My Life Parenting

Two Under Two

August is 10 weeks old now, and Eleanor turns two at the end of next week, so my time of having two kids under two is nearly at an end.

I know that even having just one child isn’t easy. Except now? Looking back? Totally easy! And if Brandon and I decide to add more children to our family, I’m sure I would look back at this time and say the same thing.

Before August arrived, Brandon and I were nervous, simply because we didn’t know what to expect. Would Eleanor be jealous? How many sleepless nights would we have to endure? Our family had a nice rhythm to our days, and bringing in a new baby was going to change the tempo.

I had assumed that the first six weeks would be hard. Really hard. I remember that early time as a period of adjustment with Eleanor when she was a baby, especially in regards to nursing. So I told myself that things might be difficult at first, but they will be better after the first six weeks have passed. And I’d say that turned out to be just about right.

Eleanor did have a period of adjustment again with the arrival of August. She went from only child to big sister overnight, and she was too young to even understand that it was coming. Overall she was fine, sweet with August from the beginning, but we could tell that she was quick to lose her temper and get frustrated. She also wanted to be carried much more than usual, because she saw the new baby being carried everywhere. After a few weeks though, her pleasant demeanor returned. Well, mostly. She is nearly two! I try to give her as much individual attention as I can, and we still do the same activities together with August that we used to do before. Babies love dancing with mama in the kitchen just as much as toddlers.

I had a hard time nursing again (it’s still painful for me occasionally), but it got better. August was up every couple of hours for the first few weeks, but he has been sleeping for 7-8 hour stretches at night for several weeks now. I’m good at getting babies to sleep through the night.

And you guys! August naps during the day! I had no idea babies could be so easy. Eleanor was a content baby, but she never napped for longer than 20 minutes at a time when she was little. In fact, keeping Eleanor’s afternoon nap consistent has been the hardest daily challenge.

Also difficult: getting out of the house! Especially if I’m trying to do so in a timely manner. It’s easy to take one kid with you when you want to go somewhere. Change a diaper, nurse, and head out. Now I have to coordinate. And while Eleanor used to nap when she was a baby and we were out, August does not. Yes, he naps during the day (hooray!), but he likes to do so in his crib thankyouverymuch. He’s not a fan of napping on the go, and so he cries. That’s new to me. I don’t want to be the lady in the store with a screaming baby! Thankfully, he’s usually happy if he’s being held.

Life feels a little more hectic this time around, but I’m also trying to do more this time. When Eleanor was born, I was only posting on Making it Lovely a few times a week. Now I post twice daily (once on the main section, and once in the Filing Cabinet), plus I just started a new daily gig for Babble’s Family Style blog. And not only do I have a baby, I have a baby and a toddler. My shop (Pink Loves Brown) was closed for six months during my first maternity leave. I don’t intend to go for as long this time, but here I am nearly three months in and I’m not sure yet when I’ll reopen.

Caring for a baby is much easier this time around. It’s balancing that care along with everything else that has been tricky. But I’m finding that my balance is improving day by day.

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66 Comments

  • Reply
    Tara
    April 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I loved this post! You explained the transition perfectly. Mine are now 4 and 5, girls (12 months and three days apart) and believe it or not, it does get easier (at least in my experience) :) I loved having them close bc they are best friends and understand each other. We are currently trying for a third and are nervous about the transition but the girls will be old enough by that point to help and are excited about the prospect of a baby.

  • Reply
    Alison
    April 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Great post — I’m not a mom yet, but I am going to tuck all of this good advice away for when the time is right.

    Also, Baby August: you have the most beautiful bedroom eyes I have ever seen!! I could stare into them all day…

  • Reply
    Jane Adair
    April 25, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Wonderful to read your experience. Thank you so much for this post.

  • Reply
    amanda
    April 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I had 4 kids under 2 for 10 days. My youngest son was born 10 days before my triplets turned 2. Yes I now know how crazy that is. I miss those days. They are 11 and 9 now and I wish I had my babies back. Love your blog!

  • Reply
    christina
    April 26, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Oh, your kids are just so beautiful. I want to say that your daughter looks a lot like your hubby and your son looks more like you. But that might not be right at all in person.

    Take loads of videos! We were going through some of our old vids and found the cutest one of my 8 year old when he was 3 and could barely talk. I was so teary! Then, we discovered a video neither my husband or I had seen that my son, at 3, had taken while my hubby was on the phone. He toddles around the house, wriggling his toes, then looks at his trains. It was so sweet seeing life through his eyes. Take way more than you think is necessary and you will treasure every single one.

    Christina

  • Reply
    Amy
    April 27, 2011 at 8:31 am

    I’m glad to hear from anyone who’ll admit that nursing hurts in the beginning, even the second time around. It can be very hard, but is so worth it in the end.

  • Reply
    Bella
    April 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Oh my goodness I’m so clucky after seeing these pictures! I have a little bubby boy on the way and now I really can’t wait! Thanks!

    Bellaxx

  • Reply
    Dimitra
    April 28, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Great post, very touching actually!
    I only have a baby girl, she’s five months now and things are getting better. When she was younger she used to cry so so much that made me and her dad… really enjoy the sleepless nights:) Hehe! But no matter how difficult, or easy it is to bring up a child, it is a wonderful and priceless experience.

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