1. THE TRANSITION FROM ONE TO TWO CHILDREN IS MIND BLOWING
Whether you have two under two or not, two children is a COMPLETELY different ballgame. I know, I know, you single child mothers are rolling your eyes at me and hearing “WaWaWa” noises. I was the same way when my friends with multiple children told me to hold onto my hat. How much harder could it be? The answer is way harder than I ever imagined. Any me time I was able to squeak out with my first was gone. POOF. Forever. I remember my husband would take my son for a morning walk and let me sleep because I was so very tired from breastfeeding all night. Not this time princess. There are two babies to care for and all hands need to be on deck because it is bedlam out there (and by out there I mean in your living room). It is a law of nature or whatever that if one of your children is screaming, they other one will start crying for no reason whatsoever. Eventually you will be brave enough to be alone with both small humans, and at that point you will be running your tail off from dawn (because that’s when baby wakes up) until the wee hours of night (when toddler goes to bed). There are two children to feed, change, wash, strap into car seats, unload from car seats, wipe noses for, read stories to, and put down for bed. When the baby is young, even if you are not a crunchy granola baby wearing type, you might as well glue that thing to your hip and learn to juggle one handed. Because my friend, this is life now. Welcome to the club!
2. YOU MAY NOT SLEEP AT ALL…FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE
So this sounds really dramatic. Maybe it is. Let me just tell you this; I hate coffee. I survived my first child and working nightshift for 3 years without any caffeine. Now I order my coffee IV push STAT tid (nurse talk for I need lots of caffeine all fricking day long). Here is the skinny. Newborns don’t sleep much even though they sleep basically all the time. So even if you have a good sleeper, you are waking up multiple times a night to feed the baby. The difference is that you no longer can sleep when baby sleeps because the TODDLER does not ever sleep when baby sleeps. It’s another law of nature. I checked. Then, the other kick in the pants hits when you bring home your little bundle of joy. After you finally get newborn baby tucked in, your toddler will decide to unexplainably wake up and cry even though they have been sleeping through the night for months! Say hello to the older sibling sleep regression. It’s a cruel joke and nobody is laughing.
3. ALL THE SUPPORT YOU HAD WITH THE FIRST BABY EVAPORATES
This is a bitter truth. Yes, everyone is still very excited for you blah blah blah. Yet, all the pampering you got with the first baby is gone. No baby shower, no offers to babysit, no let me come hold your sweet baby while you sleep. The new mommy glow is all dried up and everyone just assumes you are a veteran now. Wrong. Two babies are the major leagues and you will need support. Don’t be above begging. Someone is bound to take occasional pity on you. The salt in the wound is that it is much harder to find someone willing to watch two children. Anyone with any experience knows all the truths listed in this post and they are not touching you with a ten foot pole OR until your kids are old enough to use a toilet and feed themselves. And who can blame them?
4. TWO IN DIAPERS = 2 X MORE POO
Chances are, your older child is not going to be a potty training prodigy fully out of diapers before two. And even if you are that lucky, many regress in this area too when the baby comes home. Two times the diapers equates to two times the poop. The only thing worse than two in diapers is a newborn in diapers and toddler newly potting training. As soon as you settle to breastfeed your cranky difficult to latch breastfed baby, your toddler is going to shriek, “I need to go POOPY!!” No joke. You are going to be faced with a very difficult decision. Pop off the baby and leave it screaming in the swing while you try to potty your toddler, or gamble that your toddler’s poop cry is a false alarm and suffer the consequences if you are wrong. Chances are you will end up like me… breastfeeding in the bathroom with your toddler sitting on the potty waiting for the poop that will never come.
5. YOU NEED A DOUBLE SHOPPING CART EVERYWHERE YOU GO
Unfortunately, not all shopping carts are created equal when you have two children that are not old enough to be trusted to ambulate beside you in a store without A) Getting lost or seriously injured B) Causing serious mayhem or C) Being a total pain in your rear. When the baby is still a tiny nugget, you can get away with wearing the baby like a Sherpa trekking through the Himalayas while placing your toddler in the cart, OR you can haul in your handy dandy infant car seat and put it in your cart so you have absolutely no room for any of your shopping items. Eventually though, baby will be big enough to sit up and is going to need a seat next to your toddler. Some miraculous stores have double carts (I ♥ Target) but the trouble lies in finding said cart. They are never anywhere convenient. My personally favorite is when it is in the cart drop off boxed in by 50 single seater carts. Annoyed AF. Ultimately you end up unloading both kids from the car and having to carry one and drag the other around the parking lot until you finally spot a mother with ONE FRICKING CHILD leisurely pushing the only other double cart back to their car. Total insanity.
6. PREGNANCY WITH A TODDLER IN TOW IS ROUGH
Pregnancy comes with its own trials. The second pregnancy is no different than the first except that no one cares you feel like crap. Yeah, I know it is hard to hear. But now, there is a toddler to care for. No more long naps, laying on the couch when you feel queasy, or taking a load off when your feet swell up like sausages. Your first little love doesn’t have time for your pity party and honestly no one else does either. You’re a mommy now.
7. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND BUY A SECOND CRIB
I want you to listen to me very carefully… buy yourself a second crib. Do not torture yourself and try to move your older child into a toddler bed at two years of age. It is a mistake. A big one. Moving a child into a toddler bed before they are ready results in epic bedtime battles consisting of putting your child in bed only to have them nipping at your heels again before you get to the door. Then you repeat putting them in bed about 100 times before one of you finally caves (SPOILER ALERT: you usually cave first). Keep that kid contained in his crib as long as possible. Otherwise you can rename the second bullet point to: You may not sleep at all… ever again.
8. BE PREPARED FOR YOUR KIDS TO CRY IN PUBLIC AND YOU WON’T GIVE A RIP
All new parents vow they are not going to be that person with the obnoxious kid screaming in the middle of the super market, or in a restaurant, or on an airplane, or really any place civilized people go. Well, with one child that dream is almost possible. You can beg, plea, bargain, or simply haul that kid’s butt out of any public place before things get ugly. With two kids, you don’t have time for that kind of shenanigans. It is a full time job just trying to keep both kids compliant as you run errands. Even the best most seasoned mother will eventually find herself with one or both children loosing their marbles at a totally inconvenient time. At this point though, you have already loaded both kids into the car, found a blasted two-seated cart, unload both kids from their car seats, and completed half your shopping. There is no freaking way you are making a mad dash. This is your only shot to get your shopping done and you are out of eggs, milk, and coffee. This is life or death. After every attempt at consoling one or both kids, you eventually shrug your shoulders and trudge on.
9. YOU NEED TO GROW EYES IN THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD
Watching one baby become mobile and get into everything keeps you on your toes. Watching two borders on insanity. Just as you save your iPhone from being plunked in the toilet by your baby you realize your toddler has become ominously quiet. Never a good sign. This is when you walk in on a crayon mural on the wall. It is nearly impossible to get anything done and watch two young kids. I remember my daughter coming into the kitchen one morning with her play cup full of water and she is sipping it like a fine merlot while making pleasurable lip smacking noises at me. “Where did that water come from pumpkin?” I ask her. At this point she tottles back to our bathroom and dips her cup in the toilet. No joke folks. My kid was going back for seconds of toilet water. Moral of the story, basically nothing gets done for about a year or so.
10. THE LOVE YOUR BABIES WILL HAVE FOR EACH OTHER WILL MELT YOUR HEART
There is a silver lining to have two under two years old. It’s the main reason intelligent consenting adults decide to submit themselves to the aforementioned atrocities. I still remember the first time I placed my baby girl into my son’s arms. We had just come home from the hospital and he was anxiously awaiting my return. The moment we set her in his arms he stared down at her and she somehow managed to focus her bleary newborn eyes upon him. It was love at first sight. In an instant my toddler grew into a big brother and she loved him for it. Ever since, he has loved and cared for his sister and she has idolized him. There is no sweeter sound than hearing your young babies laughing together. The reason I decided to have back-to-back children was so they would grow up friends. Watching them grow together has taken the sting out of the harder aspects of raising two young babies. While, I’m not sure I would exactly recommend two under two I will say that the bond between my children has been worth any sacrifice.
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