Lindsey and I both went from having one to two kids in the last year (both two and under). We have both been talking recently about the differences we have seen, and we thought we would share some of those with you.
1. The Time It Takes to Get Out of the House
I am pretty much late all the time these days. I was not prepared for how much more time and effort it would take just to get out of the house with two little ones. I now have to get two kids dressed and two diaper bags/back packs properly packed. I feel like I am constantly remembering something I forgot…Juice cup, extra diapers, extra outfits, etc. Add that right when we are ready to leave, the baby is ready to nurse. Yep, it doesn’t matter how early I get started, there is always something that pops up (my son spitting his milk out on his outfit for fun) that keeps me from getting out the door on time. Now that my nine month old is going through the attachment phase, things are even crazier. The other morning my son woke up in a bad mood and had to go to time out. I had to sit the nine month old down to put him in time out. She started losing it while he lost it because he was in time out. Never a dull moment. Sometimes I just have to laugh!
2. The Lack of Sleep/Down Time
Sure, there was a lack of sleep with one child. The main difference was that I could sleep when he slept. If he woke up at 4:00 in the morning and went back to sleep, I would go back to sleep until he woke up. Now, when my daughter wakes up at 5 to nurse, I barely fall back asleep before my two year old is up. Someone has to get up and get his breakfast. And nap time, well that’s a different story. I love the days when they both go down at the same time and one does not wake the other one up. I used to count on my son’s nap time for my down town/get things done time. Now, it seems like once one falls asleep, sometimes the other wakes up or has trouble going down. I do have some good days where both take naps and that is getting better. Although I do fear that now that my daughter has a solid afternoon nap, my son will soon grow out of his.
3. Double Everything
I know this is a given, but it still hits me in waves. We buy double the diapers (we are in the midst of trying to potty train), double the clothes, and double the food. It gives me even more respect for single parents because of the time it takes to feed two little ones and bath two little ones.
4. I’ve Developed More Compassion For Other Parents
I had this wonderful schedule with my son his first year of life. He was a great sleeper and I thought I had it all figured out. It is all about schedule. Then he became two (no explanation necessary) and I had a baby that isn’t as good of a sleeper. Although she has had a little bit more of a flexible schedule because we are out of the house more, I have done a lot of the same things. I now believe in the phrase that “every child is different.” I definitely do not have it together. Some days I am lucky to survive. I look at other parents and I don’t judge. I feel what they are going through. I also became less rigid with my second. Although I don’t always remember her milestones as well as I did her brothers, I don’t worry that her schedule will completely fall apart if I hold her through nap time every now and then.
5. Double the Love
I’ve listed a lot of hard things about having two kids, but there is also double the snuggles and kisses. I love when they make each other laugh, or my son acts concerned for his sister. They keep me busy, and I love marveling at their different personalities. Plus, they take really cute pictures together. I cannot wait for the day they can play together. Also, I finally felt like I had an excuse to buy a minivan. Does it get much better than that?
6. It Is Survivable
I was so scared in the last few weeks of my second pregnancy that my son would feel a lack of attention, that I would never leave the house again, that I would feel too overwhelmed by two to ever get anything done, etc. However, just like with one, it becomes totally normal. You adjust and learn you can survive (and we get out of the house a lot). We know we want more, so two hasn’t completely scared me off. However, I now know why people stop at two kids all the time. It is hard work!