Ever since LM was born (nearly a year ago, eek!) I have had a vague idea that I would at some point write a post about coping with 2 kids. That post hasn’t ever materialised though as in truth I have no words of wisdom to offer and no idea how you cope. You just do. You have to get on with it as what choice do you have? I have learned a few things since having a second child though and I thought I would share some with you.
(I have read similar posts to this but I swear I have had this post in drafts for a while and am not copying anyone – I think it’s just inevitable that we write similar things sometimes!!)
1. All kids really, really are different. We thought we knew what we were facing after 1 but then LM came along and was totally different to her big brother. Things that worked with Monkey did not work for her, and things that never worked for him did with her. It was like starting from scratch all over again. After Monkey we thought we had got parenting down and that we were doing a pretty good job. Now though I think we were just lucky with him and any smugness has well and truly evaporated. Not only do I think LM is going to be far more challenging but Monkey’s behaviour has also gotten worse now he is fighting for our attention!
2. You can’t be everything to everyone. I know I haven’t been the best friend at times over the last year and I feel terrible about it.. but there is only so much of me to go around and sometimes in order to be the best wife and mummy I can, I have not been able to be the best friend. I know some friendships have suffered as a result and I can only hope they are strong enough to survive.
3. I could really do with an extra pair of hands. That would be very very useful on the occasions when I am feeding LM and Monkey decides he cannot wait to do a poo… or the time when Monkey started pooing on the floor and LM came crawling into the room. Two arms really was not enough in that situation!
4. Eyes in the back of my head would be handy too.. and on each side. Then I would know if baby fell or was pushed, or who had the toy first and who took it from who!
5. I love “Baby Jake” almost as much as I hate him. It is a freaky programme but it has saved my sanity on more than one occasion. The TV in general is on far more than I would like but you seriously have to pick your battles when you have 2 kids.
6. Having one kid can put a strain on the strongest relationship. Having a second seriously tests it! Finding babysitters willing to look after both of them so you can get some couple time can be a serious challenge too which doesn’t help. One friend said her and her other half hated each other for the 1st year of their 2nd baby’s life, and another has said it’s a good job she loves her husband so much as she wants to kill him at times.
7. Getting both kids ready to get out of the house will always take longer than you think. I hate being late so almost never am but it can be stressful getting out the house on time.
8.It is possible to feel more tired than you already do with 1 child. You may not think it but oh yes it is possible – the exhaustion can be immense.
9. It is absolutely possible to love no.2 every bit as much as you love no.1. I know many mums wonder about this before no.2 comes along but there is no doubt that no matter how challenging it is and how their screaming brings you to the brink of your sanity… you will love them as much as your first born.
10. Seeing your kids play together and watching their bond grow is so precious and makes everything worthwhile. Those moments may not last very long before one pulls the other’s hair or the whinging starts… but for as long as they do last they are amazing and will melt your heart.
So there we have it, 10 things I have learned since having a second child. I am not sure if this would convince you that having a second child is a terrible idea and it’s not, but you do have to be prepared for how challenging it can be. I really had no idea but now I get it and I have no idea how people cope with more than 2 kiddies I really don’t!!
Feeling completely burnt out and so it’s great to read your post and not feel alone in this. I have two children and the impact of the second is immense. So much joy and laughter but there is little chance of replenishing your energy. I think the most exhausting thing is trying to keep a happy relationship between them. When it happens it’s glorious but it soon plummets into tantrums and telling tales on each other. Great post.
Of course it’s inevitable that similar posts will be written….. we are all singing from the same sheet after all! I can obviously relate with all of these, going from 1 to 2 children is such a steep learning curve, it’s mad! At least we are a little more prepared with what to expect though 🙂 Popping over from #maternitymondays
I have a post in draft form about two as well! So true that no two are the same. Mine have the uncanny ability to poo at the same time. I am often required for butt wiping duties whilst in the middle of nappy changing! It’s a glamorous life 😉 #maternitymonday
haha I totally agree with all of those especially the more hands. The only time I know they’re safe is when Baby is in a pram, his cot or his highchair and even then, he has an uncanny ability to get into a pickle 🙂 Lovely post and very cute photo of the two of them. They both have the most amazing eyes #MaternityMondays
Great post, I love ones like this that may give me a heads up what to expect when we decide to have number 2. #maternitymondays
Eek! This is good to read as we are in the final countdown waiting for number 2 to arrive in November. We’re under no illusions that it’s going to be so hard! But it’s the sharing our love which panics me so, so much. As an only child I am not good at sharing at the best of times! Lovely to have the reassurance that lots of people worry about that – it’s not just me! #twinklytuesday
I really would love to have a 2nd child but just have this massive fear hanging over me – despite reading various posts about it including this – that I just wouldn’t be able to cope. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get over that fear…! #thetruthabout
Yes, so true. I’ve been there, then out the other side and then went for a third. It all gets better as they grow up but whether that is just that you get used to them or that things actually improve, I don’t know.
You photo of your two children is gorgeous. Aren’t those moments wonderful?
Fionnuala from http://www.threesonslater.blogspot.com
Wisdom is a wonderful thing, shame we have to live through situations to gain it! #TwinklyTuesday
Great post! I’m currently pregnant with number two, and with a six year age gap I was wondering if I would remember anything from the first time around, although from what I see, most of it won’t count, as you say they are all so different! # twinkly Tuesday
Oh man, yes! There are no two kids that are the same. I like the meme on facebook that says something along the lines of how your first child wasn’t that hard. And God said challenge accepted…. Truth! Thanks for sharing. I’m visiting form #TwinklyTuesday
All very true. I have three kids but actually the transitions from 0 -1 and then from 1 – 2 were much harder than 2 -3. And the love – oh boy, I love no 3 every bit as much as his big brothers and the love between the three of them is the best thing in the world. As for my relationship with my husband – our youngest is 2 1/2 and I’m finally feeling like we have more time for us. We’ve had some tough times but we’ve made it through! xx#thetruthabout
This is a fab post Caroline and I agree with all these points. I found going from one to two much tougher than I expected it to be and there are many times when I wish for an extra pair of hands and an extra pair of eyes because one pair of each just doesn’t seem to be enough at times! That first year especially was the hardest but seeing that sibling bond grow and those wonderful moments really does make it worth it. Love that final photo of Monkey and LM 🙂
Wonderful list of which I can relate to so much. I have found havintpg 2 soooo much harder, how people with more than 2 cope I have absolutely no idea!! It is wonderful watching them bond, it’s the best bit! X
Haha, yes…you haven’t sold me on it. I’m still waiting for the point where my 14 month old becomes manageable enough for me to even consider a second. At the moment we’re sticking to one 🙂
Thanks so much for linking up with #fartglitter x
All so so true Caroline! I think learning to cope with life with two is like back to square one in many ways, particularly because siblings are rarely exactly the same in temperament and habits – as you say. But they can definitely be so cute together! For me right now it’s the bath & pyjama time where they go mental together – naked wrestling each other to the ground (with much hilarity), fighting me off if I come at them with an item of clothing or a towel – splashing, shouting, running – it’s exhausting and they are so much easier one at a time but at least they are enjoying each other’s company I guess!! I agree – how the heck to people cope with three or more??? 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout hon Xx
I smiled the way thru your post as I get it ALL!! I was one of those mums whose first child slept, ate and was a lovely bundle of happiness then #2 came hob if was totally different. You just don’t know what their personalities are but it’s fun finding out. As for the tiredness, you think you’re tired with one but you’re totally knackered with two. As for three, I can barely imagine!!
Thanks for linking this up to the #bestandworst lovely! See you again X
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You definitely do just have to get on with it, especially as you have to leave the house for school runs, food shops, etc. There is also no rest. If one is quiet/sleeping, you can guarantee the other will need your attention the whole time until they switch places! 😛 It is great fun though also (I think?!) and I’m so pleased to have two 🙂 (No more for me though!!)