to wonder when exactly it gets 'easier'?

(49 Posts)
BabiesNeedInstructions Mon 28-Jan-13 06:26:36

Ds1 is 25mo, ds2 is 4mo. I know this is the difficult bit, and I know it could be worse - I have a supportive DH, parents nearby, not struggling for money. But ds1 is full of tantrums and super-clingy, and ds2 is, well, 4 months old....

So when did you feel you turned the corner and life got easier? I need something to aim for!

EMS23 Mon 28-Jan-13 06:35:05

Mine are the same age (well 26m and 4m) and I've decided it will all magically fall into place on DD2's 1st birthday!
Am interested to see what others who've been through it and are out the other side say.

RillaBlythe Mon 28-Jan-13 06:36:35

I think it's when your youngest child turns 3. I'm not there yet.

my ds is almost 29 months, dd was 6 months at the weekend- it's only just starting to get easier now- tbh, i think i'm just getting used to it, & better at dealing with the tantrums, clinginess etc

i reckon once dd is up on her feet it'll be a whole different ball game!

WildRumpus Mon 28-Jan-13 06:42:21

Swap you your 4 month old for my teething 7 month old! I think you will find your toddler gradually becomes more reasonable. I have a 3 and 5 year old and day to day things (eg standing on the side of the road until I say its safe to cross) get easier. But other stuff gets trickier. My 5 year old has been naughty at school for example - which is a whole new source of stress.

Vinomum Mon 28-Jan-13 06:43:18

I have two DSs, aged 6 and 4. When my eldest started school and my youngest turned 3, life became about 200 times easier. You're at the hardest bit now OP I'd say.

WildRumpus Mon 28-Jan-13 06:44:40

But yes - I would say 3 is generally a time when they become a little more co-operative.

AbbyCat Mon 28-Jan-13 06:46:53

In the same boat! 22mo DS and 3mo dd... Dd is a complete dream. DS was a miserable baby and is a challenging toddler. If dd is as challenging as he is when she becomes a toddler, I think I may eBay away my ovaries along with all the other baby stuff I've been saving for the next one! I personally think it'll just get harder as dd grows up and does more than just feed, sleep and poo. Am definitely puting off weaning for as long as I can!

Joiningthegang Mon 28-Jan-13 06:48:39

When they are all at primary school - that's when

HollyBerryBush Mon 28-Jan-13 06:51:23

When they leave home?

MrsJamin Mon 28-Jan-13 06:51:44

I have a 25m gap between my two boys and it got easier probably when DS2 was 1. The first year was v difficult indeed. However now DS2 is nearly 3, they get along so well as friends that I am glad they have a small age gap. They are a gang, a pair that I can't imagine with children of more than 3 yrs difference. It was definitely easier once ds1 went to preschool, it just gave everyone a break from being intensely 3 of us all day long.

Flossiechops Mon 28-Jan-13 06:54:35

joiningthegang has it spot on imo! I had my 2 dc within a year of each other and the early years are like a blur now, I couldn't see the woods for the trees! Everything changed when they started primary school, they are now 8 & 9 and are fantastic. We have such lovely times together, although they still fight a lot.

BlueyDragon Mon 28-Jan-13 06:55:25

I think it gets different, not easier (DCs are 6 and about to be 3). More mentally challenging and less physically challenging. I do remember how it feels with a toddler and a baby though, it's hard work but does start of feel better - for me, around when younger DC was sleeping through and also get a bit more interactive, so 6 months ish. But it does get better.

Smudging Mon 28-Jan-13 06:56:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Margocat Mon 28-Jan-13 07:01:20

Mine are 15 months apart and for us is got a lot easier when the youngest turned 2, but I think that is largely because that's when she finally starting sleeping through the night and everything is better when you aren't so exhausted.

They are now three and four and the eldest is in reception at school and it's certainly much easier having both of them on my own now.

It's hard to appreciate how special your time is with them now because its so tiring isn't it? Just take lots of photos as then you can look back rather than try to remember the haze!

How does your little one sleep? I imagine that's probably key to how you feel.

willowstar Mon 28-Jan-13 07:06:12

My daughter is 3.4 and my son is a year old next week. This past year has been horrendous, the hardest thing I have ever been through and I am ashamed of my behaviour during it at times...however we have definitely turned a corner and it is much easier now. I would say 6 months on when he could sit up and eat a bit things started to slowly improve. He was waking 4 - 5 times a night until about 6 weeks ago which was a killer but he has started to only wake about twice so I am not so utterly shattered.

BooCanary Mon 28-Jan-13 07:07:22

It was hardest when mine were similar ages to yours.

It has got a lot easier in the past few months (6yo and almost 4yo). We have actually had a few lie-ins shock and they entertain themselves a lot giving us a break.

However, on occasion they can be very mentally draining still iyswim. Almost 4yo is still prone to tantrums/over tiredness, and 6yo can be stroppy and just doesn't listen!

forevergreek Mon 28-Jan-13 07:08:51

I think once the youngest can move about. It obviously brings its own challenges but a baby/ toddler who can crawl/ walk can get to what they want and not get so frustrated. One they are walking then trips to the park etc are better as they get worn out/ can join in.

So in about 6 months

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 28-Jan-13 07:09:32

I have a similar age gap. It didn't suddenly get easier all at once, but it gets progressively easier. So you don't really notice at the time, but if you look back....

There was a point with mine when I got them both napping at the same time after lunch - that helped. Then when smaller started sleeping all night, that helped too. But I think it only got noticeably easier when older one started nursery and then reception.

mnistooaddictive Mon 28-Jan-13 07:13:44

I have a 20 month gap between my two so about the same as you. I would say it improves a little bit when the youngest is 6 months. Gets a bit worse when they are 9 months but gets a lot better at 1 year. My youngest is now 4 and it is great as they play together and love the same things. At 9 months I bought one of those play station things that they sit in surrounded by things to do (second hand from eBay) and that was the only thing that stopped dd2 crying whilst I cooked dinner. I later sold it on eBay for a profit so win win!

Iggly Mon 28-Jan-13 07:18:06

When dd was 6 months it got marginally easier. By 1 it's now much easier (ds was 26 months when she was born).

fuckadoodlepoopoo Mon 28-Jan-13 07:19:15

It happens in stages i think. So when they aren't getting you up in the night its a bit easier. When they don't need carrying everywhere. When they can eat without huge mess. When oldest starts nursery or school.

That's the stage Im at. Next September Im going to have them both at school! Having that larger lump off time to do other things will help me regain my sanity!

Unlike you i don't have family help and do have money problems, plus mental health issues so I've really struggled.

20month gap here, got sort of easier when youngest got to 2. When he started to be able to talk properly basically so he could intersct more with DD.

They are now 4.1 and 5.10 and thick as thieves. They do fight a lot but they also play together and plot/scheme together and are a little gang.
Once the youngest starts to sleep better makes it more bearable too, unfortunately that was also around 2

Groovee Mon 28-Jan-13 07:49:16

I don't think it ever gets easier... the challenges change!

Midlifecrisisarefun Mon 28-Jan-13 08:03:54

Like holly I would have said when they leave home, but now decided after a awful weekend not even then! your word is no longer law
Sorry to break it to you life is one long slog with lots of 'phases' wink

cupcake78 Mon 28-Jan-13 08:07:07

First 3 years are very hard! I agree once you get your eldest to school and your youngest is past 3 it becomes easier.

BabiesNeedInstructions Mon 28-Jan-13 08:11:00

Baby sleeps ok, usually 2 wakings a night. Much better than ds1 was anyway. I keep trying to count my very many blessings (including 2 lovely children, obviously), and I'm very conscious that I mustn't wish their lives away. But sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode!

Looks like baby hitting 6 months might be the first chink of light at the end if the tunnel, and by 2016 I'll be laughing!

CloudsAndTrees Mon 28-Jan-13 08:14:30

I found it got easier when the youngest was settled into pre school, and easier still when the youngest was settled into school. Now I have pre teens, and it's getting rocky again, just in a very different way!

It's obviously less full on, I don't have to be there every minute of the day because they are old enough to be reasonably independent, but the challenges that are there are still big and still difficult. And it feels like the pressure is really on now and there's no time to get it wrong, because once this phase is over they will practically be adults and there will be no time to redeem myself on any mistakes I might make!

Flisspaps Mon 28-Jan-13 08:27:09

In the last 2-3 weeks. DD is 2y10 and can hold a conversation now, DS is 9mo and has just started to crawl so can get what/where he wants instead of just getting frustrated.

MammaTJ Mon 28-Jan-13 08:29:07

When I had one in school full time and one in pre school, apart from the hellish three school runs a day, it was a lot easier.

Mine are 54 week apart but because of their awkward August and September birthday, two school years.

nagynolonger Mon 28-Jan-13 08:41:07

There is an easier stage once DC turns 3 but the early school years can be hard as well. The settling in, making friends can be hard for some. It's also very worrying if they don't keep up with reading etc. The majority will have few problems thankfully.

I think for most the easiest stage in a childs life are the primary years 3 to 6. Girls especially grow up very quickly once the start secondary school. Boys are still fairly easy going at 11/12 but school year 9 can be difficult with them. That is only my experience!

Every stage as it's problems. Parents have less control over the problems as DC get older. Your DC staying healthy and safe will always be in your thoughts even when they are adults.

nagynolonger Mon 28-Jan-13 08:45:51

Sorry if that sounds like a life sentence OP!
It does get easier when you can reason with them.

Dahlen Mon 28-Jan-13 08:46:05

I think it mostly depends on sleep. You can cope with quite a lot of clinginess and tantrums if you're getting your full quota of sleep. For me, that came at about 9 months.

In terms of dealing with clinginess, I found an old-fashioned wooden-bars play-pen saved my sanity. Having somewhere safe to leave them when they're having a tantrum you can't deal with, or to have a shower or five-minutes sit down with paper and cup of coffee, etc., really does make a huge difference.

plantsitter Mon 28-Jan-13 08:50:55

It was a few stages for me. When DD2 went to sleep in the evenings instead of cluster feeding. Then when she slept through. When I got them both to nap at the same time was a glorious day. When DD1 turned 3 she suddenly became a lot more sensible and you could let her walk to the car door from the house and know she would stay there for example.

Things have got a bit logistically tricky again now that dd2 (2.2) is desperate to walk everywhere but is a pain in the arse about holding hands and going where you want her to, but I haven't felt like I've been playing a relentless game of Fox Chicken Corn for more than a year or so now (probably since DD2 started walking at 10 mo).

spiritedaway Mon 28-Jan-13 09:48:03

well i have 12 yr old, 10 yr old and a 3yr old and 2 yr old, sorry OP but the little 2 are easier, for different reasons of course ;)

fuckadoodlepoopoo Mon 28-Jan-13 09:59:18

I think it also depends on which stage you personally find easier. I know people who like the baby stage as they are controllable but once they know their own mind have really struggled.

HandlebarTash Mon 28-Jan-13 10:04:18

I really have no idea. I have a nearly six year old and a nearly one year old, I thought an advantage of a bigger age gap would be that it would be 'easier'. I'm not finding it easy. I'm thinking when the baby is about three, or when the baby starts school? I don't know.

CrazyOldCatLady Mon 28-Jan-13 11:43:12

We have an 18 month gap. The first few months were dire. DS was very sick, DD still wasn't sleeping. Things improved dramatically when DD started to sleep at 2.2. Each passing month improves things though.

At the moment, DD is 2.7 and DS is 11.5 months, and things are great. She sleeps well and is an absolute joy to be around, full of chat and jokes. DS is brilliant, he's just learned to crawl and bumshuffle so suddenly he's well able to occupy himself for hours wandering around the house bashing things, and DD is delighted that he has started to copy her when she claps or dances. I'm really enjoying this stage! Oh, and DS is sleeping fairly well too, which makes a huge difference.

MarianneM Mon 28-Jan-13 11:53:29

The age gap between my DDs is 19 months so similar.

I remember when DD2 started crawling at about 10 months things got easier as I didn't have to carry her around all the time.

Then when she started walking and got more independent at about a year.

Also, when they can express themselves with words they get less easily frustrated, so any time between 1 yr-1.5.

Scholes34 Mon 28-Jan-13 11:54:45

It will get easier when the third one arrives! Life just couldn't get any more chaotic with three under four years, or so I thought.

Now with three teenagers life is no easier. When they're young, you know where they are, and that usually is tucked up in bed come 9.00 pm, they don't have expensive hobbies that require you to drive them across the county or friends whose parents you don't know and feel a bit hmm about or ridiculous homework projects that take up far too much of your time when you want to be doing other things.

Happy to lend you my rose-tinted glasses if you would like them!

MsVestibule Mon 28-Jan-13 12:01:43

There's a 20 month gap between my DCs and IME, it got better when my youngest hit 3. DD(nearly 6) and DS(4) play together really well (most of the time), enjoy doing the same things and I'm now pleased I had them close together.

It really was a different story 3 years ago...

Fakebook Mon 28-Jan-13 12:04:45

When they turn 3 and are potty trained and sleeping through. Definitely.

Sianilaa Mon 28-Jan-13 12:08:29

I have two DS, aged 5 and 3.5. The youngest starts school in September full time...I am hoping it gets easier then!

dotty2 Mon 28-Jan-13 12:19:17

Certainly the challenges change, and lots of things about school are hardwork - homework battles, friendship issues etc. But it's less relentless. You get to sleep through the night and have an occasional cup of tea while they play or read by themselves. But it's gradual - not a sudden corner to turn. And some months/school terms seem harder than others.

Hopefully Mon 28-Jan-13 12:22:16

DS2 was ridiculously high needs, which I think delayed the 'getting easier' bit, but he is now 22 months and it's definitely been noticeably easier for a month or two now. He still wants huge amounts of attention, but occasionally DS1 (4.4) can provide that by playing with him, rather than me.

mummymeister Mon 28-Jan-13 12:24:42

there is not a day when i wouldnt swop 3 teenagers for 3 children under 4 again. homework, boyfriends, girlfriends, periods, spots, weight issues, gcse choices, internet protection, hormones, arguments - really i could go on.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 28-Jan-13 12:34:37

I've got a bigger age gap, DS1 was 2.8 when DS2 was born.

It was hard initially, and then got a little easier, and then harder again once DS2 was mobile.

DS1 started school in September, and DS2 is now 22 months. Suddenly in the last 4-6 weeks his speech has really improved and he will actually play on his own for a little while.
And he has slept through for the last three nights - first time he has done more than one night in a row - ever!

BabiesNeedInstructions Mon 28-Jan-13 12:50:57

Ha Scholes I am definitely not having another one! We always just wanted two. That's actually the one thought I cling to, that I will never again have to manage a screaming toddler and a small baby.

I think I'm someone who finds it easier when they're older and can be reasoned with/entertain themselves occasionally. It's the relentlessness of it that gets to me. The day I can get out of the house less than 30 minutes after starting to get ready will be a happy day!

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 28-Jan-13 13:30:52

I had 27 months between my two and I can remember how hard it was at first. I can remember just sitting on my bed one day and crying my eyes out because I'd been trying to get us all ready to go out for about 2 hours and hadn't succeeded with the baby screaming for nothing every 2 minutes and a toddler undressing himself and making a mess and just generally tanttruming.
For me, it started to get easier when ds2 started becoming more of a 'family member' rather than a baby with completely different needs. Probably about 10 months...milk was just morning and night, he started eating 3 meals a day at the same times as us, was eating the same foods and going to bed at the same time as ds. I started to be able to do activities that they'd both enjoy like baking, going to the park, reading them a book...whereas before it was always an activity for ds1 that would be 'spoiled' by the baby crying.
You can sling them over your hip for short walks rather than always juggling the car seat or buggy...they start to play together and you get a few moments of lovely peace. You stop worrying so much about the toddler hurting the baby as they can take more rough and tumble...just generally an easier life.
You haven't got long left op, this time in 6 months it'll be a breeze lol.

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