Can you believe that it’s taken me almost 18 months to write a follow-up to my reasons for 2 under 2 post? Having a baby and toddler at the same time is no joke. Soon after having my second son, I wrote about the reasons why I love having 2 kids under 2. It’s actually still my most popular post to date so I couldn’t leave you guys thinking there aren’t many struggles with having 2 under 2. So I’m going to be open with my struggles of being a working mom with 2 kids under 2. This is not meant to discourage anyone from having 2 under 2, but when you do, you’ll totally understand where I’m coming from.
The Struggles Of 2 Under 2
Are They Twins?
This is a question I get every time we go out, especially if I dress them alike which I love to do! I never get bothered with this question so I have my quick reply ready: ‘No, their 20 months apart’. Ironically, I was the type of person who did not want to have twins. I thought I escaped that, only to find out I pretty much have twins at this point.
One wants to follow the other, they hate being apart, they want to play with the same toys and sometimes share the same clothes
He’s Not Done Being My Baby
Is an 18-month-old ready to be a big brother? If you read my birthing stories, you guys may remember that this was one of my biggest anxieties before my second born (Kezie) came into the world.I cried out of fear that I was letting him down and somehow depriving him of all the attention he still needed. Rest assured, everything will eventually fall. By the time Kezie came along, Gozie was exercising his independence more and more. There are still moments they attempt to shove each other out of my lap, but that just comes with the 2 under 2 territory. At this point, they’re 2 peas in a pod that can’t stand being apart.
Tip: In the first few months, strap the baby on and give as much attention to the older child as possible. This will help them with the transition period, especially if you allow them to be involved in taking care of the new baby. Gozie felt included and rarely looked at Kezie as competition (until he started wanting his toys!)
Going Out In Public Is A Circus
There is nothing on the market that makes taking 2 under 2 out in public anything short of a nightmare. The shi*t really hit the fan when both of them were able to walk and no longer wanted to be confined to their strollers. You can frequently catch me chasing down a running toddler in my stories.
Tip: Plan ahead, stay prepared and schedule around naptimes. Get everything delivered to avoid errands with the kids in tow. Now that my oldest is 3, he tends to listen a little more when I ask him to stay put so rest assured, it gets better.
Do I Really Need 2 of Everything?
Yes and no. Essentially, with 2 under 2, it’s similar to having twins. Someone always wants what the other has.
Tip: If you love having them match like I do, buy 3 of every cute outfit. 2 current sizes and 1 size up. That way there is always an outfit to pass down to the youngest and grow into for the oldest.
Feeling Like I Lost Myself
Aside from my hands being full, this post had to wait for me to reach a place in motherhood where I felt comfortable enough to share my struggles. It’s easy to feel self-conscious as a young mom because everyone acts as if they have it all together. News flash, they don’t and your best is still good enough.
This post allowed me to reflect on my journey through postpartum anxiety and fully realize I ’m capable of being everything they need without losing myself. I accept that balance is relative to each situation and all I need is to try my best and stay prayerful.
It’s hard for me to admit sometimes that I lost myself somewhere back there. My postpartum anxiety` was at an all-time high when I stayed at home for the first 6 months. We moved to another new city where I knew no one, no family and my only release were the moments I could find to work on my blog and socialize on the interwebs. Sometime between the wonders of childbirth and soaking up time with the boys, I forgot that there was more to me than being a mom. Luckily, I’m starting to get myself back by remembering that putting myself as a priority isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. It’s ok to travel away from the boys or take a moment to decompress when emotions are high. They need me at my fullest potential.
Tip: The turning point for me is when I read “ Peaceful Parent, Happy Kid”. Dedicating time to incorporate mindfulness and connection has made all of the difference. Others have noticed the peace I’ve found, we enjoy each other more and behavior has improved. If you are struggling with any area of parenting, I recommend reading this book as a foundation in finding peace within the chaos.
Mealtime is Daily torture
Mealtime with toddlers is what I like to call a hot mess. They asked for chicken nuggets but by the time they’re in front of you, they’ve changed their mind. SMH. You try to give them a well-balanced meal, they won’t eat it. You try to make interesting shapes, they won’t eat it. You make one of their 10 pre-approved meals and they definitely don’t eat it because today, chicken nuggets are now trash. Imagine going through this with 2 strong-willed toddlers.
Tip: I have none for picky toddlers LOL. Pick your battles and try not to make mealtime a fight every time. What keeps my sanity is stocking our pantry with plenty of snacks that they can reach. So after all of the back and forth at meal time fails and you decide to say yes to a snack, you don’t have to get up and get it yourself.
I feel like not enough people spoke up about childcare before we had kids. I can’t let you all go out like that so I will be transparent about our experience and if you want to know more just say the word and I will write more posts. It has had the most significant impact on our day to day and especially our finances. After having 2 children we essentially spend, on average, $1800 a month in childcare. Yea, swallow that pill. My advice to anyone willing to listen, start saving now!
Tip: Once you find out you’re pregnant, start planning out childcare. We’ve run the gamut in types of childcare from life in Nanny to daycare to staying at home. It is not easy!
In large cities, waiting lists for good daycares can have up to a 2-year wait. True story: We just received notice of acceptance to a school we were on the waiting list for since June 2017.
There you have it! After all of that, I would not have my children any other way. Just prepare for the wild ride that is the toddler years. Just stay prepared and cherished these precious moments, they swiftly pass. Mamas, let me just say that the work we do is hard and sometimes thankless but I promise you, it is more than worth it. The way these guys have touched my heart, strengthened my prayer life, and extended my patience by just being their loving and adorable selves have been a blessing. Essentially, having 2 under 2 equates to lots of love and little sleep. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
If you enjoyed my post please take a moment to pin and share it, it would mean the world.