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Just how much harder is it with two?

(56 Posts)
kitkat321 Fri 17-Mar-17 22:59:04

I continue to swing back and forth between sticking with one child and having another.

My dd is 2 1/2 now - she's amazing but a bundle of energy and attitude and because she's an only child she's used to getting all of the attention and is probably a bit spoiled.

Me and DH work full time, I'm the bread winner with a high paid but demanding job. DH has a good job too butisn't well paid enough that I could drop some working days without taking a big hit on our income.

We've now got a good routine and with both of us on fully salaries we are financially in a good position which I know would change if I had a second.

I keep hearing that 1 is 1 and 2 is 10 - it's not double the work it's much more than that but how much is that influenced by the age gap?

If I fell pregnant today my dd would be 3 by the time I had another - in nursery 3 days a week and with a degree of independance but that might not be the reality.

I'm 36 now and I don't think I'd want to be much older before having another - this is a young man's game! If I'd know how physically and mentally training it was I might have had my first when I was a bit younger!

So be honest - how tough is it? Some days I feel that dd is more than enough when she's acting up, I've had a crap day at work and DH thinks it's acceptable to come home, put her to bed and then ignore the pile of washing/ironing and put his feet up and watch TV.

user1489790336 Sat 18-Mar-17 09:33:57

Hi kitkat321
i have 2 daughters one aged 6 and one aged 3. I'm not saying that it's easy but the love and joy they give to you is worthless. My husband is a great parent and I'm sure yours will be too, hope that was helpful for you.

Sarah x

Bananamanfan Sat 18-Mar-17 09:38:45

We had dc3 when dc2 was 2.5 (dc1 much older) the first few months were shocking, but they were both at home with me on my own. I've watched friends & it does seem like 2.5 year age gap is particularly challenging. They are 3.5 & 6 now & iam so glad they have each other, they are a duo. Really glad we had another.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Sat 18-Mar-17 09:43:51

We have a 3-year gap. Second DS added 4x the work, but he has added so much to the family feel and DS1 has definitely benefited from having a brother (disclaimer: they do fight a lot though as well and claim to hate each other, but always said cheerfully and I don't 100% believe them)

wobblywonderwoman Sat 18-Mar-17 09:47:15

I had a 14 month gap between mine and went back to work after five months with both. It was tough but fine!! You just get on with it.

Now they are so easy and I think they entertain each other (they are two and three)

We can nearly use some of same clothes (I.e PJs etc) and they don't wake us up as early as they talk to each other.

You pack a change bag, make breakfast, bath - two at the same time so its fine.

FirstSeemItThenBeIt Sat 18-Mar-17 09:51:10

I found it easier. After a certain point they can play together so as a parent you're not expected to be the entertainer all the time.

And watching their relationship develop is the greatest joy of my life. ❤️

MusicalChairsOh Sat 18-Mar-17 09:51:35

I have a 2.5yr old and a 1year old. Hardest part was when baby was 6 months up until now really. Both of them wanting me at the same time etc teething baby and toddler tantrums.
Newborns sleep most of the day so wasn't too hard at the beginning.
The hardest part has been just managing the toddler if I'm honest but it's been getting better since he's getting older.

IDefinitelyWould Sat 18-Mar-17 09:54:30

2yrs 3 months between mine. 4yo has read stories to little one this morning, then taught him dominoes, which they played beautifully for about 20 minutes until the 2 yo started cheating and they ended up in a full on fight. Now 4yo upstairs in a strop and 2 yo playing cars. So swings and roundabouts!

christmasmum Sat 18-Mar-17 09:54:31

Harder to start with, much easier when they get a bit older - it's swing and roundabouts really!

christmasmum Sat 18-Mar-17 09:54:53


corythatwas Sat 18-Mar-17 12:33:27

I found it x 10 in the early months, then evening out, then halved. Older children who have got used to each other and like each other can do an awful lot to entertain each other and comfort each other. Nothing like a kindly older sister to explain the world or talk through your girlfriend problems with.

not entirely sure ds' offers to beat up anybody who dumps dd have been equally helpful, but fortunately she tends to pick big blokes so unlikely to come to fruition

What made the early days difficult was not so much the extra work, but the fact that 3yo dd got stressed/jealous and had to be watched like a hawk and constantly reassured. Once we were over that hurdle, it wasn't really bad. And it is very, very sweet to see them getting joy from each other.

Soubriquet Sat 18-Mar-17 12:37:56

I have just over 2 years between my 2..

They are now 2 and 3 (Dd turns 4 next week).

It's been very tough and some days it's been even tougher. Especially when they fight. In fact, some days, I wished I had stopped at one child.

But they do adore each other and love playing with each other too. They wouldn't be without each other and I couldn't imagine being without either of them now

TheTurnOfTheScrew Sat 18-Mar-17 12:38:06

I found motherhood a total shock to the system, and so for me going from 0-1 was far harder than 1-2 (and no-one would call DC an easy child). You've already given up your social life, all your money and sleep grin.

pipnchops Sat 18-Mar-17 16:07:53

I've just had my second and a year ago I really wasn't sure whether to. One child is a total blessing and I would have been happy with just one, plus I found the newborn bit so difficult I was scared to do it again. But I took a gulp and went for it. I had a horrible pregnancy which was tough with a toddler to keep up with and I kept thinking have I made a huge mistake but as soon as DD2 arrived that all went out of the window. I love her so much and it's hard work but it's worth it. I wouldn't say it's like ten kids. It's like two. You will have your hands full but I reckon it'll pay off when they're older and can play together and give me a break! Maybe that's wishful thinking!

Munchkin1412 Sat 18-Mar-17 20:13:45

I'm in a similar situation - 2 years and three months old, 37, wondering whether to bother. Veering towards not probably - lots of risk at my age, our daughter is very happy and yes a bit spoilt but in a good way - she has everything she needs but not everything she wants...just not sure the benefit outweighs the gain although the biological clock is ticking very loudly!

Munchkin1412 Sat 18-Mar-17 20:16:17

Oh and I'm 2.10 years older than my brother and we fought like cat and dog. I'm sure my parents thought we adored each other as toddlers but actually we hated each other for a good twenty years. Siblings don't automatically get on (we're drinking buddies now but it took a long time!)

Happybee09 Sat 18-Mar-17 20:18:29

Mine are 7 years apart and boy it was tough, going back to the sleepless nights again and trying to fit the baby needs in with my first dcs busy schedule.
I also felt like I had a bit of 'me' back and not just a frumpy and frazzled mum and all that's back to square one again

That being said I think there are pros and cons to a big age gap and having them closer together

illegitimateMortificadospawn Sat 18-Mar-17 20:27:01

2y9mo between our two. I found 0>1 harder than going from 1>2. By the time #2 arrives you have a routine and have mastered all the baby basics. DS1 loved his baby brother and spent lots of time entertaining him. You do have to watch a toddler with a baby, as they put things in range/give them choke hazards out of kind-hearted sharing intent when you think the baby is safe eg in the high chair for a minute (bitter experience). The worst bit was once DS2 got properly mobile until he was about 3.5 - there were real raging meltdowns from DS1 after DS2 hulk-smashed his painstaking Lego creations. Since then, they've been great - odd bickering and tussles, but mostly great pals. They're pretty self-sufficient these days.

Someone22 Sat 18-Mar-17 20:31:06

I found two easier than one. When we had our first it was a massive change but our second just fitted right in. As she grew up the two of them entertained each other and the one to one pressure with just one, was no longer there. I hope that makes sense.

TheGrumpySquirrel Sat 18-Mar-17 20:31:31

OP if you are the higher earner can your DH not drop a day or two?

Moregilmoregirls Sat 18-Mar-17 20:35:17

I have a 3 year old who does nursery 3 mornings a week and an 8 month old and it's manageable. I do feel pulled in two directions a lot of the time and the second one does have to slot into an existing routine which concerned me but they are both lovely together already I'm happy I went for it. Good luck OP

pjsgalore Sat 18-Mar-17 21:13:21

This might sound bizarre..but I actually found two easier than one. I loved having my second. Yes I suppose there's more physically to do, but it's also somehow less intense than just one. You can't pay the first all the attention, so you don't, and they get used to it. They become less demanding. And relax a bit.

I also didn't find the nights as exhausting etc because your body is used to having less sleep. I did make sure I was super organised before DD2 came along, and I also didn't breastfeed (stopped after three weeks with DD1 owing to physical issues) - which may have contributed to the all-round more positive experience for me (the first time round was actually traumatic!) and meant feeding took less time I suppose.

But my husband and I - who found zero to one a rude shock - love our family of four. And ours is an almost three year gap. Which is great I think as the first is quite self-sufficient! They entertain each other at home and on holiday. They have company when they're watching TV etc leaving you feeling less guilty about doing something else. Yes, they sometimes fight, but overall it's been wonderful!

Good luck with your decision!

I found going from zero to one much much harder than one to two.

It kind of makes it less intense?

pjsgalore Sat 18-Mar-17 21:14:12

Sorry - not well edited post with random sentences at bottom, but you get the gist!

OhDearToby Sat 18-Mar-17 21:17:35

To be honest I've found two easier than one. Dd2 is just such a delight and dd1 has turned out to be an amazing big sister.

MargaretCabbage Sat 18-Mar-17 21:23:24

I have a 21 month gap and we're six months on and I've found it fine. I found my first baby was such an awful shock to my system that I was dreading the early days with two young children but I actually quite like it. There's not the time to worry and overthink like when you have one and you already know all the basics. I'd say two only feels like 1.5x the work. Don't know if it gets any harder a bit further in though!

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