After celebrating my youngest daughter’s birthday a few weeks ago, I’ve just now realised something.
I survived two years with two under two. I have a few thoughts on this subject. First up, where was my party? Surely I deserve one after maintaining the lives of not one but two small humans?
Next up, wow it’s flown by quickly.
Also, I am absolutely bloody knackered.
And finally, It’s been the greatest two years of my life.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s also been the most challenging, and yet when I see my two kids hug each other or hold hands and my heart feels like it’s going to burst, I know it’s all been worth it.
My girls are just 21 months apart. Deciding to have a second child so quickly was an easy one. We knew we wanted two kids, and there didn’t seem much point in waiting to expand our family.
Having another didn’t feel all that daunting to me when we decided to start trying for another. And there’s a very good reason for that. Because we hadn’t yet hit the toddler years.
If I had known then what I know now, would I have been more afraid? Yes, absolutely.
It’s true that the lack of sleep with babies is tough, but toddlers. Toddlers are brutal.
They also do not sleep, but unlike babies they can walk, throw, break and generally do whatever the hell they want.
Now I know all too well what having a toddler is like, because I’ve got two of them.
A few things about two under two that I would like to share:
The first few weeks are an utter rollercoaster
Similar to with the first baby, but now there’s a toddler to deal with as well.
The first time I did bedtime on my own I wanted to curl up in a ball on the floor afterwards.
You’ll wish you could do the first baby again
Once you’ve gone through your first year with a baby, you realise that actually those early weeks are not all that daunting. Apart from changing nappies, cuddles and feeding, there’s not much else you need to be doing.
The trouble is, now that you’ve realised this, you have a toddler to deal with.
If only we could turn back time so we could do the first baby, with the confidence we had for the second baby.
Mum guilt adapts
Instead of beating yourself up about getting it all wrong for the baby, you’ll feel bad you aren’t giving them as much one-on-one time as the first.
You’ll buy less baby junk
Second babies live in their older sibling’s clothes and play with their toys.
There’s zero chance for a break
With a baby you can sleep when the baby sleeps. Or at least stare at a boxset like a zombie while they snooze in your arms.
With two under two, you get zero sleep at night and then you’re up all day entertaining your toddler whose energy levels defy their small size.
No two babies are alike
You could have an amazing sleeper, and then the worst sleeper in the world.
You could have one bottle feeder and one breastfeeder.
You may have one baby that is outright refuses to be put down. Ever. And another who is happiest rolling around doing their own thing.
They’re all different, which is both a blessing and a curse. Why can’t they all just be born with the ability to go to sleep?
I doubt myself less
I still question whether I am doing the right things for my girls at times.
But ultimately I know that when I do things with love, and a bit of common sense, I can’t be going too far wrong.
So here’s to two years of two under two. I hope the next two are just as good. With more sleep.