Finding it hard adjusting from one to two children

I wasn’t sure whether or not to write this, because let’s be honest, nobody likes to admit that they are struggling. But I’m coming out of the other side now and I wanted to reach out to anyone who is feeling like they haven’t quite got it together, or like they are failing in some way.

 

When I had one child, I found it all very easy if I’m honest. I found aspects of lifestyle change, location change and the feeling of losing myself a bit difficult at first, but being a mother was quite a natural thing for me. Naively I didn’t think I would find having two very difficult, but if I’m honest adjusting from one to two was quite a struggle for me. I didn’t want to show anyone that I was finding it difficult though, so I kept up with the perfectly posed Facebook photos and always put on a brave face.

The truth behind the photos: Finding it hard adjusting from one to two children

The truth behind the photos: Finding it hard adjusting from one to two children

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The truth behind the photos: Finding it hard adjusting from one to two children

 

I’m not sure exactly what part of going from one to two children I found difficult, but I just felt like I was failing royally and that I was barely making it through the day. I wanted to keep up with the activities I had always done with Bear, so I pushed myself to keep planning our weeks even when I was exhausted. I felt guilty for not being able to just sit and cuddle Monkey as much as I had done with Bear. Monkey suffered with awful colic and reflux and I couldn’t continue babywearing to keep him upright because of the amount of muscle damage my two difficult labours had caused. My only support is Mr. C and at the time he worked so much, he was rarely home and I was the first of my friends to have a second baby so nobody understood how difficult adjusting from one to two can be. I just felt like I was failing, like I was making a complete mess of everything and that I was all alone in the struggle.

The truth behind the photos: Finding it hard adjusting from one to two children

 

The smallest of things like a trip to the park were so difficult. Bear wanted to run around and climb on things but Monkey was too small to run after him, so we just stuck near the swings where I could contain them both, which Bear wasn’t happy about. Then Bear hit the terrible twos, he would erupt into tantrums over the most ridiculous things like new wellies, so walks through the woods consisted of lengthy negotiations, while I consciously counted down the minutes to Monkey’s next feed. Even going into the garden was difficult, Monkey would constantly be trying to eat stones, so I had to watch him like a hawk, but then Bear would get upset because I was so preoccupied with following Monkey around that I couldn’t push him around in his little car or catch him at the bottom of the slide. I had forgotten what sleep was. Monkey never slept. He didn’t know what sleep was. Trying to make dinner was a logistical nightmare. Before I had Monkey, Bear always entertained himself with the little activities I had set up, or would sit and clap along to my singing. Things changed when I had Monkey though, his colic would appear at dinner time, so the activities and singing were replaced with an hour or two of constant screaming. I would end up crying and on the verge of pulling my hair out, unable to do anything about it, but just wanting the noise to stop. I think seeing and hearing your children in pain, but being powerless to stop it is one of the hardest things to endure.

 

If I’m honest that first year as a mum of two was tough. Really bloody difficult actually. I cried a lot in that first year as a mum of two. I felt under a lot of pressure to keep it all together. Or at least I felt under pressure to pretend that I was keeping it all together. When really, underneath it felt like I was doing anything but keeping it together.

 

Then things changed, it stopped being quite as difficult and the days where I actually had it together started to outweigh the days where I was pretending to have it together. Monkey is now 16 months, Bear is nearly 3 and things are different. It happened so gradually, that I didn’t even notice things getting easier at first. But now, our trips to the park are fun again. The boys play nicely together (most of the time), Bear will happily stay within the distance I tell him to and usually they run in similar directions. People kept telling me that it gets harder when they are both on the move, but actually I find it a lot easier. It no longer takes lengthy negotiations to get wellies on Bear’s feet and Monkey no longer needs feeds, so walks through the woods are calming again, with no obsessive clock watching. I can now go out into the garden with the boys and actually play with them. They can both run around kicking a ball or make mud pies in the sensory garden kitchen, so sometimes I sit with a cup of tea watching them from the dining room. Sleep is still a bit sketchy, but I can deal with one or two night time wake up calls, opposed to the eight or nine that we were having before. The colic is gone. Making dinner isn’t a stress anymore, they will sit and play nicely while I’m cooking and on bad days when they are overtired, or feeling a bit irritable, they will both sit and watch TV for twenty minutes, so I can get dinner ready without too much stress.

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The truth behind the photos: Finding it hard adjusting from one to two children

 

The truth behind the photos: Finding it hard adjusting from one to two children

The truth behind the photos: Finding it hard adjusting from one to two children

 

I feel like I’m making my way out of the woods now and getting back on track. Don’t get me wrong, there are still difficult days where I consider hiding in a cupboard, but they are very few and far between. If you haven’t made it out of the woods yet and are struggling with the adjustment from one to two children, you aren’t alone. Even if it feels like it. It’s okay to not have it together. It’s okay to find it difficult, it’s okay to take time to adjust and it’s okay to admit if you are struggling. Reach out to those around you, I know that my first year as a mum of two would have been a lot easier if I had done.

 

 

How did you find the adjustment from one to two children? Did you struggle at all? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, Instagram, or on Facebook. You can also follow me on Pinterest.

15 thoughts

  1. I found myself nodding throughout this! I wish I had read something like this when things felt really tough. J is almost 6 months now and I can already see and feel s but if a difference. I’m still waiting for the days I’ve got my shit together to outweigh the days I don’t but I know I’ll get there. We’ll get there!
    But there were days I just didn’t think I would get through, those are the days I wish I had read this. Asked for help. Anything rather than struggle through in floods of tears. But we live and learn.

  2. I definitely have shared the same struggles and have felt some days that I haven’t coped well with a 3 year old and an 11 month old. I feel guilty a lot that I can’t always do the crafting activities and reading with the 3 year old and that I don’t have anywhere near as much 1 to 1 time with the 11 month old! Sleep is still bad! I love them both so much though xx

  3. I found the move from one to two easier than I thought it would be, but still had those feelings of guilt and not meeting both children’s needs. Now I have three I constantly find myself trying to juggle my time and attention. It is hard and that ‘mum guilt’ is always there. I am sure you are doing a brilliant job xx

  4. I remember when Erin was about 2 months old a friend came round with her 16 month old. It was so insane. It made me realise I was happy with my choice to only have 1. I’m sure things will continue to get easier for you

  5. Great piece and something I can totally relate to….so now could you write another one about dealing with three…preferably before April!!

    Thank you for this it genuinely made me feel better about myself!

  6. I don’t have children, but your experience is really useful as I can imagine it’s not easy 🙂 I love the pictures, you are a lovely family x

  7. Totally identify with this. I’ve 4 children and going from 1 to 2 was by far the hardest, I think I spent a year just in shock!!

  8. I love your honesty and I’m sure there will be people reading this nodding along. I remember my second baby fitting straight in like she had always been there, it was the jump from two to three that really floored me. Surprisingly, the move from three to four was by far the easiest of them all but we are definitely done at four! Ha!

    1. Thank you very much, I think people relate to my blog most when I am just honest and open. I couldn’t imagine going to three for a while, I’m not sure I would be able to cope. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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