"Twice Blessed: Everything You Need To Know About Having A Second Child" by Joan Leonard

Joan Leonard wrote this book to complain about how crappy and difficult it was for her to have a second baby. At least, that's how it felt. The book does not offer any new insight about how to deal with going from one to two children. Like, I could have written this book, with the knowledge I have from having one child, and being one of four kids. And just observing other people.

This book does not encourage you to have children. Kind of a shame, because the people who end up interested in reading this book (well, at least from the title and cover) seems mostly to be those who are pregnant with their second one, who are DYING for pregnancy literature about having a second child! I mean, come on, there are five million books out there detailing what life will be like when you get your first baby, but so far there has not been anything remotely useful that I have been able to find about transitioning from parenting one little being to two little beings.

Something else rather strange, Leonard believes that a "real family" is a family of four. She blatantly states how she was excited to finally have a "real family". What the heck? When you're married, you and your spouse are a family. I can sort of see why childless couples think having a baby will make them "have a family"; I totally disagree, but it makes a little sense. The family dynamic changes drastically when you add a baby. But what is "real" about having two?! I mean, this lady is clearly imposing her own family goals and values on the rest of the world and touting it as an "everything you need to know" guidebook. Stupid.

I think the book's intended audience is supposed to be people who are considering the possibility of having another child, not those of us who are already pregnant or have two. So she should have changed the title. And you know what, I'm not convinced that life with two kids is going to be as hard as she says. I was talking in the hallway with a mom in my ward who spaced her kids 14 months apart (just like Jane and this new baby will be), and her comment was, "It's way easier to have two babies than to have one baby and be pregnant." Then she had to run off and stop her kid from running away, or something. Which was too bad, because I really wanted her to elaborate on that. It's something I am really eager to believe.

I think mostly, if your attitude towards motherhood is, "Hey, being a mom is hard. Deal with it," you will not really like this book. It was kind of interesting to read, but mostly just a waste of time because I didn't learn much new that common sense hasn't already taught me.


  1. I think there aren't very many books about parenting the second child because every child and every experience is different. My second child was so much easier than my first. I was so clueless I thought it was because I had learned so much from the first.

    My third child taught me that was not so. I learned that every child is a new adventure and each child is unique so what applies to the first child pretty much applies to them all with the exception of sibling rivalry and birth order issues. You might find something about those subjects helpful.

  2. You know, I've really been wondering about this! I always assumed that once you had two kids, life gets so busy that you can't really write anymore haha. But I really think it's interesting, what you said about each kid being so different that it's hard to write a book about that topic. It just seems so weird, because SO many people have more than one kid; why the plethora of literature for first-time moms and first-time pregnancies? If most pregnancies are subsequent to the first one, then why aren't there more books about it?

    I think reading about birth order and sibling rivalry sounds really interesting. Anything in particular that you would recommend?


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