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Worried about parenting 2 children.(31 Posts)
Expecting my second in a few weeks and I’m just terrified I’m going to fail both my children. My first will be 2yrs & 6mths he is a great wee boy smart and sweet but he is hard work, as toddlers are.
I don’t have a great deal of support in my partner I just can’t see how it’s all going to work especially if I manage to bf and still be able to meet the needs of my toddler.
What have you all done to make life easier. What worked? How do I manage my own expectations. Any advice on how to cope will be much appreciated.
It's harder getting out with 2! I used a sling for dc2 as dc1 was still needing a buggy sometimes. It's still hard getting out and dc2 is now 2
I find having 2 really tough at times but it's mainly because I've a 3 year age gap so activities can be difficult.
I'd say realistically it takes about 6-12 months for dc1 to settle into having a sibling, their behaviour does regress and become more challenging for a while.
You will be fine
Thank you for replying was starting to think it was a daft question/worry and there was all these highly functioning parents with 2 thinking I was mental lol. I’m sure there is others thinking im mental worrying about just two lol.
Yeah I used a sling loads with dc1 so was anticipating much of the same with dc2 I did buy a cheapie double so hopefully that will help with outings but I’m not the most sociable anyway so maybe not a massive concern 😂.
Oh wow I’m hoping he takes it in his stride but I think that’s wishful thinking and he has already started to slide a little lol.
Thanks again for the reassurance.
Ask for support as soon as you need it.
My poor sis is currently in a mother and baby mental health unit as 2 under 3 caused her anxiety to become uncontrollable.
Her husband is working and her other child is with the minder.
She should get out soon (never had any mental health issues before, but they are strongly prevalent in our family).
Don't try to be superwoman.
Easy meals at least 1/2 times a week. Fish fingers and baked beans is a fine meal!
Can the budget stretch to a cleaner? I try to get my 2yr old involved with the cleaning and other chores - he loves the hoover. This is so I can rest with the baby when he naps (does your little one nap still?)
Lower your standards
Does your son go to nursery? If so try to keep him in a day or two a week - will keep him busy and give you a chance to rest/ do things with the baby.
You say your DH isn't much help - what does he do? I find getting us all ready in the morning and bath/bedtime the most difficult logistically. Does he help with these? My DH starts work early but is back to help with bath and bed. Would you be able to persuade your DH to step up?
Pack the changing bag/ have stuff ready the night before. (Should take my own advice here!)
Try to go to bed early - I find I just get my baby settled after an early morning feed when my son wakes up which means my day starts at 5.30 sometimes.
Do you have friends/ family around to help? My mum comes over one day a week to help which is a godsend.
I try to get out everyday - trying to wear my toddler out so he naps. Things seem harder when we stay at home.
I dreaded having 2 - I am almost 4 months in now and have found our new normal. You will find your own way - good luck!
I have a 3.5 year old and a 10 week old.
My methods of coping are:
1) I send my older child to Pre-school three days a week.
2) On the days he is home I make sure we go out somewhere, even if just for a short while to break up the day.
3) I bribe my older one with Skittles to get him to leave the baby alone when it sleeps.
4) I let my older one spend more time on an iPad than is ideal.
5) I eat a LOT of chocolate.
My husband was away a lot so I found a teenager on my street who sometimes came and read bedtime stories to my 2 year old while I put the baby to bed
You will discover that you can breastfeed while doing many other thinga!
Remember lots of tv is fine its not forever.
My DS2 is nearly 1, his big brother 3, and I’m still struggling to cope some days. The beginning can be extra tough if you end up having a c section (like me) - fingers crossed for you that won’t be the case!
Things that have helped /been useful:
- Going for lots of walks, my toddler loved helping me push the pushchair with baby in it
- Sling + buggy combo as PP have said
- On really bad days I take them somewhere that requires a bit of a drive - half an hour in the car is usually the most peaceful it gets nowadays!
- Get out of the house pretty much every day, even if it’s just to the car wash / shops / walk around the block etc.
Be prepared to be more sleep deprived and exhausted than you ever were with just one child. Good luck!
P.S. also I second getting a cleaner if you can at all afford it, I’ve had one since baby was about 10 months old, wish I’d done it sooner!!
2.3 and I months here. Going through a rough patch tbh. Baby has been crawling and now cruising, and is into everything way more than toddler ever was. Jealousy is coming out nowith baby is mobile. Toddler not speaking so frustrated too. Oh and top it off, baby has been poorly for 2 days, now toddler cowing down with it. They both want me. H is stbxh. I cried at a woman whof smiled at me as toddler screamed round sainsbury ear lier.
But, it's not all bad and it's certainly not always like it . I've resopted to youtube and smarties to bribe the toddler. So much easier. Pick your battles try to get qua little time just you and toddler. My second is a blessing, so laid back.
No advice but I’m in the same boat. Baby due in Feb when my daughter will be 19 months.
Eeeeeeeek excited and terrified at the same time!
I’m planning to leave her routine the same with Nursery so she will be there three days a week as I’m hoping that’s good for her and keeps her busy and occupied.
I’m also planning to accept a lot of help from my MIl who lives 15 mins away.
not a silly question at all, in fact it's taken 2 years for me to feel that I'm able to cope properly
The one to two transition was hard and still at times is, but..... so worth it, don't try to be superwoman, as long as kids are fed, clean and loved that is enough for the first few months. I tried to do too much too soon and wish I'd just chilled out.
Some great advice given here, good luck with the birth
We have the same age gap. We kept our eldest in nursery 3 times a week so the baby has 1-1 time. I use the sling to go out with both so I have both hands for the elder one to scooter/ ride her bike. If the baby is feeding/ sleeping on me we do quiet games like reading, puzzles or watch Bear Hunt again.
Our baby is 6 months now and it’s definitely easier now. They both love each other and he beams as soon as his big sister enters the room.
You will definitely need real life support. Why doesn't your partner help? That will need to change once the baby arrives.
Good luck! The early months are hard but I actually enjoyed mat leave way more second time round!
Op my partner doesn't help much either. He did nothing when we had one . He does share bedtime with me now but really is not supportive . This is really one of the most difficult things to deal with. It's a couple start disappointment . I do hope you have freads or family for support too.
I have a 4 week old and a 2 year old. It's hard and I'm shattered but it's doable. I have a cleaner and the toddler is in nursery 2 days a week. If you can afford either do it. Have low standards for food and housework. Use your double pram - if your toddler is strapped in they can't run away or cause chaos.
I do look back and wonder how I found having one so hard.
I definitely second lower your standards. Just little hacks to make life easier....Bath kids every few nights if not filthy, loads of tv (you tube kids on a tablet has been a life saver!), easy meals (a cold tea can be just as nutritious as a hot one) and getting to bed early. I got out to my groups as soon as my stitches healed a bit and it helped the toddler feel like life was normal again. Good luck with your new baby, expect it to be shit and you may be pleasantly surprised, but if it is shit, think about your PFB and how quickly the time goes and that will stop you stressing.
Also get lots of easy clothes ready for all of you so you can just grab outfits and not have to think about what goes together. My 6 month old still wears a baby grow every day as I don't have time to sort out his cute little outfits!
My dd1 only started getting used to her little sister after about 2 years I'd say. This is when my dd2 probably became 'interesting' to her (being able to talk and play).
Lots of good advice here.
The only thing I'd add is routine to get boring house jobs done. So Thursday is towel wash day, Friday is bed wash day. Have cooking nights (get your DH to do some if he's home) and batch cook whenever you get a decent opportunity. It takes the mental load off a bit because you're doing things on autopilot.
For me, things have been hard to start but the birth coincidedate with marriage breakdown really. Then easier. Now a bit harder again as baby is mobile, weaning and toddler becoming more challenging.
I second day getting a routine for certain jobs . I wash up before bed so the kitchen is clean and clear for the morning. I sweep downstairs after breakfast (and most meals) put a wash on overnight so it's ready to dry in the morning. Don't stress if you don't do any of it as I've struggled to with them both being ill.
Actually the routine thing is true for me too.
Towels one day, beds another.
I put a wash on most days otherwise I seem to develop a washing mountain and it is hard to get it back down.
Once the children are asleep me and DH spend 10 mins blitzing the house - wipe down kitchen, dishwasher, folding laundry etc.
I have thought of another one - eat with your toddler.
It is definitely more manageable with DH's help - he travels for work frequently and so I often have 2/3 nights a week when he is away. I definitely feel more frazzled on these days. I have no idea how single parents do it.
I just realised read your post, things to make life easier. For me, giving the baby a bottle very early on (5 days old) he's had one bottle a day most days since then. This means that while I put the toddler to bed, husband can give the baby his bottle and get him to sleep. This is about the only 1-1 time I get with toddler on a normal day. In the early days there was some crYong from baby, husband getting stressed out etc but I learnt to just leave them to it and it soon became routine. Baby is otherwise bf but after my first refused a bottle I was keen for the second to take one. It means I can leave him with my mum for a bit if I want or need to .
I get out of the house every day. To start I did two baby groups a week, swimming once a week. A walk most afternoons .
To those saying childcare and cleaner, yes absolutely if you can afford it. I couldnt, but have managed to budget toddler going to pre school twice a week. This tough hasn't made my life much easier. The sessions are 3 hours, I drive ten minutes there and back. Factor in 5-10 minutes parking, getting baby and toddler out of car, and 10 minutes settling toddler in (atm) I do think get time to do much other than feed and a quick play with baby!
Mil will have toddler once a weekey ad will have him overnight if I want. I felt horribly guilty about this to start with but I need that time . It helps a lot.
I had the same gap as you and a partner who worked very long hours, so not much help.
Some things that helped me -
Don’t worry about the amount of tv time for the toddler during the first few weeks. Use it as much as you need.
Have plenty of activities that the toddler can do by themselves for a bit.
Take them out as much as you can. I had a double buggy and walked loads. I had a raincoat with a hood and would walk to the library or supermarket if it was raining, otherwise it was parks.
A couple of groups a week too.
Prep lunch and dinner in the morning when everything seems a bit calmer.
Get your dp to take the kids out sometimes. Put them in the buggy (if the baby is ok in it) and get him to take them for a walk to give you some time alone.
Leave the kids at home with your dp too and pop out for a walk by yourself.
Those moments by myself saved my sanity.
I also had the radio on in the kitchen on radio 4 just so I could keep myself connected to the outside world and hear adult conversation.
I listened to endless radio 4 too!
I used to go to baby and toddler groups five mornings a week. Cluster feeding baby would consume plenty of milk while toddler got tired out playing. Then home for lunch (for toddler and me) baby probably sleeping in sling at this stage.
After lunch if I was lucky toddler would nap. If not it was still quiet time, do some arts & crafts, sticker books, CBeebies while I fed the baby some more. That baby (number 2) was actually quite a good sleeper so might have a long nap in Moses basket. If by enormously good fortune (yes, and some hard work & cajoling) 2 of them napped together I could tidy / clean / do laundry. I never had a cleaner. DH was working away from home during the week in those days so often I was alone Mon-Thur. But he would vacuum & mop the whole house on a Saturday morning which helped maintain a base level of cleanliness. I also started getting supermarket shopping delivered fairly quickly after baby 2 arrived.
Baby would almost certainly be back in the sling while I prepared supper. Then bath for both and In the Night Garden while baby fed.
By the time I had baby 3 my eldest was at school so routine was similar for the younger two (playgroup in the morning, lunch, nap...) but had to incorporate some school runs and after school activities for the eldest.
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