LIFE WITH TWO
Updated: Apr 20, 2022
A mum with lots of children once told me that the jump from one to two was the most impactful compared to the jump from two to three, and so on. I stopped at two kids so can’t share personally but I do know that new things showed up the second time around.
With Max he had my 100% attention – we went everywhere together – classes, lunch, friends, holidays. Everywhere. If he needed me, I was there. If we rough night we both got into bed in the morning, cuddled, and had a nap. Max settled so quickly next to me and I would call that time in the morning the golden sleep.
When my spirited little Dexter came along, the second child syndrome properly kicked in. His playtime was a trip to the supermarket. He didn’t get the baby massage classes or lunch at Jamie Olivers. (I must take him to make up for it!). I felt like I was bouncing from one thing to the next. Both were still in nappies. Breastfeed Dexter, then get the 118479 snacks for Max. I would try and do a group nap with varying success. Also with Dexter, I was full of aches and pains so getting out of bed was tough, doing a zillion poppers on the sleepsuit was painful. Getting Max to nursery having had two hours of sleep was fun (not really fun).
But here’s the thing. I wanted two kids. I knew as soon as I had Max that I wanted a second. It was my choice. I knew it would be great for them when they were older. And me.
So yes, I felt like a spinning top for months, even passed the first year but would I do it again that way. Yes, I would.
We enjoy being together. We do things together. We are a little crew. We laugh together. And argue. But as I always say to the boys, this is just the day-to-day stuff. What matters is we love each other, always look after each other, and are there for each other. Always.
As a doula, lots & lots of mums worry about the jump from one to two. I have had conversations around….
How will I manage two?
How will I split my attention between the two of them?
How will the sibling accept the baby?
How will bedtime work?
Will the baby crying keep the toddler awake?
What would I take from having two bambinos with less than a two-year gap:
Make small chunks of time to do things with the second child – this will help counteract second child syndrome – time in the garden, local baby group for an hour, visit a friend whatever you can get to
When I look back on those early days I think of it as tough BUT as a woman in the park told me, it gets easier. And it did.
I really did worry about having two – what if they both ran off in different directions what the hell would I do. But do you know what it always works out. I learned to use my voice more. Explain to them why I need them close. Go to places that I knew were contained.
Teaming up with another mum and helping each other outlook after babies, go places together, emotional support and back up
Getting out & about most days will help – staying cooped all day and it’s like a pressure cooking **obviously get out and about when you feel ok**
I always back the sling drum but never used it myself – if I had my time again – I would have Dexter in a sling and then run after Max who was very much on the move by then
Little milestones like Max not using day nappies made a difference and it made things feel a little bit easier each time
Having a few hours with just one bubba felt easier so you appreciated that time more
The boys would play together so I could potter and get on with things. I got more into my flow and that grew my confidence
Time blocking your week into a calendar/planner will make you feel instantly lighter and more organised. You will know what you have to do when **Caveat with this; newborns are random – they may fit into a schedule right away but it will come – give them time to adjust – and I mean longer than a week.
Expectations for life with two – get clearer on day-to-day life – Preparation or Planning sessions will help you do this. Below for more info.
Say YES to help – whether it is free or paid-for. Take it. See it as a bridge to get you to the other side of the fog and haze
Looking back on it I did not look after myself nearly enough – LONG periods of overwhelm, super short patience, getting the hump quickly…I now my needs weren’t met which resulted me in a hot mess. We have to look after ourselves
I felt grateful for these tiny tasks becoming easier. I think as our little ones become a little bigger, things start to feel a little bit easier from the newborn phase. They develop and learn. It’s all phases and they are ever-changing and we keep rolling with it.
The aim of the game is to get confident that we know whatever situation comes up, we will navigate it and get to the other side.
I have supported oodles of mums with a second child, even third. I would be more than happy to do the same for you.
There are different ways you can get support.
In-home Support – location dependant
Uplevelled! session – a supersession before your baby arrives
Settling Newborns – tried and tested settling how-to's for newborns