About 16 months ago, my whole world got turned upside down. My joyful, gorgeous, lovely daughter Aurora burst into the world. She is possibly the happiest baby that has ever babied. We’re still waiting on the test results.
Let me be clear: I love my daughter. But she changed everything about my life when she joined our family. To say otherwise would be a lie. Most of these changes have been for the betterment of our family. That definitely doesn’t mean they have all been easy or seamless. Human nature makes us all averse to change. Any kind of “new” means that change is now inevitable - and it’s unpredictable.
I’m going to be honest with you, mama. Having two kids under the age of two is NOT EASY. My own two are finally three and one, but they were born only 20 months apart. Think about that: I was barely out of the fourth trimester when my son turned TWO. My body has been put through the wringer. While my pregnancies haven’t been extremely complicated, they’ve not been what I would call pleasant. Two pregnancies in two years wreaked havoc on my hormones. My core muscles took a major beating. I’ve still not fully recovered from the diastasis recti, although I was making progress before I conceived my daughter.
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Here’s the raw truth: the first six months are extremely difficult. It’s truly a crucible. Your toddler is gaining independence while still requiring your attention. They might struggle with jealousy over the focus on the new member of the family. Emotions might get the better of them since toddlers have really big feelings. It’s extremely frustrating to see your toddler struggling while you’re stuck nursing a newborn. Or changing a diaper. You are pushing yourself to the limits of your endurance. How long can one parent survive on two hours of sleep? Will human hair start to disintegrate if it goes unwashed for weeks at a time? You’re about to find out.
You’ll remember yourself as a first-time mom and laugh and laugh and laugh. It will seem so very frosh of you, those early days of over-analyzing and second-guessing yourself. The truth is, bearing a second child is not nearly as intimidating as the very first one. Since you’ve been there before, you might have a more realistic expectation of what pregnancy, childbirth, and early infancy is like. Very little is an “unknown”.
Once your younger baby becomes more mobile - crawling and eventually walking - life will get a bit easier. Of course, now you’re running around after two toddlers… Trust me, it’s far less frustrating than being pinned under a nursing newborn while your toddler unravels the entire toilet paper roll!
Wear this badge with honor, this “two under two” badge. It’s yours. Other moms have the “two in the same year” badge, or the “twins” badge, or the “single mom” badge. This is not a competition, people. It’s a struggle for all of us, and we each ought to find solidarity with other moms walking the same walk.