Preparing for and Surviving 2 kids under 2by Elizabeth MacDonald
Having babies close in age is not for the faint of heart. There is double butt wiping, double crying, but one just old enough to try to die 1000x a day. My youngest two children are barely 17 months apart. This was a terrifying time for me.
Here I am, three years later, to report that I survived without going insane. (Well, there were moments.) My emotions were a rollercoaster, and I experienced postpartum depression, but I am seeing a light at the end of the 'baby phase' tunnel.
Having two babies under two means you still have a BABY when you give birth to his sibling. That is still ‘rock-you-to-sleep’ and ‘wear-you-in-a-carrier’ kind of baby level. It will take you almost the entire pregnancy to wrap your head around a newborn and a baby. He's not even a toddler yet; he doesn’t talk, may still breastfeed, and naps often. It's okay to panic, but I promise that it will all work out.... and that you will have tiny best friends when all is said and done.
Advice for Preparing and Surviving 2 Kids Under 2
Make Freezer Meals
Get that freezer stocked with crockpot meals – at least 2-3 months’ worth. Start late in pregnancy and get it done. Meal prep is the absolute last thing you want to think about when wiping two butts and not sleeping much.
Delete PinterestNow is not the time to achieve ‘Pinterest Level Parenting.’ Survival mode may not be pretty, but it can be happy when you don’t compare yourself to others.
Deliver EverythingPacking up tiny tots to run errands flat out sucks. Grub Hub, Amazon, and everywhere else delivers now, so order up.
You Will Have Two BabiesDo not force your tiny toddler to grow up. Do not get angry or upset if they do not help, or if they have a hard adjustment period. Do not let others call your first baby a ‘big kid.’ Each child only gets one baby-hood, cherish this time with TWO babies.
Keep Them Alive and SafeSomeone will always need you; someone will always cry. There is no one you need to impress with unrealistic expectations. Let go of it all and work to accomplish ONE thing a day. Anything less and you will lose yourself; anything more and you may not stay sane. Babies don’t need baths daily. Toddlers don’t need homemade, pureed baby food.
Have FaithBelieving in yourself even on the hardest days helps you focus on the positives of each day.
The Haze Will Last a Long TimeThe typical ‘early days’ of motherhood will stretch into the ‘early years.’ Until both babies are out of diapers and able to truly play together, the days will seem endless. This day will come, but there will be much coffee, wine, and missed social events before it happens. Take a million pictures because the fog will prevent you from remembering it all.
Ignore Unwanted AdviceFollow your own instincts and do what works for you. Sleep with your babies, tandem nurse, or whatever your heart and babies desire to do.
Sharing Sucks, Buy 2Toddlers don’t share well, neither should they. It’s not developmentally appropriate yet. For your own sanity, just purchase two of something if both babies want it.
Screw Screen Time Suggestions
Make friends with PBS Kids, Disney Channel, and Netflix. There is no shame in a little Dora the Explorer to distract one while the other nurses.
Do Not Breathe While Under Water
In other words, fill your own cup. No one can be healthy and happy if you are not healthy and happy. Drowning can happen before you know it – toys everywhere, dishes piled up, dirty diapers, screaming babies, lack of sleep… You need support and help. You need time to breathe fresh air and keep your head above water.
While the days are long, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Being close in age leads to a friendship and bond unlike siblings with larger age gaps. There is a beauty in the chaos and madness, and you are capable of seeing this beauty, if you let go of the need to control it all. Breathe deep, love hard, and invest in a wine club.