I wouldn’t say that “two under two” is easy… but truth be told, it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.
Sure, there are days now and then that I literally ask myself questions like, “Why did we decide to have our children so close together again?” and “Why did we think this would be a good idea?”
Many days it feels like I have two babies. Um, double blessing yes absolutely… but double trouble as well!
But overall, having two kids is not the insurmountable task I thought it would be.
All throughout my pregnancy with Judah I wrestled with thoughts like: “Am I capable?” and “Will I ever sleep again?” and “I guess I’ll have to say good-bye to my social life/free time/hobbies/sanity.”
I also thought silly-but-very-real things like: “Can I love my second child as much as I love my first?” and “Will I be able to give them both the attention they need?” and “What if I struggle with comparison between the two of them or favoritism toward one or the other?”
I also worried about things like how in the world I would do household chores, keep up with the laundry, cook dinner, or ever finish a cup of coffee while it’s still hot. (For the record, I do struggle with many of these… the last one in particular!)
Life has certainly changed. It’s very… ummm, full.
I have two sets of diapers to change (and wash and hang and stuff and fold). I have double the gear to lug around in a diaper bag if we leave the house for more than an hour at a time. And I have no room left in my small hatchback car for anyone but a skinny eight year-old stuffed between the two car seats in back. (Too bad I don’t know any eight-year-olds.)
These days I spend a heck of a lot of time nursing… and playing blocks… and rocking… and making snacks… and changing diapers… and settling the baby… and disciplining the toddler… and washing grubby hands… and burping the baby… and reading stories… and doing laundry… and answering the same question a thousand times… and doing more laundry.
You get the idea. Like I said, life is very full.
And although I’m tired and I don’t have much time to myself at the moment, I also know that these days are numbered. They will be over and done with forever before I know it.
The busyness, the responsibilities, and the demands… they will only last so long before they morph into new ones that coincide with a new phase of life and motherhood.
And in the meantime I have my own little coping mechanisms to help carry me on through these early days. Most importantly, once a day I try my best to coordinate Levi’s nap with one of Judah’s. I deliberately forget the laundry that needs folding, the floors that need cleaning, and the emails that need returning… and I collapse into my own mid-afternoon nap.
Sometimes twenty minutes, sometimes a glorious hour-and-a-half… That little nap is my saving grace.
And despite the fact that I sometimes feel stretched incredibly thin, life with two littles is good.
Levi loves his brother. He’s quick to give kisses, share toys, and “rock” the baby when he’s crying. He’s been fantastic with independent play. His language is exploding making it easier for us to relate to one another. His understanding is through the roof, which is so helpful on so many levels. He’s really grown up in so many ways over the past little while… and he and his brother just “fit” together so perfectly.
And as much as he’s growing up… I think I’m growing up too.
I’ve stepped up to the plate. I’ve gained confidence. I’ve grown in my capacity.
And I know more about what I’m doing.
The steep new-parent-learning-curve is behind me, which has made a world of difference. Of course I have to learn how to care for Judah as an individual with unique needs, but most of the time getting it right is coming much quicker the second time around. (Though I still have my moments when I don’t know what to do!) But overall I really do think that going from zero to one child was far more challenging than going from one to two. (There are days where I might utter something different under my breath in the heat of a tantrum-infused or a newborn-who-won’t-settle moment… but for the most part I really do believe this.)
I am loving having two kids. They are different in so many ways and I continue to be stretched to meet both of their needs (which, admittedly, are sometimes overlapping). I’d be lying if I said that it’s always a walk in the park. But I’d also be lying if I said it was harder than having one. It’s different, yes, but not harder. (Ok, sometimes it’s harder.)
But mostly it’s just fuller. It’s awesomer. (And so what if that isn’t actually a word.)
Two children under two? Double trouble… and more than a double blessing.
Dear friends, if you have two kids (or more), how did you find the transition from one to two? And if you still only have one, what do you fear most about adding to your brood of littles?