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What's it like going from 1 to 2 children?

(48 Posts)
CoffeeTwo Mon 10-Aug-15 15:26:16

I'm 25 weeks pregnant and have one DS 3.5. DS is a little treasure and slotted quite nicely into our lives. We're lucky to have good family support and I only work part time. I've been merrily assuming that DS2 will slot alongside him and life will continue as it is.

Only it's just occurred to me that that might not happen. DS2 might be very different, what if I'm being naive about being a mother of two. I'd love to hear your experiences.

notascooby007 Mon 10-Aug-15 18:07:27

I think the realisation that you've got to split yourself between the 2 is the hardest if 1 cries whilst your dealing with the other you've got to decide whether to leave the 1 you've been with to deal with the crying child or leave the crying child to carry on doing whatever you was doing. You need to be more organised and getting out the front door takes a little longer. Seeing them loving and playing with each other makes it all worth while .

HeyMicky Mon 10-Aug-15 18:18:13

I found having the first harder than adding the second. But we're very organised as a family, we have a cleaner, PILs live nearby, we have a big house with a playroom to contain the mess, neither has any health issues, DD1 is old enough to mostly toilet and dress herself and she does three mornings a week at nursery. All of these things make life relatively easy. DD2 just slotted in.

I am finding that my relationship with DH has taken more of a hit than it did after DD1. We're more tired, have much less down time, our focus is split between the DDs. It will get better as they get older, but for me that's the biggest concern

Eva50 Mon 10-Aug-15 19:41:08

Ds2 did not just fit in as ds1 did. He was much harder work as he had reflux and feeding problems and ds1 was just hitting the terrible twos. However I look back on those first months with my two boys as one of the best times in my life. They are 19 and 18 now!

Roseybee10 Mon 10-Aug-15 20:15:39

I'll be honest and say I found the second much harder sorry.
Everyone told me the second would be easier and I think I went in with false expectations.
Some things were much easier like just knowing what to do with a baby.
But dd2 had really awful reflux and is generally a more demanding baby or maybe j just find her more demanding as I have to split my time between two. I can't just let her sleep on me because I have to spent time with my 2 year old too.

I also had a bit of pnd with dd2 and bonding issues due to the feeding problems we've had.
Dd2 is 6 months now and the last two months have been so much easier. I'm really glad I'm taking the year off this time as I'm enjoying it so much more now.

I'm not trying to scare you or be negative. I wouldn't change any of it for the world and my girls adore each other. Just don't be afraid to admit when you're struggling and TALK to people and ask for help. I hid it for ages which made it worse.

ZebraZeebra Mon 10-Aug-15 20:18:08

I don't want to lie - I've found it very hard. But my DS is younger than your DD. He was just over two when DD was born in March. He's now 2 3/4 and she's nearly 6 months. He's lovely with her but I've struggled with:

A very screamy baby when the toddler needs me and wanting to give my toddler the emotional things he needs while holding a wriggling or screaming baby who is trying her best to get my attention. Or a baby who will not be put down and yells if I do, but the toddler is also resisting something like teeth brushing that sometimes requires a more robust approach.

No sitting around in cafes or watching boxsets while establishing BFing this time around - a quick feed perched on a bench in the cold and tense, waiting to leap up, throw the baby in the buggy and run after toddler.

Going through toddler tantrums and hitting or pushing phases, while out with newborn who has just done a poonami or is cluster feeding or whatever. It's all just so much more hard work.

Having very disturbed nights with the baby, and then facing a long day with a super energetic toddler.

Just the overall physicality of having a toddler and their needs - all the up and down of getting drinks or snacks and playing with them and colouring in and the endless, endless requests - while having the velcro baby attached to you.

So I don't know - that list seems very negative but I just wanted to be realistic. It's bloody hard work. I am exhausted all the time. And my PFB was sooooooo easy. So super chilled out. And my DD just. Is. Not. She is NOT happy with anyone but me and will work herself into such a state if I am not holding her. I am really taken aback by the difference in them.

But, they are lovely. I could not do without them and it's spectacular seeing another child of mine who is so like my DS but then so different and so wonderful. And these are the hard years...or so i tell myself. And your DD will be nearly four and that is SO different to a nearly three year old. It's hard but it's worth it, basically!

GoooRooo Mon 10-Aug-15 20:20:35

Argghhh this thread is so scary.

33 weeks pregnant with DC2.

Yukky Mon 10-Aug-15 20:28:15

I felt like a good parent until I had two. Like roseybee everyone said second babies slept more and were more relaxed... They lied!!! Dd2 is wonderful but such a Velcro baby and has only once slept 7pm-5am (she's 13 months). The rest of the time she will only do max 4.5hr stretches of sleep - and that's if we're lucky!!

I haven't enjoyed my maternity leave half as much this time round. I loved it first time and devastated to leave dd1 to go back to work. Much easier to leave them both this time wink But I'm sure much of that is because I'm tired and brain dead as a result.

It's wonderful having two, and watching their bond develop is magical. If I can do it I think anyone can!

trilbydoll Mon 10-Aug-15 20:29:15

DD2 cries a lot more than I remember DD1 doing. But she gets dumped in the swing / bouncy chair etc because I have to deal with DD1, whereas I never put DD1 down really.

Going out is easier than staying in because DD2 will sleep in the sling / car / pushchair but at home can't cope with DD1 buzzing around and ends up an overtired mess.

I feel like I miss stuff that DD2 does, she's nearly 12w and I have no idea when she first smiled. DH just asked if I'd seen how good she is holding her head up on her front, I had no idea. Having said that, I discovered last weekend that DD1 knows her shapes and I had no idea of that either, so maybe I am a spectacularly disinterested parent.

DD1 likes cuddling her which is sweet, and I can see in the future it'll be nice to have them playing together. So far it has been more fire fighting though!

Yukky Mon 10-Aug-15 20:30:19

Nodding and high-fiving zebra

Yukky Mon 10-Aug-15 20:32:37

Oh and just to really piss you off, your figure doesn't pop back as easily after no2 either angry

TrivLiv Mon 10-Aug-15 20:35:14

I have a similar gap between Dd1 and Dd2. It's not too bad. Some things are harder and some things are easier.

It is harder to establish breastfeeding as Dd1 wanted to be entertained but she was old enough to understand and is patient mostly

I had to learn to stop trying to recreate my first year with Dd1 and enjoy a totally new kind of experience.

What I didn't expect is when Dd1 was a baby she only had eyes for me. Dd2 just adores Dd1. Nobody else comes close or can make her light up the way Dd1 does.

I also didn't expect Taylor Swift to feature quite so much in this maternity leave smile Thanks dd1

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 10-Aug-15 20:39:20

I'm not going to lie,as I kind of felt it'd been kept secret from me.
I expected the arrival of my first to be hard -everyone tells you about that.
But the real shock to me was stepping up from one to two.
Mind you,mine are only 18 months apart.

ZebraZeebra Mon 10-Aug-15 20:39:23

But the thing is gooorooo you will get through it. And there'll be really hard times, but then there'll be super lovely, wonderful heart-hurting moments of joy too. I would just prepare myself for hard work because even if - and I'm hoping all these second babies are! - you have a great sleeper and chilled out baby second time around, it's still hard work just because frankly, it's hard work. And I don't say all that to be mean. I just think it's better to have low expectations and have it be better than you thought than be told it'll be dead easy, and then feel like a failure because you - like a completely normal person - find it really hard.

GoooRooo Mon 10-Aug-15 20:40:42

My first baby didn't sleep for two years. Surely I am due a break with this one? wink

Roseybee10 Mon 10-Aug-15 20:40:48

Lmao at Taylor swift. YES!! Same here.
On a positive note I snapped back much quicker from dd2 than dd1. Was back in my size 10 jeans within a week and back to pre preg weight by 10 weeks. Took me 6 months after dd1.
No time to eat!!! Lol.

Roseybee10 Mon 10-Aug-15 20:41:22

Oh and also dd2 sleeps so much better than dd1.

ommmward Mon 10-Aug-15 20:45:50

When pregant with my second, a really good friend said

"at 6 weeks, you'll wonder what the hell you have done, and think your family has been destroyed. At 12 weeks, it won't be ok yet, but you'll be beginning to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel."

I am eternally grateful to her. (it wasn't properly "ok" for a good long while after 12 weeks, but it really really is ok now, and my children are the best of friends - it WAS the right thing to do for my first child, and for the rest of us)

Puffykins Mon 10-Aug-15 20:55:43

In a way, I found it easier having two than one. Those interminably dull periods vanished, because I was busy ALL the time. And they love each other, and play together, and it was the best thing I ever did. And you've got a slightly bigger age gap, which should make it easier, as presumably your DS is old enough to reason with. I treated them the same as quickly as I could which made it easier - ie fed the same at the same time, bathed together, bed at the same time etc. Good luck! (Oh, and thebest thing was not being pregnant anymore....)

Christelle2207 Mon 10-Aug-15 21:03:02

I'm 11 weeks in with number 2. Bloody hard work but possibly not quite as nightmareish as I was expecting, I think because DS1
(2) has taken to it all rather better than I expected, has got used to me holding/bf DS2 most of the time for example.
As a pp said it is a tough time for me and dp, at night time he deals with the toddler and often co-sleeps in the spare room with him while I co-sleep with the baby.
There are no lie ins for either of us, ever!
About a week in I had a "wtf have we done" moment: We got pg very quickly with ds2 and tbh never really discussed the implications of having 2, we just thought we wanted 2!shock

However i can see clearly now that both will benefit from each others' company when a bit older.
My main worry atm is the cost of childcare when I rtw!!

duckyneedsaclean Mon 10-Aug-15 21:08:02

I've always said it's more than twice as hard. Lovely of course, but demanding.

Puffykins Mon 10-Aug-15 21:09:04

In retrospect, I think the reason I didn't think it was too terrible was because everyone told it was going to be just dreadful. My mother kept telling me it was going to be the hardest year of my life )and then came nowhere near me or the children for about - oh actually she still hasn't come to visit and it's three years now.

duckyneedsaclean Mon 10-Aug-15 21:10:42

Mind you, ds1 was 17 months when ds2 was born.. Maybe that had something to do with it.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 10-Aug-15 21:12:19

I found the first year of two children (2 years apart) the hardest of my whole life. It is more than twice as hard, juggling the demands of a toddler and a newborn is hard. But at three months, when the second one started to sleep right through from 7-7 there was a chink of light as I had some evenings back.

Sleepingbunnies Mon 10-Aug-15 21:13:22

DD2 was an absolute dream baby. The year I had at home with her and DD1 who was 2.7 when she was born I think was the best year of my life. About to do it again next year with DC 3 smile

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