This time last year my youngest daughter Sophia was just 13 month's old and I was just over a month away from having baby number three. I remember wondering how on earth I would cope with two babies under two, mine are only 14 months apart in age (I also have a twelve year old). I worried if I would cope, how I would manage feeding a newborn whilst having a one year old running around. I worried if I would be able to spend time with my new baby, if my toddler would feel pushed out, what if they hated each other, what if both of them cried at the same time. The list went on and on with all the things that I was worrying about.
I would tell people I was worried about how I would cope and they would either say it will be fine or they would say that I was crazy or would have my hand's full. No-one actually said to me what it would really be like. Although I am sure my own mum would have done if she had of still been alive ,as their is only one and half years between myself and my brother.
So what was two under two really like ? For me it was really hard as Sophia was so young she did not understand what was happening when we brought Jacob home and she just totally blanked him for the first few months, although she would sometimes steal his dummy or bottle or poke him in the eye. Jacob suffered with really bad colic and he would scream from the moment he woke up until the moment he went to bed at night. He would just scream all day for four whole long months , and i had no-one at all to help me. That was tough and I admit I cried most days and did not enjoy those first few months at all, they have all just passed in a blur of sleepless nights and days stuck at home with a screaming baby and rampaging toddler. I am just glad we had a routine in place from day one as that is all that kept things from descending into utter chaos.
In the early day's I rarely even had time to get dressed and brush my hair, sometimes it would be days before I could have the chance to have a bath or a shower. The house was always a mess, in fact it still is ten months later, I have not had an empty laundry basket since he was born either. And as for time with the other half , Ha forget that we have only been out once on our own for lunch since Jacob was born and that was for my birthday back in November. I also still feel so tired almost eleven months later too as unlike his sister Jacob still does not sleep all night, he wakes for bottles and often thinks 4.30am is time to get up.
I have found that having two under two is so much harder than having a bigger age gap, as getting ready to leave the house on your own with two little ones is like a military operation. I have to get them dressed, get myself dressed then one or both little ones need their nappy changed. I have to get the buggy out and set it up outside as a double buggy wont fit out the front door. It is a nightmare and double buggy's are so heavy and hard to push when out and about too. Everyone told me to go to playgroups, well that was a disaster as Sophia would need watched as she was wanting to climb on tables and eat paint while the baby was screaming for a feed, it was impossible going on my own as they both needed me and had different needs so I just stopped going. Same with Soft play or the park I can't go unless I am with someone as Sophia will run off and need someone watching her and Jacob needs someone with him too.
Getting two babies to sleep at the same time is a challenge as well but so worth it as it is the only hours piece you will have all day and the only time you can have a cuppa / get dressed/
check social media do housework. Sophia stopped napping at 18 months and that was a sad day. Having two under two means you can never have a hot drink during the day as their is always a little person around wanting attention, also you rarely get time to eat as you never have more then two seconds peace, I really should be a size six or something but I ended up living on crisps, biscuits, toast and take aways for months.
Somedays I feel like all I do is change nappy's one after the other, seriously I must change about 15-20 nappies per day. I can never sit down as I always have to change a nappy, get a drink or bottle, stop them from fighting or tidy up mess. And i always look a mess as I am forever covered in sticky hand prints, spilt milk or juice or baby slaver, nice! As they have got older they fight, a lot. They fight over toys and attention constantly and they have started fighting each other Sophia will push or hit him and Jacob will grab her hair or bite her.
But despite all this if someone asked me would I change any of it the answer would be no. I do love the gap between them as they will grow up together and hopefully have a playmate for life in each other. They are only one year apart at school so the school and nursery days will be done in one go. They will have similar interested and be at similar stages in life which will hopefully make days out and holidays easier, as I have found the large age gap between my girls difficult for activities. I also had all the baby stuff we needed and hardly had to buy any big items for Jacob, the same with toys every toy he could need we already have which has saved us a fortune. And hopefully they will grow up to be life long friends and have the same close bond that myself and my brother have.
Yes two under two can be hard but for every hard day you have where you don't get two seconds peace and you are exhausted there will be a day that melts your heart, when you see your children smile at each other for the first time or you see them give each other a kiss goodnight or you see them looking for each other first thing in the morning. It is the little things like those that make all the hard work worth it and you realise that two under two is not so bad after all.
If you had your children close in age I would love to know how you found it or any tips you have, as even now almost one year on I sometimes still struggle.