Everyone said we were mad going for a second child so soon. And we knew that. But it still didn’t stop us.
When we decided to try for a second baby, our first was six months old and all we knew was a six-month-old’s behaviour. We knew ‘in theory’ what a toddler was like, but we hadn’t yet experienced OUR child as a toddler.
Don’t get me wrong, it was the best decision we’ve ever made. We fell pregnant when our first was just eight months. Our children will grow up close in age, exactly like we wanted, and I hope that means closeness on many levels. But having two kids under 17 months was a shock to the system, to say the least.
Our first, a boy, was 17 months old when his sister was born seven weeks ago. If I had to describe my first few weeks of life as mum to two kids under 18 months in one word it would be WOAH.
Before I go on, here are some facts about our situation: my husband works 12 hour days, our toddler won’t play by himself and is incapable of ‘gentle’ around his sister (he’s a little dictator, as boys tend to be at that age), our newborn ‘snack feeds’ and has reflux, our boy hates staying in and we have no family help. So, the first few weeks after my husband went back to work went a little like this:
Day 1: “I’ve totally got this” (spring in my step, optimistic!)
Day 2: Crying into my cereal from exhaustion (and it’s only JUST begun?!)
Day 3: “I’m getting there, this isn’t too bad…”
Day 4: “This is WAY harder than I thought it would be.”
Day 5: “How do other mums make this look so easy???”
Day 6: “Coffee. Is. Life.”
Day 7: “This is actually easier than being heavily pregnant with a toddler... at least I can move!”
On day one it was raining, so a little walk down to the park to give the toddler some exercise was out. Cue a trip to the shopping centre to hit up the indoor play area and the supermarket. Getting both kids into the car including the double pram took a good 20 minutes and by the end of it I was sweating like it was a 40 degree day.
The toddler got cranky and I was ‘that Mum’ wrestling my toddler into the pram while he screamed (because I took him away from The Wiggles ride, even though he’d been on it for a good 15 minutes) while my newborn made squawking noises from the pram and needed burping yet again. I gave up and came home.
By 11.30am I’d managed to get both of them in bed, but not before my toddler had hit me in the face repeatedly while I was trying to breastfeed and the newborn had vomited on me five times. I was covered in milk and sweat, and was exhausted. It was time to wolf down some lunch quickly before round two that afternoon!
And so it went for a few days. By the end of that week we had a suspicion our newborn had reflux. She wouldn’t be put down at all without crying and was in some serious pain.