Being a mum of two under two means constantly compromising.
It means stopping mid breastfeed to take your toddler to the potty.
It means putting the baby down, to pick up the child who has fallen.
It means fitting two kids on your knee.
It means missing the break you used to get when your toddler went to bed. It means wishing ‘bedtime’ didn’t literally take all night.
It means being grateful that your baby isn’t mobile yet and wondering what you will do when she is. I means having people constantly say things like, ‘it will get easier’, but suspecting it will get harder first.
It means savouring the one-on-one moments with each child, but also savouring the moments by yourself.
It means feeling needed. Constantly needed.
It means time going way faster the second time around. It means knowing these days are hard, but wanting to stop time anyway.
It means struggling to get out of the house. Really struggling. And feeling like if you have to do one more thing to get out you just wont go. But you persist. And you make it. And you lock the door, while carrying two babies, two blankets and a huge nappy bag. And then the toddler says ‘potty’. And by the time you’re out again the baby is hungry. And by the time she is fed the toddler has taken her shoes off. And her hat off. And walked outside and got her socks wet.
And you leave either feeling exhausted or like you are superwoman.
But going out is still easier than staying home.
Because at home you are constantly on high alert making sure your baby is safe. You can’t walk away from your two kids, you can’t take your eyes off them for a second. Unless one of them is asleep.
But both need to be alone with you to be put to sleep. It means not being able to put one to bed while the other is awake.
It means reminding your toddler over and over that the baby is too small to eat food, but too big for her to carry, that she cannot cover the baby’s face with a blanket, that she’s not allowed to jump right next to the baby, that (though she loves her so, so much) she cannot lie on top of her.
It means seeing your baby become more and more distracted by the toddler and dreading the day you can only feed her when you two are alone. It is seeing this day racing towards you and having no clue how you are going to manage it.
It means being so grateful for breastfeeding and the moments it gives you. For the way it forces you to stop throughout the day and focus on your baby.
It means doing the best you can. And knowing that for your kids it is enough. It means knowing that for you it may be a difficult day, but for them it has been an awesome day.
It means random moments and outings that really are great. Like when your toddler has asked you to draw about 20 buses and you’re over it and you say, ‘ok, let’s go, we’re going on a bus’. And you imagine picking her up and walking out the door.
Except it’s not like that because first there’s the potty, and nappies, and feeding the baby, and packing snacks, and hats for everyone, and shoes.
And you finally make it to the bus and your toddler thinks it is the best thing ever. And she tells everyone about it. And then you go to a café. And the baby sits calmly on your knee. And the toddler is thrilled with her baby chino and behaving so well. And you are winning as a mum. And for that moment you feel like you’ve got this.
Two under two means seeing a lifelong friendship starting and knowing it is truly beautiful.
It means watching your baby’s face light up when she sees her sister. It means big smiles and seeing your toddler adore your baby and feeling like your heart will explode.
It is wishing there were words to explain how wonderful these moments are, but knowing that they are beyond words. It is seeing that love and knowing that you have given each of your children the greatest gift you could.
It means letting life stop around you. It means letting parenting consume you. Because for now it has to.
It means having capacity for very little else. And accepting that that is ok.
It means giving everything you have. It means forgetting there is a world outside of play dates and days structured around nap times. It means finding it very hard to remember or imagine something called ‘work’.
It means enjoying staying home because you have double the reason to. It means watching the magic unfold before your eyes. It means desperately wanting a break and then finding it hard to say goodbye when you get one. It means being exceptionally grateful you married a man who truly shines in his role as dad.
It means enjoying the moments of calm double as much. It means tired eyes, but full hearts and knowing this is the best thing you will ever do.