Coping With 2 Under 2

If you didn’t know, M and E are 23 months apart and as of Monday, M will be 3 weeks old and E is 4 weeks from her 2nd birthday. I’ve had loads of friends ask how we’re coping with a toddler coming into her “terrible twos” and a newborn at the same time. If I’m honest, it has literally been fine. We don’t really have any other word to describe how fine it’s been LOL.

E has adapted so well to having a little brother. She absolutely adores him. Wanting to kiss, cuddle and hold him most of the time. She still has her independent moments where she’s just off playing on her own, or with any family member who is around. She doesn’t get jealous when either me or daddy are holding M. (Let’s hope it stays that way.) She actually comes up to us when I’m nursing him and kisses him on his head, or holds his hand and asks him “how are you?” When he’s sleeping in his cot, she wants to climb in and sleep with him.

I was so nervous about how E would be once he was here. More nervous about that than actually giving birth. 😬 But I obviously had nothing to worry about.

When E was born, we always thought she was quite a chilled and easy baby. She didn’t cry much and was a very content baby. Now that M is here, we realise that he’s been even more chilled than E!! My mum says we must’ve done a lot of good deeds to have good karma returned to us in our “chilled” kids. I think it’s more of her good deeds and prayers for me that has given us such blessed children. LOL

Don’t get me wrong, we have had our struggles like any other parent along with the occasional cranky mood swings and abrupt conversations between us. But, majority of the time, we try to understand each other and how tired we both are. We both remind each other that we love each other and appreciate what we both bring to our family. After the last 5 months or so of getting our sleep back with E sleeping through til morning, to now being back to splurges of 1-3 hour stretches of sleep at a time, of course we’re going to be cranky.

Mix together not being physically fully recovered with the chemical imbalance of hormones which messes with you mentally, a dash of sleep deprivation, a huge wallop of sarcasm and an energetic talking toddler who asks “why” every 5 minutes and you get a mother who is trying her best not to cry when her chocolate trifles run out in the fridge! Yup…. it makes no sense! 😂

The hubby is doing his best with having to leave us and work all day. When he’s home, he takes over dinner time, bath time and bed time. Imagine being mentally drained all day at work to come home and physically keep going to make sure you’re not missing out on daddy time with the kids. It’s not easy being a dad either. During the night when I nurse M, I try not to wake the hubby so he can get his sleep. I’ll wait until Ms 5/6am feed until I wake the hubby to help me burp and change his nappy. After that, he’s up getting ready for work, so he’s had a possible stretch of 5/6 hours sleep, I say possible because it depends how loud M has cried for milk during the night or if E has had any nightmares.

Thankfully I can still get E to have an afternoon nap, which is usually when I can catch up on some of my sleep during the day. My parents in law are also usually home and if it does get too much, they’re happy to watch E for an hour or so at a time so I can get some quiet time to put my feet up, eat something or take a quick nap to boost my energy up for the rest of the day.

Whatever happens, I still ensure the house work gets done and the kiddos are taken care of. When I’m having a rough day, I tell the hubby what to expect from me when he gets home. I don’t just go having a moody evening with him without giving him a heads up. I know it’s the hormones and he can’t read my mind, so I communicate with him about how I’m feeling. This in turn lets him know to steer clear of me for a while and he tends to take both the kiddos off my hands for some of the evening.

Other than when E is being a bit frustrating with some of her DAILY sas of not wanting to eat, running around screaming “mummy mummy mummy”, wanting to listen to baby shark on repeat, asking “why” every time I’ve told her off about something, refusing to have her nappy changed, spilling cups of water all over herself, unhanging the hung laundry, being a bit too rough with holding Ms hand, trying to climb into Ms Moses basket/cot by herself while he’s in there, separation anxiety when mummy needs a wee or refusing to walk herself up/down the stairs whilst mummy is holding M…. she’s the perfect toddler. 😇

On a good day she listens, doesn’t throw a swing at me, gives me cuddles when she’s content, kisses M gently on his head, holds his hand softly and comforts him when he cries, says her ABCs without going off track, does her bilingual counts from 1-10 without shouting “NO!”, puts toys away when I ask her to, throws rubbish in the bin, doesn’t splash water out the bath at bath time, sits still at the dinner table and eats her meal properly with us and tells me she loves me back whenever I say “love you”.

The hubby and I remind ourselves that she’s a toddler learning to talk. This talk of “terrible twos” is not a real thing. She isn’t terrible! Her tantrums are just down to her not being able to tell us what she wants or not understanding why she’s not allowed to do certain things. It does get frustrating some days, but the times she’s a little angel always out weigh the rough patches. Her sentences are getting longer which means she’s understanding to communicate better. When we discipline her, we don’t just tell her off, we explain why, especially she always asks “why”. When she wants something but isn’t asking in a nice way, we help her construct her sentences and all of the persistence to help her communicate is working, as she can tell us a lot about what she wants now.

So that’s how we cope! We accept the good days with the bad days. We adjust to each other according to our daily moods and we remind ourselves that we chose this life. We chose to have 2 under 2 and we chose to do it together, so we are. This parenting gig isn’t easy. Neither of us does more than the other, it’s an equal partnership. x

Mama T

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