Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two under two

Lately, I have been thinking about writing about having two children under the age of two. But I have been kind of hesitant, because I don't want to appear all 'look at me and my hard life... wah!' when the reality is, I chose this. Plus, I know other Mothers with more on their plate than me; single mothers, mums with three under four, two under three, one amazing woman I go to playgroup with has four boys under the age of four. So I don't want to appear to complain.

But then last night, I was prompted by Loz from Ninja Tales, and Erin from Eat Play Bond to talk about life with a toddler and a baby. And I thought, you know what? I'm going to do this. Because two under two may seem like no big deal when you've got five, but it is a very big deal when you're wrestling with one and wondering how on earth someone could possibly do another. I know I used to wonder how I was going to cope.

So, two under two.

Basically you get amazingly exhausted in a I-didn't-believe-it-was-possible-to-exist-on-such-little-sleep way, and there is much, much less space.

Things like shopping, going to the park, going to a friends, getting a babysitter, are a lot harder than they were when there was only one. You become very, very good at forward thinking. I am constantly planning and preparing for what's coming next.

Funnily enough, my house is much cleaner, and much more organised than it ever was when I was a Mum of one. Because I have to be a bit more organised. There is less 'I'll leave that for later' because you know that later, you probably won't have the opportunity. So you do what you can when you can.

But it's not all bad. Having a baby the second time around isn't the same life-altering experience that it was the first time. Because you are already a mother. You know how to do this, because you've done it before. You know what it's like to stay at home with a child all day, you have developed routines to your days. You already have friends who are Mums (hopefully). And that makes coping much easier.

The sibling thing is also pretty cool. There is also nothing cuter than hearing Georgie say her brother's name. "Yarlie". I love how much Georgie loves her brother. And Charlie just worships the ground she walks on. Georgie is constantly giving him squeezy cuddles and squelchy kisses, but he doesn't mind, he just thinks she is wonderful.

I can see the benefit in having your children so close together. Georgie hasn't really had much time to develop without having a brother.He was born when she was 17 months, and I think having him around is probably all she remembers now. So she has never really displayed jealousy, or rivalry. She just adores her brother. However, in saying that, that may just be her too. Another child may not act the same way. Plus, it is still early days. I can see already that she can be a bit grumpy when he touches her toys! But they are good friends. And I love that.


You also get to enjoy your second baby more, I think. The first baby is all about you. You as a Mum, as an emotional milk machine. The second time around, you know what's happening, and it is much easier to roll with the punches. You also know how fast they grow, and so you can appreciate them in each stage a little more. You really get to enjoy the snuggly baby cuddles, because you know they are so fleeting.

Some days you get to the end of the day with your head held high, feeling like you are a good Mum... other days you end up a frazzled, tear sodden, twitching mess, patting a screaming baby muttering 'Go to sleep Charlie. Charlie, go to sleep." But that's true no matter how many kids you have.

It is hard work. But the second child becomes yours just as completely, just as much as the first one did. They become a part of you, a part of your family, so very quickly. I could not imagine life without Charles now.

So yes, you will be exhausted beyond belief. More tired than you thought possible. And sometimes the craving for a break, for some space will be almost overwhelming. But  the fact that you love them and they belong to you makes it easier.

Linking up with Diary of a SAHM, for #IBOT. Go check out some of the other bloggers who blog on Tuesdays and tell poor Jess to feel better soon!


  1. It is hard isn't it?

    From experience (my first two are 14 months apart), it gets easier. My two eldest (now 4 and turning-3) are great buddies and play for literally hours together without needing my intervention. It brings me so much joy to see their relationship develop. I am not close to my brother as an adult (Not that we don't get along, but we are happy to see each other every couple of months or so) and we were over 3 years apart (though I think a lot has to do with his personality too - he is a closed book in a lot of ways). I'm really hoping my big two are still great friends as adults too!

    Also, when my son (and then later my 3rd child) started sleeping through the night, everything felt SOOO much better!

    All in all, I found the transition from 0-1 child my hardest so far. I know this is different for everyone, but I think the initial discovery of the reality of sleeplessness, having someone COMPLETELY dependent on you etc is the biggest shell-shock! Totally agree that the 2nd baby is more enjoyable in that sense...

    Thanks for writing about this - you are right, there are some people who probably really need to read this! In the end, we didn't plan our family... it is how God gave them to us (e.g. God decided the age gaps etc...). I would have thought I couldn't handle this (formerly 3 under 3), but in HIS strength, I can and I have!

  2. I had 2 under 2 *just* 22 months my daughter was when my lil man was born.. it is hard.. yes you know what your doing, but at the same time you have to keep an eye on the eldest while the lil one demands your attention!!

    It gets easier.. then when they both toddle it gets harder... a year on and I am slowly regaining my stability with these two.. though less is getting done around the house.. I should make more of an effort!! :)

    Love your post!

    you have been visited by a member of #teamIBOT :) Have a great evening!

  3. This definitely needs to be written, because so many can relate. And parenting is hard no matter how many kids you have.
    I found going from 1-2 really hard. Much harder than 2-3, but 3-4 was difficult. Also there is the mix of personalities... But you're right in that as soon as you have them, you can't imagine life without them.

  4. I think your post was fantastic! I only have the one, and could only imagine how hard, and rewarding, it would be with two!

  5. Great post Robyn. It is indeed VERY hard work having kids close together! Mine eldest 3 are all 21 months apart, and the gap between 3 & 4 is 26 months. The first few years are manic - and sleep deprivation sucks. Living life in a fog of exhaustion is not fun - but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Also, seeing the relationships develop between the kids is what makes my heart melt. It is so worth the hard yards.

  6. ""...Some days you get to the end of the day with your head held high, feeling like you are a good Mum... other days you end up a frazzled, tear sodden, twitching mess..."

    love love love this!! my 2 under 2 are now 9 and almost 8....and I can still very much relate...great post!

  7. I often find myself thinking that I'm not such a great mum because I have "only" 2, compared to those with more. But I have to remind myself not to compare. Ever.

  8. Lovely post. My 2 are "just turned 2 (Luka)" and "almost 7 weeks (Mylo)". Interestingly, I find myself lamenting that I don't get to just sit with Mylo like I could with Luka... I feel like time is whizzing by too fast & I'm missing moments with him that I relished with Luka... I felt the same way while I was pregnant, too busy running after the toddler to sit with every little kick & hiccup coming from the inside... but I most defintely agree with feeling much calmer and capable 2nd time around - there sure is something to be said for experience :)

  9. they are so beautiful Robyn.... can't believe how big they are getting !!

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog - now I understand why you don't run !! You are too busy with your children - good on you ! I find it difficult to relate to what you are going through because I only have one child who turned 20 yesterday - I see Moms in the shopping centre battling with more than one child and all I can say is "thank goodness those days are over for me" !! Good luck with getting some sleep and passing the milestones !

  11. Mine are a day shy of 2 years apart but I can relate to a lot of what you've written. The hardest part for me is the exhaustion. Its fog permeates so much of my everyday life.


Thanks for stopping by, I would so love to hear your thoughts!

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