My littlest is no longer so little. He weighs over 14 pounds and I am amazed how fast he grew since he was born smaller than his big brother. My big guy is turning into a little man every day. Carrying him upstairs becomes more of a challenge as he pushes over 30 pounds on the scale these days. He has entered toddlerhood and gaining independence. Surviving two under two has kept me on my feet and under a pile of laundry.
Baby number two turned three months recently so I thought now would be a good time to tell my story of what being a mum to two kiddos has really been like for me – otherwise known as surviving two under two.
To say surviving two under two has been hard is a gross understatement. I never in a million years could’ve realized just how hard it is and because of that, I have grown so much respect for all the other mothers out there. What we do on a daily basis is pretty much superhuman.
The first month of Baby #2’s life was an adjustment but honestly not terrible. As many of you know, infants usually sleep the majority of the time for the first few weeks of their lives. Baby #2 was an expert sleeper in the beginning. Going most days with a total of 13-14 hours. This was nothing like our firstborn who cried constantly. I thought maybe I got lucky this time and this little guy might be easier.
So the first month for Baby #2 was pretty much a breeze and really Baby #1 was the challenge. He definitely displayed some jealousy in the beginning. I remember him getting upset when I would have to feed his brother or change the babies nappy instead of playing with him. And at times he acted out.
There were tantrums to end all tantrums but I had expected this. I did my best to carve out some time for just the two of us so he still felt important and loved. I remember telling friends and family in the first month that an infant was a walk in the park compared to my almost two-year-old. But in a month, that all changed.
During the second month was when Baby #2 really started to wake up from his newborn haze. He wanted to be held constantly and pretty much wouldn’t sleep anywhere unless it was in my arms. I spent most of the month pacing around our house trying to get him to go to sleep. And on many of those days I wouldn’t even leave the house. Those were the loneliest days.
He was also waking up consistently every 2 to 3 hours throughout the night so I definitely wasn’t getting any sleep. And with baby #1 waking up between 5:30 and 6 am every morning, it really didn’t make things easy. I think that’s one of the hardest parts for me about being a mother to two young children. The sleep deprivation at this point was getting to me and I felt like a bad mother and spouse.
To make matters worse at 7 weeks baby #2 was checked into the hospital for spitting up blood, a bilateral pneumothorax and fluid between his liver and lung. He had a chest tube, oxygen, and IV for 2 days which was scary to see all these tubes coming out of his small body. I was there with him every minute for 5 days with my husband coming when he could since he still had to go to work to pay for the upcoming hospital bills and take care of baby #2. We still don’t know what caused all this to happen but baby #2 is doing great.
In month two, baby #1 showed a lot less jealousy and no interest in his baby brother. So in terms of who was the biggest challenge during this month, I would say baby #2. Baby #1 was unfortunately introduced to more television at this time than I wanted. But I had baby #2 to feed, change, burp and try to put down for a nap. This required baby #1 to be able to take care of himself and be entertained for an hour or more. Sesame Street was a lifesaver.
Baby #2 is gaining more awareness of his world every day. He has discovered his hands and can roll over from belly to back. I know there is more to come but the kid amazes me daily. It also doesn’t hurt that he loves to smile and does so constantly.
Sleep however is not his friend. He wakes up almost hourly at night these days and naps in short bursts during the day. I have had to bring him to bed with me at night at times in order to get him any solid hours of sleep. So my sleep has suffered and I just go by in a fog some days.
I have tried a million different things to get him to sleep better but nothing works. I just hold on to the hope that it will get better which I know it will since his brother sleeps great now.
Baby #1 is still an active boy but has calmed down some which has helped ease my worry. I have been able to get him back into gym class. So we not only get out of the house but he gets to climb and burn some energy. Trying to keep him from climbing the furniture at home has been his biggest challenge but I can’t fault him for it. The kid just wants to play outside like we used to. But getting two kids dressed for winter by yourself poses many challenges. I look forward to spring and summer when the weather is warmer and both kids are older so it might be easier.
More to come
The first three months of surviving two under two have definitely been challenging and so much harder than I could’ve imagined, but it’s also been more wonderful than I could’ve imagined too. And that’s the truth. I keep wanting to tell myself, now that the first three months are behind us it’s going to get easier. But I remember with Baby #1 that months 4 through 6 were actually some of the hardest. But I’m hoping that’s not going to be the case with Baby #2. I’m hoping things just get better and a little more manageable as I learn to navigate this whole being a mum to two kids thing.
For now, I’m just taking it day by day. I’m trying to breathe through the hard parts, love these two little humans with everything I have, stay true to who I am and in the end hopefully be a shining light that my kiddos can look up to.
Have you found this because you’re also surviving two under two? Do leave a comment and share.
Kasey Young is a stay at home mum living in New Hampshire, America, with her husband, 23-month-old and 4-month-old sons. Her passion for helping others started with teaching middle school and continues with her blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Picture credit: Baby photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com