to ask you all with 2 or more children for a reality check? *lighthearted

(50 Posts)
wonderingifiam2013 Fri 23-Aug-13 13:04:27

I am currently pregnant with baby #2 and have a lively run-around-mad toddler smile

I keep reading lots of lovely, fluffy unrealistic comments from pregnant friends/acquaintances on facebook and would never burst their bubbles of watching lovely growing bump/cute clothes/looking longingly into Moses basket willing baby #1 to arrive at 39 weeks not 42+, following failed induction(s)! resulting in EMCS

So - feel free to burst my #2 hopes and dreams of:

Best friends
Playmates
Holiday companions
School pals
Teenage team
Sticker-up-against-bullies-togetherness

Are they are going to fight for years and years and years and ... ?

Are me and DH going to pull our remaining hair out on a daily basis?

Are they going to cost us a fortune!

as I gaze at baby clothes and forget the hell of night feeds/no sleep/recovering from major surgery/weeks and weeks of LOCHIA!

ChocsAwayInMyGob Fri 23-Aug-13 13:10:57

My two have a three year age gap. They fight and argue constantly but utterly love and adore one another and I'm so glad we made it possible by having two instead of one. They also occupy each other so that they are not constantly bleating at me for stuff.

That last bit was a lie.

Anyway, it is wonderful having two and I have never once regretted it, even in the hardest moments.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Fri 23-Aug-13 13:11:15

And congratulations!

AnneUulmelmahay Fri 23-Aug-13 13:13:02

The early years can be a tad gruelling but my two are now thick as thieves. The older (teen) busses himself and the not quite teen round to swim, shopping locally, today they have zoomed orf to cinema together. Fab.

Not quite two and a half yr age gap if that helps.

Right now my advice would be keep toddler in routine as best you can, avoid oh we cant cos of the baby type reasons, utilise friends/family heaps to take older one to super-exciting stuff. Get a sling, s soft one (kari me/mei tie not baby bjorn) for hands free play with toddler. All this when the baby comes.

Mine do all of the above - both your positive and negative sets of points. It depends on their mood. This summer has largely been chilled and lovely. They've played nicely together and apart and have been great friends. There have also been days when they bicker non stop and I end up yelling at them and separating them. Luckily the good days significantly outnumber the bad ones.
Mine are 7 and 5
P.s my sister and I are exactly the same and have always been. I consider her my best friend but she also drives me nuts more often than anyone else on the planet

Crowler Fri 23-Aug-13 13:16:53

I have two (almost 11, almost 8) and I'm thankful every day that I had my second because I didn't want to. I found toddlerhood hard.

They fought a lot, I wanted to kill them and myself many days from about the time they were 2/5 til about 4/7. Now my joy at seeing them be good to each other outstrips most any other motherly joy I can think of.

MsGazelle Fri 23-Aug-13 13:22:18

2 year gap between my two. My toddler absolutely adores the new baby. Brings him toys to play with, gives him enthusiastic cuddles (watch out for this), comes running through in the morning to say good morning to him. I imagine there will be fights to come, but I love having two.

forevergreek Fri 23-Aug-13 13:27:10

1 year gap here.
They keep each other entertained all day and don't argue that much tbh. I find it a lot easier as dh and I can take them out or the day/ on holiday etc knowing that if we don't find any other children to play with, they will be happy with each other.

The first 6 months were hard as had x2 under 2, but after that it's got easier, especially once youngest could walk and talk also.

tabulahrasa Fri 23-Aug-13 13:28:00

I've a 4 year gap between mine - they were lovely together when they were little, as thick as thieves...but I now have a 17 year old boy and a 13 year old girl and it's like a war zone sad

PlotTwist Fri 23-Aug-13 13:28:24

I have four, but in two 'sets'. I had a girl and a boy two years apart, and then a few years later, two girls two years apart. I also have a sister two years younger than me. This is what I can tell you...

They will argue and fight to the point of violence with each other, but woe betide anyone else who starts on their sibling

They will actively rag on each other but there's no-one prouder of their siblings achievments

They will have in-jokes and an entire set of slang that you will be excluded from (twenty-five years later and if my sister says to me "sensible, unsensible knickers" I will crack up)

they will tell you they hate each other/ wish their sibling had never been born etc but secretly do love each other. My younger girls have fought all morning but I just asked dd2 if she loved her sister. She said no, I raised an eyebrow and she said "I don't just love her, I extra love her"

Five minutes after they've been fighting, you might find them curled up together on the sofa like nothing ever happened

Two kids is not twice the work of one, when things are bad it's three times the work - all one child's stress, plus the other child's stress plus the stress between them. But when it's good, you'll find they bounce off each other, so possibly better good times too.

As adults, if they are close, there's no-one quite like your sibling. My older two are now both adults, and they get along better than ever. As do me and my sibling.

somedayillbesaturdaynite Fri 23-Aug-13 13:29:29

ditto forever geek, they're 6 aqnd 7 now, except they do argue a lot but have plenty of time where they adore each other too!

MrsMook Fri 23-Aug-13 13:33:04

I'm loving having two. DS2 (4m) thinks his big brother is amazing and is easily entertained by him. DS1 (2 1/2) gets upset if he thinks I'm going to leave baby behind, so don't think he wants a refund.

It is early days, and there'll be plenty of moments to come, but I find it less intense to split my attention between two than focus on one. Having two of the same sex is very cheap as at this stage, I don't need anything new for DS2. He's not old enough to want new things for himself.

I'm still happy in my bubble. No pins please.

Mine are still quite little, 4 and 6.

They are thick as thieves, a proper little team that destroy things
Love each other so much.
DD is trying to teach DS how to read and write smile
They fight a lot too. A lot, plus whinging and bickering.
I find 2 less work than one now, because they entertain each other. And they grass each other up a lot.

DD does sometimes complain she wanted an older sister rather than a younger brother, but <shrugs> there's no pleasing her.

Scholes34 Fri 23-Aug-13 13:33:48

16, 14 and 12, age gaps of 18 months and 2 years. They get on well, but are always busy with their own friends. I love the holidays, though, when we close ranks and ignore the outside world, but I feel this precious time is now slipping away!

mamaslatts Fri 23-Aug-13 13:39:16

I will echo plottwist about it being sometimes three times the work. Also the saying I hate him/Iwant to kill him/sell him on ebay (does anyone else's 6 year old say this about their sibling??)

But, there is an enormous joy in watching them play together, or when the older is showing the younger one proudly round his new school or teaching him a new skill... It is very hard when they are young (mine are 3 and 6) but once the younger got to about 2 1/2 they did start to play together.

MrsMongoose Fri 23-Aug-13 13:46:08

I'm one of two. There is 4 years between my sister and I, and we have always been the best of friends. We moved in together after uni in our 20s, and I feel closer to her than any other human alive.

No bubble bursting here - everything you have hoped your two would be is true in our case.

cushtie335 Fri 23-Aug-13 13:52:15

It depends entirely on personality. I also think it helps if you ensure your dcs know that the family is a "team" and that you back your own player above all else. I often said to mine if they were ever being rotten to each other "there are enough people out there who'll want to make your lives a misery, don't do it to each other". It seemed to sink in and they are very good friends and very supportive of each other. DD is 16 and DS is 12, they are very close and like each other's company.

cory Fri 23-Aug-13 14:11:00

Mine are 13 and 16. There has been jealousy, particularly in the first few weeks, the occasional scuffle, silly attempts to blame things on the other sibling. But also cuddles, comfortings, jokes shared together, days out together, pride in each other, protectiveness, joy in shared memories.

And I absolutely want to echo Crowler: there is no joy comparable to that of seeing one child look out for the other.

marriedinwhiteisback Fri 23-Aug-13 14:14:46

3.5 years 15 and 18. Only argued a bit for a few years from about 12-13.5 for the youngest.

Looks back takes off rose tinted glasses the good bits far outweigh the bad bits. Worth all the time, all the angst and all the money.

Good luck

DelayedActionMouseMaker Fri 23-Aug-13 14:15:29

I have a 5 year age gap. They argue, bicker, wind each other up, fight, the eldest delights in making the other cross. BUT they also sit and read together, play with each other, snuggle up on movie night to one another, stick up for one another against DH and I, and miss each other dreadfully if one is on a sleepover.

I didn't have siblings, so I find the hard bits exta hard as I don't know what's normal and what's not with the whole sibling malarkey...but when it works, when I can clearly see their bond of love, loyalty and affection growing in front of my eyes, well that's just the most amazing feeling ever.

Squitten Fri 23-Aug-13 14:17:18

Mine are nearly-5 and 2.5 and we have another baby arriving this year. Obviously having two hasn't been bad enough to put us off another!

They fight a LOT and constantly bicker over toys, etc. This has been especially an issue over the summer holidays where I think they've been stuck together too much and are getting on each other's nerves! Despite that though, they also play together a lot and make each other laugh all the time.

My eldest is starting Reception next month and I think the toddler is going to be absolutely bereft when he's gone all the time!

SPBisResisting Fri 23-Aug-13 14:21:51

When my two bicker (often) I remember how 2yo DS used to come flying down the stairs in the morning to hold his sister's hand as she was having her first nappy of the day changed. He'd hear her crying and shout "I coming <DD>!"
that's seen me through all the "she hit me" "he poked me in the eye" moments grin

Astr0naut Fri 23-Aug-13 14:24:25

Everyone told me that the second child would be easier than the first, and that having two wasn't that much harder.

THey lied.

Just 2 years between my two and the whole first year was hard. Not breakdown hard, but grinding hard - especially as none of mhy previous baby mates were up to no. 2, so didn't quite get the logistics of meeting up with toddler and small baby.

Luckily, Ds is a happy, gentle soul, so I've had no issues with them living together. Now, aged nearly 4 and kind of nearly 2, there are moments when it's genuinely lovely:
*when dd mithers ds, not me.
*when they spin like dervishes together
*when ds does things on purpose to make dd laugh
*when dd prefers to hold ds' hand when we go for walks.

I know there will be times when they fight almost as hard as my sisiter and I used to, but the good bits are beginning to outweigh the bad (ignore my current thread about dd's tantrums!)

Astr0naut Fri 23-Aug-13 14:26:00

They are bloody expensive though.

openerofjars Fri 23-Aug-13 14:26:55

Mine are 4.9 (DS) and 1.4 (DD) and for the last few months they have been becoming a team instead of two individuals, e.g. they both enjoy the playground now, instead of it being a useful way to wear DS out but all a bit academic for DD. They are now getting to the stage where they crack each other up and roll around like puppies (until someone gets an injury) and can (sometimes) be trusted to play nicely with the same toys (ish) for up to five minutes at a time (sometimes six) while I keep only one eye on them and the other on Mumsnet.

Incidentally, I was given a second hand playpen and it has saved my sanity and, as you say, my remaining hair. It's really a useful holding pen for DD while I do something dangerous like cook tea, but it's sometimes a good den for DS if he's feeling grumpy. Plus, you can throw all the toys into it at the end of the day and it's all a bit less hellish looking in the living room, very quickly.

Also, very occasionally DS helps out with the baby/toddler/whatever she is now, by going and fetching nappies or entertaining her. It's ace.

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