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For those who have had two under two: when did you feel you were starting to claw back some time for you?(33 Posts)
I'm posting this at the end of a tough day. DS1 has an ear infection. DD2 has the squits. Between them both they've been up seven or eight times over the past week at night and I'm knackered, DH and I are so grumpy, the house is a tip, dinner was burned, I look a total state and with DD2 being only 4 months old I know I won't get a break overnight. The most fun I have right now is trailing around in the cold with the double buggy on my own with two whining ill kids but at least it gets me out of the house. Can't go to playgroup etc when they're ill, no one would thank me for that. It feels hard hard hard and I know everyone says it gets better, but I guess I need a rough idea of when that might be, to keep me sane!
I think when the eldest started at pre school. Suddenly life did seem a lot easier and it was lovely having some time on my own with ds (second child).
It is very tough when both children get ill! When they have recovered, you'll look back and wonder how you got through it!
There's 22 months between my two and the money we spent to send the eldest to part time nursery was absolutely well spent.
my 2 under 2 are now 3 and 4 and just in the past 6 months it's gotten easier. 4 year old is at school (mornings only) and 3 year old is potty trained and happy to potter about with me when I'm at home and not working.
hope things get better for you soonn,. it sucks when they are sick
Take them to playgroup. Don't talk about their illnesses and no one will know. You need it, they need it.
When DC2 sleeps through, that's when you'll start to feel things are managable. And at 4 months at least you have the hope that you may be approaching that time.
And hope is what keeps you going.
Keep on truckin'. The age gap is lovely
I feel like I'm slightly clawing some life back now, dd1 is 2.5 and going to playgroup,its just two hours, three mornings a week, and dd2, 6mnths has started going to her cot by herself at 9pm and not waking til 3am, and even then its a short feed and back to sleep til 7 or 8. And she'll be on solids soon too, so tat shoul mean I can have the occasional afternoon off, as se'll be able to be fed by dh.
I find that even having the smallest amount of time to yourself in the evenings really helps!
the other thing I should say, I can only remember well the very hard bits of the time you're in now. But I was tidying up today and found the most beautiful picture of dd and ds together when they were 2 and 1. They are cuddling each other and look so in love.
In that time when it was all so mad and tiring and just pure exhausting, I had forgotten the good bits.
So yes, goodness, those times are hard. But believe me, before you know it they are gone! And the joy of having them close together means once they are a bit bigger, they will both enjoy the same activities which is a huge boon.
It gets better month by month, you'll hardly notice it but it will.
I had 3 under 4 and my life changed about a year ago when my youngest hit 2.5.
That sounds like a long while off but you have to keep in mind that you have ready made best friends, got it all over in one go perhaps?
Days like today will keep happening, but they'll make up for it I promise. I hope anyway...
I'm afraid I can't remember when it got easier but I can tell you it is absolutely fantastic once they are 3 and 4 and from then on in - you need do nothing at all - they play play play (well and fight) all day while you get to read the paper and chill out on mumsnet (or in my case, have another one )
hard work now but payback later. hang on in there. I do remember the first 6 months as being hellish. downhilll all the way after that.
Thanks. Yes, I've had a severe sense of humour loss today - and probably lost a sense of perspective, too.
My sister has older kids and has been gardening. The thought of having the time to do something like that is just amazing to me right now. Maybe I just need to get a grip.
I guess it's just the intensity of it at the moment (16 months between them) combined with not much sleep. You're right; I'll feel better when the nights are better.
I have 18mth between my two and I would say there are peaks and troughs I do feel we are coming out the other side now.
DS1 is 2.4yrs and DS2 is 10mth. DS1 goes to playschool 3 mornings a wk money well spent and now DS2 is crawling and sleeping better so its getting easier.
Get your DP/H more involved DP has got better recently at having the boys so I can mooch off for a haircut or dinner with the girls.
It does get better and just think in a few short months they will be playing together and will be best buds. This afternoon I saw my boys playing and giggling together and it was lovely.
22mth's between mine. IMO it seemed easier once little DD was able to eat her own finger food in the highchair so they were both kept amused at the table while I could scoot about tidying or MN in peace.
It's still not easy now they are 2.11 and 13mo but we're getting there, and the giggling together is priceless. DD likes holding onto a cushion while her big brother pulls her along the laminate floor .
Mine are now 3.4 and 18mths - a 22mth age gap - and they are now a joy to be with. It got much easier when DD2 was 4.5mths, and sleeping through the night, but she was an easy baby (in contrast to DD1!). However now, it is not just easy, it is fun.
They do spend a lot of time winding each other up, but also giggle together a lot. It is also nice to be able to do things like go out for lunch with them without faffing with milk/purees etc.
And I can leave them with their dad and go for a facial once in a while!
I started thinking about a housemove when #2 was about 9m old so I guess I must have been pretty confident by then. #1 had her terrible twos between 18-30m so I was still in the thick of that. By the time #2 was 2 though, I was broody again, despite him being undiagnosed autistic spectrum and a complete PITA til pre-school!
Sympathies though, I never planned to have 2 under 2. Actually I never planned to have 2 under 5 but never managed to achieve that big an age gap! There are upsides in the longrun, I promise.
In the meantime, libraries are a godsend. They have big signs saying "Libraries Love Babies" so you should be 100% confident in sitting back on the tiny kids' sofa and letting your toddler run amok. Free, warm and if you plan ahead you can bring a takeaway coffee in with you.
I find it gradually starts getting easier, as they get older and they entertain each other more. Dd1 (3.7) has just started preschool, and it is lovely doing stuff with dd2 (2.5). Watching them together now, i am so glad they are close together, they laugh together all the time (ok, when they are not screaming 'mine' and wrestling on the floor). I remember how frazzled I felt for the first 6 months, a bit less frazzled for the next 6, etc.
Times when they are ill, or you are ill, everything just goes to pot, there is too much TV, the house looks like a bombsite (please see picture on my profile!) and you feel like crap, I think you just have to ride it out, because it will get better.
<BTW, I know it is hard, but I really wouldn't take your lo with squits to playgroup, colds aren't too bad, but nobody wants the squits!>
Mine are now 12 and 13 and it is lovely, they get on so well together, althouhgh they are opposite sexes. I do however remember when they were little sitting down and crying cos I just wanted to mow the lawn and either one or the other just cried and cried. Seems like a long time ago now, if I recall by the end of the first year things had improved immeasurably. I'm sure you will have a better day tomorrow.
I think we need to find the money for some paid help for now. Nursery, playgroup, a cleaner... .
I don't want to wish this time away, but I am doing. DH has just announced he has a sore throat AGAIN. We're all just passing the germs around, argh.
But I am smiling at the image of the two of them soon starting to interact - thanks for reminding me what it's all about.
And if the first six months are the hardest then it should all be getting so much easier by Christmas .
Thanks for cheering me up.
Do you have anyone who could come and babysit for a couple of hours one night so you and DH could get out to nearest pub, even if it's really oldmannish? I'm sure it would lighten up your relationship which is just as important as everything else but so hard to push up the do-list.
OMG, can we pretend that hippo and ramon are lying when they say it got easier when youngest was about 2.5/3 [worried emoticon!!!!].
I have a 2.5 yr old and a just turned one year old (birthday party today in fact, which is maybe why I'm feeling particularly knackered) lol, but that would give me another year and half of crappiness!!! HELLLLP!!
Also thinking of ttc #3 when I can find time to have jiggy!! >>runs off to find condoms/the pill/old grey knickers<<
Oh it's totally all right to wish the time away, my #2 was so hard going we'd be like "when he's 6m old, everything will be a doddle", then "when he's walking...", then "when he's 2..."
Just make sure you leave a bigger gap for #3 so you can really enjoy the baby stage again. #2 started pre-school just after #3 was born and, apart from the 3 schoolruns a day thing, it was wonderful being a mum of one again for a couple of hours a day.
17m between mine and I think it started to get better once the youngest could manage for five minutes without doing something life-threateningly daft (he is always doing something daft). So about 16m for us. They get on so well now (bar the fighting) at 2 and 3.5.
(And I do actually do more gardening with them now than without as I have to pass the time while I'm out in the garden with them.)
IMHO Go to playgroup. Get the eldest in some part time childcare if you can afford it then you can do some stuff with the littler one. (I have help, but I've worked full time since DS was 1 which meant I had no time for me.)
Mine are 20 months and 3.5 years (21 month gap). Things started to get easier when ds2 was about 18 months and started playing properly with ds1 and toys.
I have a 19mo gap. Can't remember when it got easier but DS is 18mo now and I've felt like I have a life for quite a while.
I did Slimming World once he was about 5mo (they adapt it for bf) and that helped - even if we'd had a bad day, I felt a lot better because I looked more like myself again!
Sometimes DH would have both on a Saturday morning and I'd pop out for an hour or so by myself - bliss! COuld you do that? I just went to the library or supermarket but it was just so lovely being on my own for a little while.
Also, once DS started consistently sleeping in the evenings, I went to a kickboxing class once a week. I used to feel fab when I got home again (looked less good, all sweaty and red-faced)
Mine are 6 & 7 and it's FAB now.
Unfortunately I can't quite remember when it got that way exactly but agree with the poster who said that by 3 & 4 it's MUCH easier.
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