Once parents learn that every sniffle their kid has isn’t catastrophic or life-threatening, their lives change completely. Like so many other kid problems, second-time moms know that time is the most likely cure for what ails our little darlings.
16. The First Baby Reveal Vs. The Second Baby Reveal
The comics depict pretty much every stage of parenting two different kids, from how excited friends and family are when we reveal the first pregnancy to getting blank stares when we break the news the second time.
While a new baby is always a blessing, it seems like making the announcement is a little less exciting for people the second time around. Thankfully there is still much love when the baby finally arrives.
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