Two children, two and a half months in

December 29, 2014

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What is it really like, having two children? It’s something I spent a lot of time thinking about before it happened. People were very keen to give me an opinion, mostly negative (I’d either get *that* look or a comment along the lines of “You’ll have your hands full!” Helpful, thanks).

Having a newborn at the same time as a toddler seemed so logistically impossible that I couldn’t get my head round it at all. How was it ever going to work? Especially when the last newborn stage was utterly all-consuming, and my toddler took up an X Factor style 110% of my time.

So what’s having two really like?

Well, two and a half months in it’s relentless, exhausting and a tricky and precarious balancing act. And on the days where it takes us all day to get dressed and I can’t go to the loo without both children for company I want to run around screaming “stop the insanity!” But, wait for it, and it feels odd to say this…it’s really not as bad as I thought it would be. In fact *whispers* it’s an awful lot better than I’d imagined.

I’ve loved having a newborn this time. Loved it. That’s not to say that the baby is a really easy baby (she’s not, and like her sister she also doesn’t like being put down and won’t nap anywhere but on one of us, making doing anything tricky). It just seems so much easier this time. And it’s not to say that I suddenly have an easy toddler. It’s just that this part all seems much more manageable than I thought. I know that bad nights will pass. I know it’s only a short time. It’s easier to just get on and deal with it all.

It is hard to parent the toddler in a consistently gentle way when I’m tired and impatient. Sometimes the last half hour before Alex gets home can feel like eight hundred years. One will always wake up just as the other has gone to sleep. The never-ending washing never, ever ends. But then there’s seeing the two of them together. Having the toddler for company this time. Knowing things, and things going right. Having no expectations about anything helps (and also; a cleaner).

When you first have a baby your world is pretty much knocked off its axis. This time it seems like we’ve found our new normal a lot quicker. I know everyone says that it’ll probably all change up again at sitting, weaning, standing, walking. But you know what? Most importantly, it might not be that bad.

I wrote this is leiu of a two month update because, predictably, I forgot about that. Here’s F at one month.

13 Comments

  • Cathy

    December 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    I think what constantly surprises me about life with two children is that having one child is in no way preparation for it.

    I was super-confident about life with two, because I’d been there and done that with my firstborn AND she was a challenging tricky trickster.

    My second daughter was the polar opposite – contented, easygoing, basically an adorable little piece of cake.

    Sixteen months later it STILL takes my breath away how intense it can be and how two children is NOT twice the work, it’s more like ten times the work. The levels of energy required are mind-blowing.

    As long as you accept it and you’re up for it, it’s absolutely awesome. I think the hardest part of all is acceptance. I kept waiting for it to ‘get easier’ and set mental milestones – once the baby is weaning/crawling/walking/turns one, it’ll get easier! If I could just get her sleeping through the night….I also tried repeatedly to do too much and fit the children in around my life and my choices in the way I’d been quite easily able to with one child.

    It could just be my experience, my choices, the age gap, or my two unique children.

    But in the absence of wanting to change my children (or, in fact, being able to!), I realised I instead had to change my expectations of what is reasonable and appropriate for me to ‘achieve’ whilst remaining a full-time mother to two children.

    It’s an amazing ride and I wouldn’t do anything else. It’s absolute mayhem and I love it, although I am pretty much 60% grey hair now.

    I’m not having a third though 🙂

  • Carie

    December 29, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    oh I’m so pleased for you that you seem to have hit your stride – it’s really funny how quickly the idea of just one child seems like unimaginable luxury and you wonder why you thought it was so hard!!

  • Another Bun

    December 30, 2014 at 8:02 am

    I’m pleasantly reassured reading this! I think we need to have more faith in ourselves as to our ability to cope!

  • Steph (Don’t Buy Her Flowers)

    January 4, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Hooray! Lovely to read, sounds like you’re doing a marvellous job! And I love ‘last half hour feels like 800years’. True dat! X

    1. gillian

      February 20, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks so much! x

  • Pretty mummy blog

    January 9, 2015 at 4:19 am

    I quite like these types of baby posts–My small young lady is a time this kind of four weeks, in conjunction with apparently just as if only the other day in conjunction with once and for all before which they had been this kind of age a lot of as well. When i don’t discover how that’s possible? In any respect, might would certainly precisely the same matter using the bottle–we tried out distinctive brands/nipple goes in conjunction with he’d solely gnaw on the website. As a result immediately after when it comes to four weeks, a number of us missing the particular deal with in search of.

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  • B

    January 9, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    This made me cry – in a good way! We’re roughly six weeks away from adding number two to our family and I can’t imagine how I’ll cope….but I feel definitely feel more optimistic now. And a teeny bit more excited if that’s possible!! Thank you!

    1. gillian

      February 20, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      So glad it was reassuring! Have you had the baby yet? Hope all’s going well xx

  • Michelle

    January 29, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I feel like I could have written this post… I am write there with you… same kids, same age, same eight hundred years before my husband gets home…!

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