Well, it’s official, I’m out of the Two-Under-Two club, having proudly held Gold Membership for a 7 month stint (although it felt longer at the time!) Now I’m safely on the other side, I’m pleased to say things ARE getting easier, so I thought it would be a good time to reflect over the last few months and what it is REALLY like having two little ones under two.
Obviously as we had IVF, Pearl’s pregnancy was very much planned, much to people’s surprise! The amount of comments I used to get when I was pregnant from total strangers telling me ‘Oh, you’ll have your hands full!’ and ‘bet you didn’t plan that one!‘ Well, yes – I did plan it and I was very much up for the challenge of two babies so small, as although it’s tough (incredibly tough!) it does have some amazing perks too.
I’m hoping this post shares some of the hard bits, the real bits and importantly the good bits, as I want to reassure pregnant parents-to-be of two under two that it’s totally worth it and the best thing you have ever done! As there is a lot to cover, I’ve written it in a handy Clemmie Telford (Mother of all Lists!) style list… Here goes!
Getting out the door takes FOREVER and you’ll learn to pack with military precision. You need small and light bags but MORE stuff, it’s tricky! I recommend a rucksack change bag – GAME CHANGER! (Literally)
You feel guilty a lot…. All the time, about everything.
They will cry and you can’t always fix it. The first time they both cry at the same time you feel so torn but it will happen often and you’ll get used to it. Just prioritise which one needs more urgent care and work quickly, don’t worry babies do cry and a couple of minutes won’t hurt – you are doing the best you can.
The nap time juggle is REAL – getting a baby to sleep with a noisy toddler is my nemesis… Especially when she decides to throw heavy wooden toys at the wooden floor, for fun.
They share clothes and toys – Pearl has had hand-me-downs a plenty, she is often in mismatched clothes which are just whatever I can quickly grab from the laundry pile and she plays with all of Violet’s old toys. At least second babies are cheaper?!
Once they are on the move, you need eyes in the back of your head.
Other Mums are usually happy to help, don’t be afraid to ask and take help if it’s offered!
Finding days out and baby groups that cater for both of their needs can be tricky, but once you’ve found your safe place you’ll return again and again (don’t worry, babies love repetition!)
When the baby starts eating – things are going to get MESSY. Just embrace it.
Your baby will be eating things you’d never dream of feeding your first born – when Pearl was six months Violet fed sneakily fed her Wotsits and cake. They learn food isn’t all baby food and puree VERY quickly and want what the toddler has.
You will be more exhausted than you’ve ever felt before
And drink more coffee than you though humanly possible.
Have a nappy basket in every room so you always have things to hand.
The laundry pile will be bigger than you ever imagined!
The recipe for weaning muffins that sat on the side for weeks before you finally get time to cook them – they didn’t even like them anyway.
When the baby is up all night, you have to be up with the toddler in the day – it’s tough
Plan out some simple ways to entertain the toddler whilst you are feeding/dealing with the baby – Pinterest is great for really simple ideas, I did things like just pouring oats/rice into a baking tray and adding a scoop, she played with it for ages.
Don’t feel bad if you need to just put them in front of the TV – needs must.
Your toddler will become so much more independent – teach them to help out as quickly as you can ‘Can you pass me the wipes’ is the best thing you’ll teach them in this situation!
You’ll never have everything as under control as you’d hope
You will feel like your winging it through life
The days can feel so long, but when you look back time went so quickly. It won’t always be this tough.
If they nap at the same time you feel like you’ve won the lottery.
You will crave ‘me time’ and adult conversation, but then feel guilty when you get it as you should spend the time with the children.
Watching them play together is the most heartwarming thing and makes it all worth it.
A sibling is the very best gift you can give, don’t worry if they are bored or missing out on things at the moment, you’ve given them a present that will last a lifetime.
It will get easier – you will find your stride, your groove and they will too.
One day they will be 4 and 5 and sitting playing nicely without you and you’ll miss these days!
You’ve got this!