My sister and I are 22 months apart, and she is literally the other half to my heart. My mother only gave birth to the two of us, but after my father passed at a very early age, we gained three other siblings! Two brothers, and one amazing sister. We never used the word step, because we all were pretty young through the sadness and happiness of it all. We were brought together and became instant family, like the Brady Bunch.
One of the coolest things about being a sibling to five children in total, was the fact that we were also close in age. In fact, when I was a senior in High School, there was a junior, sophomore, freshman, and one child in 7th grade! Five years is what separated me the eldest, from the youngest. I loved having siblings who became my friends, and are now my BEST friends.
I dreamt about having children pretty much my entire life, and I truly did want them close in age when the time came. As fate would have it, I didn’t get married until I was 36 years old, and got pregnant for the first time at the age of 37. Knowing my age and how hard it would get the longer we waited to try for another, we decided to “get it done” as quick as possible, and now here I am with two children under two. They are 20 1/2 months apart, exactly, and boy is it a ride.
Sure having babies is magical, but lets be honest, having one kid is pretty dang easy compared to having more. It’s everyone’s right and choice as a parent to make that decision, and personally after coming from a large family, I had hoped for more than one child. Recently, I got my wish, with two under two.
What are my days like? It’s a CONSTANT juggle. On the “easy” side, my toddler takes AMAZING naps (knock on wood). It’s at this point in the day I can rest, love on my newborn without any interruptions, get sh*t done, etc). I know the naps won’t last forever, but at the moment, they’re kind of saving my hormonal soul.
And the juggle?? Well, that happens the second the day starts. I have learned how to nurse my newborn AND feed a toddler at the same time. Bathe them both at the same time AND/OR bathe one, nurse the other. I have learned how to nurse my newborn, and pump the other breast at the same time, while giving my attention to my needy toddler. The list goes on…..The newborn needs me in different ways than the toddler, and some the same, but she NEEDS me to survive, so I juggle between the two. My toddler just turned 21 months old, so he’s not in preschool or any kind of care. Nope, he’s all mine. And p.s., we attend ALL of the FREE activities for kiddos when we can. Free is for me!
You never know how you’re going to do it, before it happens, raise more than one kid, raise one kid, etc….Nothing can prepare you for those BIG events of your life, but actually diving in, and doing it. Some days are really emotional for me, and I don’t know who I am with my brain wanting to explode out of my head. While, some are pretty smooth, or just not as chaotic. With two under two, my biggest quest, is making sure they are both alive at the end of the day, and fed, no joke. My toddler is a magical little boy without a mean bone in his body, but, he’s a toddler. This morning for example, as I was nursing my newborn, he crapped his pants and was SCREAMING at me (crying), because well, who knows why. He just kept crying and wanted me to hug him, when all I really wanted to do was tell him to shut up and let me feed his sister who is latched on, and going to town! Than you know, since he’s a toddler, he decided to stick his hand down his pants and eat the poop all while I’m trying to feed his sister. Oh, wait, there’s more… I can’t put the newborn down right away after eating or she’ll spit up. Yup, you guessed it, I had to quickly put her down, clean the toddler’s everything, and than of course come back to spit up everywhere. If only there were 4 of me sometimes right???
In addition, a new “change of life for me”, is I can’t exactly leave the room and wash the dishes or get him a snack, or take a pee without wondering is he going to hurt the baby? I know this fear will subside, kind of, but that’s probably my biggest challenge at the moment. I try to wear the baby, or put the baby in a gated area, or hold her, while I leave the room. It’s WORK.
Toddlers come with their own insane packages of joy and sadness and teething, the list goes on. Having a toddler in itself is like playing with fire every single day, bipolar fire. Then, you add a newborn to the mix, and zero sleep to it, yea, it’s an interesting ride for sure. There are days I get dressed with my kids, and days it takes me until 2pm if at all, to get dressed. And days I feel hungover without the party. It’s ALL part of it.
I hope my kids love each other, and lean on eachother, as the years go by as I have done with my siblings. Sure it won’t always be pretty, but they have each other, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll also be the other half to each other’s heart. A mother can dream can’t I?
Happy holidays, and a happy new year to each and every one of you!
Namaste, and Rock On!