I can barely believe that my journey with two under two will soon be over. This time two years ago I was in hospital wondering when I would be induced. I had developed pre-eclampsia and didn’t really know what was going to happen. Little did I expect two days later, at 37+3 weeks Daniel would arrive.
Tomorrow he turns two. TWO. How on earth did that happen? So so much has changed in this time. Life is so very different – I took redundancy from work and we had another baby just 16 months later. And on Friday my journey with two under two ends.
As Daniel turns two, things of course won’t change on a day to day basis, I will still be mum to two young children very close in age. I will have a two year old and an eight month old. Both needing my time and attention in similar, but at the same time, different ways.
It’s funny that when we told family and friends that we were expecting Emma, some assumed it wasn’t planned. It was. We had always wanted to have them close together. It has been enormously challenging at times, but we are now at that stage where it is so much fun. They both adore each other. Just the other day we had popped to the supermarket and Emma had fallen asleep on the journey there. I sat them both side by side in the trolley and Daniel gave her a kiss and held her hands as she woke up. Completely unprompted. But so touching.
Emma thinks Daniel is hilarious and will happily watch him and giggle away. She loves it when he is silly and when he does ‘row row row the boat with her.
Over the past eight months I have learnt so much. I thought I would share the things I have learnt about two under two…
- Sometimes, you just have to leave one child to cry. I found this one of the hardest things to accept and when Emma was around a month old I couldn’t help but think what a mistake it all had been – it felt like Daniel had never cried as much as he did in that first month. But, it is simply impossibly to meet both their needs all of the time, and leaving one to cry whilst you see to the other child isn’t the end of the world, although it can feel like it
- Your washing machine will never be off! The amount of washing we do is ridiculous; the machine is on every day, whether it be nappies, clothes, bedding, towels etc. Now that Emma is in the weaning stage the washing pile is increasing… which leads me nicely onto…
- You will become picky over what actually gets ironed. I used to iron everything. Now I don’t. I used to iron bibs, vests, muslins. Now unless they’re really creased I don’t bother.
- Make friends at playgroups – this has been really important. I go to a few regular groups, and the other mums, grandmas etc know that Daniel and Emma are with me. It means that I can let Daniel run around whilst still keeping a watchful eye on Emma and know that other parents there know I have two small children. I also always have someone I can hand Emma to if I need to sort Daniel out.
- One to one time with each child is important. I am lucky that I have a lot of support so I have been able to do things with Daniel and Emma on their own. The both need me one to one in different ways so it is important to take time with them where you can
- Include your older child as much as you can. Daniel loves to choose Emma’s nappies or get her bibs. He will get her toys and show her books, I am certain this has helped to ensure very little jealousy exists because he is very included
- You will never live in a show home. Our house needs so many things doing. We want to replaster the hallway and replace the flooring. We want to redecorate the living room. We want to replace the bathroom. None of these things are likely to happen for a long time as I can’t even begin to think about it with both Daniel and Emma so small. That plus mucky handprints and the toys and books we have strewn about the house means we will never live in a show home!
On Friday my baby boy turns two. No longer a baby but a boisterous noisy toddler. All too quickly Emma will turn one, and I will no longer have a baby but two toddlers. I can’t wait for the next chapter.