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Those with 2 children - which stage is the hardest?

(86 Posts)
DIYandEatCake Sun 14-Dec-14 22:18:24

I have two gorgeous dc's (dd, 3.9 and ds, 12m) who are pretty good really but I am finding this stage such hard work. Ds is having a phase of waking several times a night, he's very mobile but not quite walking, constantly climbing, trying to get into the bin, toilet etc. and is screaming in rage when thwarted. Dd can't do anything without him launching himself at whatever she has. Dd is struggling with this, but is also in a bit of an anxious phase, difficulty going to sleep, wanting playing with and cuddling all the time. They're both pretty fussy with food.
Please can someone tell me that it will get better, that when he's 2 and she's 4 it will be less relentless? (At least from September she'll be in school). Or is it actually harder when the little one's 2 and feisty?

WhispersOfWickedness Sun 14-Dec-14 22:20:26

Yep, you're in the stage which was hardest for me. Mine are 3 and 5 and getting easier every day smile

Middleagedmotheroftwo Sun 14-Dec-14 22:22:43

Every stage has hard and easy times. Its just that what is hard or easy changes over time. My DDs are 18 and 20 - we still find it hard at times!

TwoPrincesses87 Sun 14-Dec-14 22:35:07

Will be looking on with interest...I've got two DDs with the same age gap..just a few months behind

toomanywheeliebins Sun 14-Dec-14 22:38:55

Urgh. You are right in the storm. Nearly 2 and 4 here and it is hard but much better. They do play together although sometimes fight over toys. They will watch a few peppa pigs now while I shower and the younger one sits and watches rather than turning the TV off. Our youngest is pretty clingy still though and likes to be carried a lot but as her speech develops they play more and more

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Sun 14-Dec-14 22:45:31

I agree with Middleagedmother, mind are nearly 9 and nearly 11 and no particular stage stands out as being the hardest, but we do have short phases of them winding each other up constantly, or other behaviour problems, then they get better again, personally I'm dreading the possibility of them both being at university at the same time. I'd ssy the good spells outweigh the bad overall.

BlessedAndGr8fulNoInLaws4Xmas Sun 14-Dec-14 23:03:04

Agree with Middleaged and Whoknows.
Things don't really get "easier" as such- they just alter and become stressful at times for different reasons... The arrival of hormones for both boys and girls creates a minefield for us parents.

BlessedAndGr8fulNoInLaws4Xmas Sun 14-Dec-14 23:06:48

You may find it less physically demanding in a few years, but tbh the emotional demands heighten and they can be pretty tough at times . It's a long haul!

furcoatbigknickers Sun 14-Dec-14 23:10:16

I gave 4 but eldest are 13 and 10. They get less intense and obviosly with school you have a period of time apart but new problems too.

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Sun 14-Dec-14 23:34:47

Yes, school gives you time apart, but it brings with it other issues such as friendships and homework. There have been days when within 2 minutes of them appearing at the school gate at 3.15 I'm ready to explode, they both come out talking at the tops of their voices, disagreeing about what to do after school etc. We've got one with pre-teen attitude/hormones and the other won't be far behind. On the other hand the practical stuff gets easier as they get more independent.

GrouchyKiwi Sun 14-Dec-14 23:39:14

Well that's crushing. I've two DDs who are 2.9 and 4 months and I'm finding this really hard!

Ohnodisaster Sun 14-Dec-14 23:41:50

Mine are 5 and 2 and since youngest was started walking at around 12 months I've found it harder and harder tbh.

Get occasional glimmers of hope when they play nicely for 5 minutes or so but generally it's squabbling, attention seeking and destruction.

Alone, the 5 year old is delightful company and the 2 year old is the usual toddler combination of horrendous and wonderful but together they would test the patience of a saint.

momb Sun 14-Dec-14 23:48:09

I have girls (DDs 10, 15 +SDs 12, 14, 17) and I have to say that with girls (all of them) I've found 9-11/12 the hardest. Before then they accept your authority so even if they do mad things you are still the one they turn to for a hug, although the logistics are hardest when they are small. From about 13 they have external pressures and withdraw into themselves but as long as communication is open they will talk about the big stuff and appreciate what you do to some degree even if they don't openly acknowledge it, but the preteen years: all hormones and need for autonomy without heed to consequences, lack of respect, awful. Just the last 2 to squeeze through the process whoop!

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Mon 15-Dec-14 07:10:31

Yes, that sounds exactly like my DS (10), constantly backchatting and pushing the boundaries, although he can be absolutely delightful too, it's like having two different people. DD (8) is still at the very affectionate and cooperative stage, it's going to be tough if she goes the same way soon too. However it is offset by us all spending more time apart and them being much more independent generally.

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Mon 15-Dec-14 07:13:05

Oh and while they argue a lot, in between they are the best of friends, I found them all cuddled up together on the sofa giggling their way through a film the other day.

Artandco Mon 15-Dec-14 07:20:33

Probably the newborn and 15 month stage. As both still babies really. Now 3 and 4 years and I find it fairly chilled out.

BlackbirdOnTheWire Mon 15-Dec-14 07:27:04

Mine are 5 and 2 and I am finding this stage bloody difficult. When they were 3.9 and 1, it was hard, but in a different way and not as hard as now.

But then, my 5yo is still incredibly fussy wth food, it's draining having every meal greeted with screams of "yuck!", my 2yo still doesn't sleep (came into our room 6 times last night...), and both of them argue back and negotiate over everything. They can never accept anything - not even a simple comment like "it's going to rain today" - "no it's not" "how do you know?" "I don't think it is" "well, I'm not taking my coat" etc. Exhausting, especially with two of them doing that constantly.

They fight with each other, you separate them, then whilst you're telling one off, the other will reappear, put their arms round the first in solidarity and shout at you not to tell their sibling off!!!

I find the non-school days easier tbh - it's always such a rush trying to get to school for drop-off and pick-up, and DC1 is so tired all the time. I hate that period after school, DC1 comes out ready to pick fights, on the verge of tears due to tiredness, and walking home is an ordeal.

TheFirstOfHerName Mon 15-Dec-14 07:43:02

With my older two (who are two years apart) I am not looking forward to the stage when one is in Year 13 and the other is in Year 11.

With my younger two (twins) every stage seems bloody hard. 2015 brings KS2 SATs and secondary transfer.

nooka Mon 15-Dec-14 07:43:32

For me, the first two years of having both of them were really really hard, and everything subsequently has just got better and better. There is a 16mth gap between them and it was very intense when they were small. Neither dh or me are very keen on babies, and having two at once really hit our relationship badly. If we loved babies I expect it might have been very different.

They are 14 and 15 now and sure there have been difficult moments in the last 13 years, but nothing as relentless as the disturbed nights, dependency and screaming of their baby times. I like children way more than babies, even teenagers (and generally my two are fairly delightful, and even when they are awful they are quite funny).

I think things really started to change when they became proper friends with each other as from that point on dh and I weren't the centre of their universes, plus when they started to talk and I could find out what was going on in their heads a bit more and we all stopped being quite so frustrated.

meadowquark Mon 15-Dec-14 09:36:53

Mine are 6 and 4 and it has become much easier since DS2 stopped needing a pushchair. They play together, they are independent and I can have a reasonably "grown-up" chat with both of them. It is fab stage and I am finally enjoying my motherhood.

juneau Mon 15-Dec-14 09:43:22

It sounds like you're in it, TBH. Once your DD starts school next Sept though it should be easier as you'll only have one DC at home most of the time. I found age 1-3 to be really hard with both my boys, but the general trend has been positive since then. However, two at home, bickering and fighting, is always tough. Hang in there - and get out of the house as much as you can to give them fresh air. Being cooped up at home at this time of year isn't great either.

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Mon 15-Dec-14 09:51:57

I really enjoyed the last year before my second DC started school, it was the first time I had any free time to myself during the day as DC2 was at pre-school for 5 half days and I had taken voluntary redundancy (previously whenever they were at childcare I was working). I also had lots of time on my own with just DD and we enjoyed lots of going to the park, playing in the garden, lunch in cafes together. Obviously still did this stuff with both of them outside school times, but it was lovely to have regular one to one time with DD like I had had with DS before she was born. That was one of the nicest years IMO.

PlumpingUpPartridge Mon 15-Dec-14 10:02:20

I was actually considering this yesterday, as I watched DS1 (3.6) and DS2 (2.5) playing together. I HATED the 1-2yo stage as both my boys were right little grumpy arsey monsters, so I am loving DS2's sudden new tendency towards a) compliance, b) reasonableness and c) grace sort of.

Mind you I am not enjoying DS1's tendency to push my buttons, manipulative little sod that he is grin

I found the 'little baby' (<6mo) stage hard with both of them, and the 1-2yo stage. It got much physically easier after that, if more mentally taxing....

Oh and this is completely how I see it: For me, the first two years of having both of them were really really hard, and everything subsequently has just got better and better.

ReallyTired Mon 15-Dec-14 10:05:26

I think that the toddler stage and the teen stage are very similar. At both ages children are pushing the boundaries and want independence beyond what they are capable off.

At the moment I fully understand why the upper classes send their teenagers off to boarding school.

Ihateparties Mon 15-Dec-14 10:29:46

We have a similar age gap to you, ds was 3y5m when dd was 12m, they are now 7y3m and 4y10m and it's LOADS easier. They sleep, if they wake in the night for no particular reason (which they often do) they don't automatically wake me anymore, not because I asked them not to just because they realised they don't need to. They feed themselves, get their own drinks, tidy their stuff sort of and are capable of something approaching meaningful conversation at least some of the time. If we momentarily ignore the existence of 2y10m dd2 then compared to how it was when they were the ages of your dc now then the whole experience for me is x100 more relaxed.

Realistically I found it tricky during the whole period the youngest child was a physical danger to themselves throughout all of their waking hours (varies per child but tended in our house to be late in the game, somewhere just after 3rd birthday). We have close friends whose children take a very different physical approach and things were calmer for them at an earlier stage, probably when the dcs were 3.5-4 and 18m-2.

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