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Two under two – What does it look like?

Krista is a full time working mom of two under two that blogs at Not Mommy of the Year – the very opposite of what she is in my book. Her blog lets me peek into the world of amazing women who manage to do so much, and I’ve loved reading her for over a year. She’s blogging for me today on what it’s like to have a second child so close to the first – from her fears to the reality.

It’s amazing that Diana ever lets me guest post here anymore.  You’d think by now I’d have annoyed her with my rambling and she’d be telling me to keep it all to myself.  But, until she comes to her senses, I’m thrilled to post when she’s willing to let me!
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When Chessa was about six months old, I started thinking about Baby #2. I saw cute pregnant women and longed for the feeling of being pregnant again. I saw her roll over, sit up and start to have a personality and I missed the newborn, itty bitty squishy baby days.

I knew our family wasn’t complete yet.  I knew that I wanted our kids close together. I knew that neither of us was getting any younger.  And I knew that, no matter what they tell you in ninth grade health class, sometimes pregnancy doesn’t happen as fast as you want it to.

It took us seven months to get pregnant with Chessa.  So imagine my surprise when the stick turned pink on the “first try”.

Truth be told. I was terrified.

I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to parent two children equally. Love them enough. Be patient enough.  I was scared to death that the baby wouldn’t sleep and the toddler would wake up and that our perfect little life as a family of three would be completely upended.  Little things scared me – like which kid do I put in which seat in the car? Which one do I get out of the car first when it’s just me and I have both of them? (Spoiler alert: don’t go anywhere alone with both kids, problem solved!) And big things – will we be able to afford having two kids in diapers? What if Chessa feels neglected or like we don’t love her?

I’m a wee bit dramatic.

As it turns out, motherhood is so much better on me the second time around.  Gone was the unsure-ness of a first time mom.  Instead it was replaced with a quiet confidence of knowing what to expect.  Here are a few things that come to mind:

·    I learned that almost everything is a phase and I didn’t freak out (much) over cluster feedings, 20 minute naps, and middle of the night wake ups.
·    The 5S’s came back to me with ease as I walked, bounced, swaddled and shhh’d the baby.
·    I didn’t mind (too much, Ok I did after a few months) the middle of the night wake ups.
·    I knew it was OK if the baby cried a little bit before I got to him.
·    And that sometimes it was better to take care of a toddler tantrum before a fussy baby.
·    I learned to multi-task. Like when I fed Cole while making lunch for Chessa or holding the baby while peeing and explaining what I was doing to Chessa.
·    I liked baby wearing with Chessa, but with Cole it was a necessity.  And I loved having him so close to me.
·    I started embracing the toddler moments and became more patient with Chessa.
·    I learned to pick my battles.
·    I soaked in every second of napping with the baby on my chest and didn’t worry that I would smother him or that I was setting him up to never sleep in his crib.
·    I also understood why it was important to start putting him down awake earlier than I did with Chessa.

But perhaps the best part of this mother-of-two thing is seeing my two babies together.  When Chessa wants to “help” me bath her brother or when she leans over and kisses him, unprompted.  Or when she wakes up and the first thing she asks for is “Cole Michael.”  Or when he was learning how to roll over and she helped him with a giant shove! Ok, maybe that last one wasn’t so great, but it was funny.

All in all, I feel like I am a much better mother this time around.  Much more relaxed. More confident. More patient.  And I wonder?  If I ever (lose my mind or get really drunk) decide to have Baby #3 will this confidence/relaxation/patience continue to grow to the point where I just let the baby drive him or herself home from the hospital?


Comments

  1. I worry about some of those things too – although my 1st is now 2.5 so there’s no way I’ll have 2 under 2 (unless the next one is twins! ha!) and Hubs isn’t yet convinced that we’re ready for #2 (I’ve got the fever though!) but I feel a little better after having read your post, like maybe I WILL do okay the second time around… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see though ;) (hopefully!) Thanks for sharing your experience and words of wisdom :)

    • I got lucky with an easy baby – twice! But I do think there’s a “hmm.. I’ve done this before” that comes back to you. Sort of like riding a bike, perhaps? Good luck with baby #2, whenever he or she may come!

  2. *LOVE*

    Mine will be 23 months apart, so even though they will only technically be 2u2 for a month, I am still nervous being that I will be with them both 24/7. My son is a major mama’s boy and I don’t see us kicking diapers for a while yet. But I am finding the closer it gets the more I realize that as long as they survive me to school age years, we should be golden! :P

    • 24X7 is hard. It’s hard with one and definitely hard with two. But I can’t wait for the days when they play together and help entertain each other a little bit.

  3. We only have one right now, but Isaac has two boy nephews, one of whom was under 2 when he was born. It’s great to watch them interact, as Isaac has started emulating his youngest cousin already.

    And watching the youngest cousin constantly hugging him and giving him kisses is ridiculously adorable as well. I can’t wait for my wife to be ready for Baby #2.

    • Cousins are awesome, right? Mine don’t have any yet. But this weekend, Chessa & I went with my friend, her daughter and a few of her neices & nephews. It was so cute to see the family dynamic outside of brother and sister.

  4. Krista, you are awesome. Seriously. You’re doing a great job!

  5. What a great post, Krista! I have 2 under 2 for another month so I’m right there with you – worried at first, but things have a way of sorting themselves out. And there’s nothing better than some sibling love, even if it involves shoving.

  6. Haha I love the shove! I am looking forward to wearing my second baby more though, now that I’m more confident in tiny newborn things! :)

  7. It’s like you knew I needed to hear this after my rambling, emotional post yesterday. Seriously, thank you mama!

    • I know that as much as everyone tells you these things though, you just don’t feel them until it’s actually you. You will be great with the boy and the girl when she comes along. Just take lots of deep breaths. Lots and lots of deep breaths.

  8. You captured life with two under two so well! I remember being so anxious about getting both kids in and out of the car among so many other things but there are so many bonuses of having them so close as well. Although I am dreading when one is 2 (having a 2 1/2 year old now) and the other is 3!

  9. I worried about some of those same things. I had my daughter when my son was 2.5 and i took it one day at a time. It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I love them both in different ways, but the same amount. It is automatic, without effort. Very strange, but very true. They are the best of friends now, at 2 and 4. They fight sometimes, and pinch each other, but they also cuddle to watch their cartoons before bed and they both love each other so much. <3

  10. ah! I loved reading this. I swear I spent the last half of my pregnancy with #2 searching for this exact information. I was so worried about all those same things too, and I’m really finding it so much easier the second time around. And what is it about baby #2? It also took us about 6 months of trying to pregnant with my oldest, and the second time around it was like “oh. okay. that was quick. I guess we’re having another kid!”