Life with 2 Under 2, So Far

Now that we’ve got 3 months under our belts and we’re starting to get into a routine, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on things.

The other day I was thinking about the emotional breakdown I had right after finding out I was pregnant with little Ivor…when Gwen was just 6 months old. SIX MONTHS. Mind you, hormones and emotions while pregnant are not to be trusted. Everything seemed worse than it really was. Everything was heightened. I was a crazy person, not gonna lie. But I was terrified. It wasn’t that it was going to be hard, it was going to be IMPOSSIBLE. Thankfully, those thoughts didn’t last long and I was able to quickly change my attitude and start enjoying my pregnancy and looking forward to the new little life entrusted to us. I look back on that breakdown now and laugh.

Here we are now, almost a year since I saw that positive test (October 4, 2013…I’ll always remember the day!) Is it hard? At times, yes. Of course it is. But impossible? No. We’re surviving. And some days, even thriving! We have many days of dirty dishes and backed-up laundry, seeing more toys on the floor than carpet, dried up milk spots and leftover lunch scraps on the dining room floor. All while kids are screaming in the background. But then we have other days where the house is clean (it does happen, it does…I’ve just had to accept that it doesn’t last long), the kids are happy, we’re all well-rested and we survive a trip to the grocery store. I have to admit, that was one of the biggest hurdles (in my mind at least) that we have overcome. The first trip out of the house, alone, with both kids.

For awhile it was just logistically difficult. The only way it works is to have one kid (Ivor) in the Ergo and the other (Gwen) in the cart. I could’ve used the double-stroller but the basket isn’t big enough for any worthwhile food shopping. So wearing one and pushing the other makes the most sense to me. But until Ivor was big enough to fit in the Ergo without the infant insert, I avoided it. It’s been an extremely hot summer so baby-wearing isn’t a lot fun. And that insert made him even more hot, and he was so tiny he’d curl up into the fetal position, burying his head in my chest, and sweating like crazy. I was convinced he wasn’t breathing. So I didn’t go out until I could safely wear him in the Ergo without that blasted insert. And right now it’s working perfectly for us. Gwen still loves sitting in the cart and hasn’t tried to protest, preferring to walk/run around the store.

I time the trip so that they’ve both eaten and had a diaper change RIGHT before leaving the house. Ivor just sleeps peacefully in the Ergo and Gwen is her usual happy, friendly, loud self when we’re in the store. I make a list and stick to it, so I’m in and out quickly. The only minor issue we’ve run into is going through the checkout line, sometimes Ivor starts to get antsy (he prefers constant motion while being worn. If I stand around for too long he’s not happy). But at that point, I’m on my way out of the store and I don’t really care. Also, he spit-up right down my shirt once as we were walking into the store. But the beauty of the wearing him is that no one else could see it 🙂

Anyway, I say all this to say: there are challenges and hurdles, but you figure it out. You just do what you have to do, because you have to. No one else will do it for you (unless you have that kind of money, we don’t.) And the confidence you gain when you accomplish those things keeps you going and gets you over the next hurdle. I say to myself “hey, remember that time when you thought going to the store alone with the kids was impossible…well, you did it…you can do this too”.

This life with 2 under 2 really isn’t AS difficult as I thought it was going to be. It didn’t help that I read horror stories all over the internet when I first found out about little Ivor. Seriously, the first Google search I did resulted in one of those Yahoo Answers. A woman asked something like “I’m pregnant again right after having my first baby, what do I do? Any tips??” and the “best answer” was “don’t ever do that again.”

Seriously? How is that even remotely helpful???

Sorry. I get annoyed by those kinds of people. Especially after having encountered one directly (read about that here).

So let me be the one to encourage you if you find yourself in my situation (first of all, don’t listen to those internet trolls who will try to scare you, or condemn you). Having kids close together is not just do-able, it can be really enjoyable too. I think of all those other moms who have 3 under 3, or even 4 under 4, and they’re getting along just fine and wouldn’t have it any other way. Our homes may be full of chaos, but it’s a happy chaos. And I know it’s cliche, people say it all the time, but seeing your kids interact and play together “makes all those difficult times worth it”. It really does.

Gwen is starting to interact more with Ivor and it just melts my heart 🙂 I see them and think, “wow, what a blessing it is to have a sibling/playmate”. By having them close together, we’ve given them someone to grow up with, play with, fight with, scheme with, learn from, protect, defend, and love.

IMG_20140905_093638 IMG_20140905_093319

There’s really a lot more to say about this and I’m sure I’ll write more posts. This is just a summary really of what life is like. There’s the whole jealousy issue we’ve dealt with, figuring out a daily routine, having 2 in cloth diapers, bedtimes, what do I actually do when BOTH kids are crying at the same time, how DOES any cleaning get done, etc. Stay tuned!