Pregnancy // The Big Reality Bus (i.e. Oh golly, we’re going to have two)

BIG REALITY BUS PARENTINGI distinctly remember when the Big Reality Bus (BRB) first struck me during my pregnancy with Busby.

That moment of “Ok… we’re bringing a life into this world.”

That moment of “Oh holy fudge, this is real!”

That moment of sheer, unbridled terror, of horror, and of thoughts whirling: “I’ve got to push a melon out of my Lady Garden, AND THEN LOOK AFTER THE MELON! Who is not actually a melon – it’s a baby. A real human baby.”

Whilst house hunting over the weekend I was run down a second time by the BRB… and I must admit, I burst into tears (which is proving the fairly standard reaction to most things in this pregnancy): “We’re going to have two children!” my mind screamed, “Two children under three!!! You foolssss!!! Why couldn’t your maternal and paternal urges just hold off until the first one started school?”

big reality bus parenting

I started to panic.

How on earth is this ever going to work?

Will we ever get out of our pyjamas?

Will we ever leave the house?

Will I ever wash my hair again?

Is there enough caffeine and gin in the world to keep us afloat?!

Casting my mind back to when Busby was a newborn; the hours spent feeding her on the sofa, watching box set after box set… The times when I would catch up on sleep while she snoozed in her Moses basket. How, logistically, does this work with a Toddler as well?


big reality bus parenting

How do I get two children dressed in the morning, horrifically sleep-deprived and wandering aimlessly around in the newborn haze? Especially when the Toddler takes at least 30 minutes to get dressed, unless she is bribed with some form of locomotive-based promise…

How do I deal with a newborn poonami nappy (oh jeez, I’ve just remembered those), with a Toddler hovering over us trying to help? I can picture the scene already… and it involves all three of us ending up in the bath.

How do I deal with cluster feeds and newborn growth spurt days with a Toddler who refuses to sit still for more than 5-10 minutes at a time? What if breastfeeding doesn’t work out again, and I can’t just pop Baby on the boob, in a sling, while I deal with the needs of my firstborn?

Is two and a half too early to teach the Toddler to make a cup of tea?*

And this only gets us to 10am!

big reality bus parenting

Breathe, just breathe.

This is why the BRB hit me head-on whilst out hunting for our future house; there’s so much we need from a property, the area, and the community, to make it work:

A big enough living space for all the Baby and Toddler paraphernalia.

A garden with space for a Toddler-exhaustion-kit (i.e. slide, tunnel, perhaps a trampoline)

Local amenities; a decent park, Waitrose, Costa…

Good, reliable public transport links – if such a thing exists – as I won’t be learning to drive until after Peppercorn has arrived and I’m clearly out of the newborn thicket, and entering the copse of six to twelve months. (i.e. until I can throw away the matchsticks propping up my eyelids.)

A troop of local Mamas in the same boat who understand the primal need for tea, cake and a moan.

big reality bus parenting

The sensible part of my personality, who occasionally pops out to say “hullo”, tells me not to worry. It reminds me that thousands of parents are in the same boat, and that they cope.

Who cares if you have a pyjama day (or week)?

Or if you all end up covered in poo?

Or if you take your eye off the Toddler for 10 minutes whilst staring at your newborn feed, and realise she has drawn a rainbow on the wall… in crayon?

You survived the day.

Both children are feed, watered and happy.

Plus you’re actually rather impressed by the rainbow, as the Toddler managed to get all the colours right, and it’s a story to tell, if nothing else.

As Dory says: “Just keep swimming!” I think this may end up being my motto for life with two!

*This is obviously a joke – she’s too short to reach the kettle, even with her stool.

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  1. Corinna
    16th January 2015 / 9:49 am

    You’ll be great. You just get on with it and somehow everything is done and works out ok!
    I must say once number 2 arrived I really appreciated that we waited to have her. And I miss Immy, our time together. I think the PHD I had with her makes me feel even more guilty about the time I spend with Milly. We recently spent a day with out baby, just went to a farm and saw and panto and it was so lovely just being with first born!
    Obviously it’s amazing having 2 and seeing them giggling together is just gorgeous but my one piece of advise would be have days without baby and just with your eldest. You forget how much time babies take and miss the easier more rewarding time with an older child!! x

  2. Mummy Plum
    16th January 2015 / 11:56 am

    You will find reserves you didn’t know you had, is all I can say! Make the most of these last special months with Busby – and be prepared for her to seem massive once the baby is born! That was something I was totally unprepared for, overnight Pip went from being my baby to seeming enormous – and I felt so sad! I wish someone had told me it might seem like that. Xx

  3. 16th January 2015 / 8:03 pm

    If it helps, I sometimes spend days at a time in my pyjamas, and I don’t have any kids as my excuse! Also; paint all the walls in your new house in chalkboard paint, so you can tell guests that B is SUPPOSED to draw on them. xxx

  4. 16th January 2015 / 8:57 pm

    you will be totally fine my dear, just fine. I had a bigger gap, but still the thought of the daily logistics of pre school, nursery, working with a 6 month old was tricky, but we managed. You just do. It all seems overwhelming if you think about it but if you take a day at a time you will soon get into a routine of sorts. The second born somehow just fits in with your life. Just try to enjoy each treasured little moment as you go as they don’t stay little for long enough! Blink and they are nearly at high school! That’s how it seems to me xx

  5. 17th January 2015 / 9:07 am

    Oh Hannah I can only imagine! But I’m sure you will handle both Toddler and Baby with grace and ease!

  6. 17th January 2015 / 9:00 pm

    I used to lie awake really worrying about all of this and honestly, it just works. I don’t know how but it does! Everything will just slot into some sort of routine and you’ll look back and be so proud of how far you have come. Some days will be better than others but its so worth it xx

  7. 18th January 2015 / 12:22 am

    I loved this post so much- so wonderfully written! I remember going through all these worries and fears myself, but I PROMISE that it will be fine. Now I have two I totally wonder what I was worried about, two is of course harder work but it’s not double the hard work if you know what I mean? x

  8. 18th January 2015 / 7:50 am

    I huni you will do just fine. I remember thinking how am I going to cope during my twin pregnancy and you just do. Yes you’ll have days where you stay in your pjs until the afternoon but that is fine. It does always seem more daunting than it is going to be xx

  9. 18th January 2015 / 8:08 am

    Awww I think its normal to be scared. To question but also I think your body will adjust to 2 kids. But you have your husband and Busby to help. Sending you hugs! #pocolo

  10. 18th January 2015 / 6:07 pm

    You are going to do brilliantly. I am the eldest of 7 and I often wonder how on earth my Mum did it – she is still looking after 3 of us now and she is nearly 70!! I think that we cope according to our means (although I have to say that when I do end up with a 2nd at least Grace will be that much older!). Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo

  11. 18th January 2015 / 10:53 pm

    I remember the worries, I am having them again (who actually thinks 3 under 3.5 is a good idea?) but I promise it isn’t nearly as hard as you think, and once you get past the newborn haze and the newly decorated walls, having two can be easier at times than having one. x

  12. 25th January 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Ha ha, I’m in the same position. My son will be 2 and 4 months when this baby is born and I have days when I think ‘what the Hell are we doing!’ But part of the craziness will be a great new adventure – that’s what I keep telling myself anyway!

  13. 9th February 2015 / 5:45 am

    I’m still waiting for the big red bus to hit me about having 2 under 3. I’m still waiting to realise that I’m pregnant (you’d think the baby bump, countless scans, the fact that I am 29 weeks gone might help!) let alone that I’m going to have 2!!!!

    Oh and my 2.5 year old can make tea!!! All aspects except the boiling water/kettle bit!

    Good luck

    Laura : Life with Baby Kicks


  14. 27th February 2015 / 8:49 am

    I loved this post, I’m 6 weeks in to having a 3 year old and toddler. Tiring and hard work but definitely not as bad as it seemed in theory. Tea and chocolate help (although We’ve stupidly given up chocolate, crisps and takeaways for lent!). The comment from Mummy Plum couldn’t be more spot on, I cannot believe how huge my first born now seems, especially after spending hours staring at a tiny newborn, she was only 5Ib 10oz.
    Good luck, you’ll be great, comfy pjs at the ready 😉

  15. 27th February 2015 / 8:52 am

    Oops baby brain, just realised I said I’m 6 weeks into having and 3 year old and a toddler. What I meant was 3 year old and a newborn!! Clearly I haven’t had enough tea yet this morning xx

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