Coping with 2 under 2(14 Posts)
I have 2 DSs, 21 months and 4 months old and am on maternity leave. DS1 goes to nursery 1 day a week and my DM comes to help me most weeks for a day. DS2 is exclusively BF and refuses to take a bottle no matter what i do!
My problem is that i feel like a sinking ship! DS2 cosleeps and feeds every 2 hrs so i never get a stretch of sleep. DS1 is at the age where he he runs around opening all of the cupboards and drawers and is impossible keep still for a second. He is a terrible napper and will sleep at midday for between 20 min to 1 hr but but does sleep through the night in his own room from 7pm-6am.
All of the advice i have read is to do an activity in the morning but DS1 will fall asleep in his puschair on the way back and i live in a second floor flat with stairs only so i’d have to either stay out and miss my only chance of a tiny break or wake him with no guarantee he will nap again later.
At the moment i am staying in all morning with them and trying to go for a walk in the afternoon which is a feat in itself, getting them both down and wrestling with the buggy which lives in the car boot!
All i’ve done this morning is shout “don’t do that” a thousand times to DS1 while tending to DS2 who is poorly and stick cbeebies on. I feel like a crap mum and don’t know what to do to make life easier. My DH works FT and does more than his fair share when he is here but i get a feeling of dread every time he walks out of the door to go to work.
We’ve had a blazing row this morning because he said “that’s just the life of a mum” when i complained about how hard i was finding it and i in turn went ballistic. I don’t know how to stop feeling like this. Please help!
It gets better I promise
16 months between mine and I felt the same until the littlest was 9 months at least. And only felt like I was enjoying things since the little one turned 15 months or so. They're 18 months and 2y 10mo now and it's MUCH better and they love each other so much!!
I'd say don't beat yourself up and accept help. Meet people out (especially people with only 1 kid themselves, or none if possible!!). It will all be worth it soon, but for now I'd say just treading water is fine and you're probably doing a great job, you just have zero time to reflect on it!
I hope that hasn't made you feel worse, but if it's anything like my experience, things get better as they get older. Be kind to yourself xx
Mmm. I had a 'that's just the life of a mum' type comment just once from DP when ours were both under 2.
Right that's it, I said. If that's your attitude then I'm going back to work full-time as of now and you can be sahp. He actually went pale.
I found 4 months old exhausting with dc1 and genuinely hellish with dc2 when I had a toddler to cope with as well. I look back on that summer (2015) and shudder, but the one just gone was utterly lovely in comparison.
I really think while they're both so little the thing is to get through each day as pleasantly as possible and absolutely don't worry about what you should or shouldn't be doing with them. Things will get so much easier in a few months and then you can start stretching your wings.
I have 13 months between both of mine. The first year was the hardest. It does get way better though. Once youngest reached 12 months and was actively playing more it made it far easier to engage them more in activites. The thing I love them most about there are gap is there bond. They do fight with each other bit are there for each other. My 4 year old has development delay and my nearly 3 year old protects him a great deal. Just today he told the SLT that he's not just my brother he's my best friend.
It is hard. Could you put the 4 month old in a sling and a harness on the 21 month old and go for a short walk?
Your DH will be fine. Send him a quick text and clear the air.
To occupy your DS you could set him at the kitchen table with some toys/a basin of water and some plastic cups/paper and crayons/a snack. Put the 4 month old in a safe place like a cot/playpen/bouncer and get yourself a cup of tea and something nice to eat.
It will get better. If/when you're struggling, don't hide it. Ask for help. People may not realise how hard you're finding it.
Thank you all for the replies. DS1 is currently napping in his cot and DS2 on me which at least gives me a tiny bit of peace and quiet for the moment.
I do try to tell myself it will get better but it’s difficult to stay reasonable when you’re sleep deprived. At least i know i’m not alone and can stop feeling guilty for not enjoying every minute. Who knew it would be this hard?!
Don't try to be reasonable! Stick CBeebies on, order a load of absorbing toys for dc1 (mine was mesmerised by toot toot cars at that age / aqua doodle / tea set and toy food / books with buttons you press to make noises etc etc), put your feet up whenever dc2 allows and make sure you have a constant supply of
It'll all come right. Look after yourself
20 month gap here. It was very tough going tbh. Neither child slept well at night until they were 2 and they were fairly crap nappers too. And both of them wanted to be held/breastfed almost the whole time for the first six months or so.
I promise it does get better.
Mine are 2 and a half and 4 now and are like two peas in a pod, it’s lovely to watch their very strong bond. Yes they fight a bit but play nicely quite a lot too. And activities-wise are clearly a similar age which helps an awful lot.
Hang in there, it is definitely hard work but it pays off.
I have 20 months between my two so know how hard it is!
I think it would be good for all of you to try and get out the house in the mornings. To stop the toddler falling asleep, try and get out by 9 and go to the park or for a walk. Then he should hopefully sleep better at lunchtime. If you give him a snack on the way home and keep talking to him he should hopefully stay awake.
It's a complete ball ache, but I actually set the table for breakfast and get my bag and the kids' stuff ready the night before. It makes getting out the house so much easier.
I find getting out really helps, otherwise the hours are endless at home on your own with two!
Be kind to yourself, you're doing a great job!
You need sticky cupboard latches to keep them shut and DS1 out. Childproof thingys that are really cheap, sticky and do the job.
Coffee to keep you going until DS2 starts sleeping better. Don't think about the night just gone when you get up, the day always seems better when you are a couple of hours in.
If lunch is impossible, make sandwiches for you all the night before and stick them in the fridge.
Cbeebies is not the end of the world in this early stage while things are hard. It won't be forever.
Podcasts are my friend. Have something you enjoy on in the background and put both DC on the floor to play with toys. You can supervise/cuddle/feed while vaguely listening to something adult.
Can you get out early even just fit a walk in the park so you're back before DC1's nap? Also carriers are a godsend. I have 4 month old DD in mine and she will feed and sleep in there too, allowing me to run around after the older one.
Your DH has no idea how hard it is. Get him to hold the baby and watch them both for an hour or two each weekend so you can have a bath alone, or a coffee somewhere, or whatever gives you a tiny bit of sanity.
Thanks again all. I managed a lovely walk yesterday afternoon with DS2 in the sling and apart from the epic tantrum getting DS1 in his pushchair and getting up the stairs afterwards, it made the day a lot better.
I think i will try to get out early in the morning. Maybe if i leave at the same time as DH then i only have to deal with getting them back up to the flat after our walk.
We’ve had the sticky latches in their packaging since before DS2 was born. Another thing on the to do list that never seems to get done though!
Oh god I know that awful sinking feeling when you see them falling asleep on the way back and there’s nothing you can do about it. I’ve been known to do quite desperate things to keep my dd awake such as carry her a lot of the way and push an empty buggy, not so easy when you have two. Can you get him to walk a lot of the way home instead? Or a snack to keep him awake? Disney songs on YouTube on your phone? I have the same age gap and getting out in the morning is a must for me, it’s when I’ve got the most energy even after a crap night and I find dd naps better if we’ve been out and burnt some energy. It also means I feel less guilty about a chilled afternoon sponsored by cbeebies.
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