I’ve been the proud (and at times, not so proud) owner of two children for over four months now. It has been quite the experience so far…
Having two children is hard! Not only is your heart split three ways (if you include the Husband), but you’re pulled in so many different directions – physically, mentally, to the ends of love – every second of every day… Your mind is in constant overdrive, leaving the house before sunset requires a military operation (that often fails and you find yourself quietly sobbing, secretly tucking into a tub of flapjacks in the kitchen) and now, when you visit the toilet, you have audience numbers that would be the envy of some shows at the Edinburgh Fringe (i.e. more than one).
This is what I’ve learnt so far in the wilderness of two:
1. You will have a favourite child.
But the favourite child changes hourly:
- Toddler crying because you cut her sandwiches into squares not triangles? Baby sat in bouncy chair, happily cooing away? No contest.
- Baby teething like a fiend and screaming down the house? Toddler drawing a lovely ‘family portrait’ and explaining everything with a smile on her face? No contest.
- Both children fast asleep and you have a glass of wine in your hand? Both children are your favourite again.
Equilibrium is restored.
2. Tea and cake will be your fuel.
This is mostly true of having one child, but after having the second you’re too tired to think about losing baby weight quite yet (nor do you have the energy for any form of exercise other than walking up and down the stairs singing The Grand Old Duke of York in an attempt to get the Baby to sleep) and therefore cake becomes a
daily twice-daily treat. Obviously accompanied by tea; not only a fabulous form of caffeine, but a hug in a mug for those times when you need comforting.
3. You will never experience exhaustion like it.
Oh look! Baby is having a (rare) nap! Time to nap yourself to regain your energy and make up for lost sleep in the night… wait a minute. What do you do with the Toddler? She dropped her naps when you were 7 months pregnant (true story). Toddler notices you are Baby-free and you are guilted into a game of imaginary shops, followed by chase, followed by hide-and-seek. “Can I just make a cup of tea first?” is met with a sad face. Sleep is for the weak. Just keep swimming.
4. Everyone tells you how hard it is… after conception.
If I had £1 for every time someone has said “Two’s a game changer isn’t it?” I’d have approximately £14.
Thanks for the helpful comments… probably could have done with this information before my Husband’s sperm fertilised my egg.
5. CBeebies becomes your best friend.
I have never been so thankful for television channel. If I could personally shake the hands of Katy, Ben, Cerrie, Andy, Cat etc then I would… I’d probably try and snog them to be honest, as they have saved many a rainy, sleep deprived day for being utterly shite.
6. Parenthood doubt is still very present.
Yes you’ve done it all before, but as soon as you hold your second child in your arms you are overcome with fear that you’re going to break them as they’re so tiny compared to your GIANT Toddler… And you immediately forget how to change a nappy – even though you changed the Toddler’s nappy that morning… And then there are the different cries. The hunger signals. Teething. Weaning. And all you can think through every milestone, every leap, every development is “AM I DOING THIS RIGHT?!”
7. It’s awesome! (Yes really!)
Not every day is awesome, but when you get to experience those beautiful moments of sibling bonding then everything else is almost forgotten. Almost. Gin can help you forget the rest.