The 20 Hardest Things About Having 2 Under 2

 

In the midst of a really bad storm, you can be so focused on trying to remain calm and get everybody through it alive that it’s not until well after the storm has passed that you think–holy shit! How did I survive that? That’s exactly how I feel about the two under two years.

The Hardest Things About Having 2 Under 2

1. If you had a C-section, you can’t pick up your toddler for six weeks. And we’re not just talking about fun romps around the house. We’re talking about getting them out of daycare and into the car, carrying them up and down the stairs, lifting them onto the changing table, and putting them in their crib. Obviously you are going to have to pick up your toddler. But not without some shooting abdominal pains and fears of something really horrible happening to your midsection.

2. You can’t nurse your newborn without worrying your 16-month old is going to fling himself into the fireplace to get your attention. This is a rational fear because it’s what your toddler threatens to do every time his arch enemy finally gets a good latch.

3. Your toddler is still too young to be left in a room alone. But he can’t sit still. If you are nursing, you will rarely have the luxury of doing it sitting down.

Isaiah, the day we brought his newborn brother home

Isaiah, the day we brought his newborn brother home

4. There is a high possibility that you will open the front door with one boob hanging out of your nursing tank.

5. Your toddler has not yet learned how to wait for anything, especially food. Meals are prepared under a blizzard of wails. And when your newborn starts eating solid food, you have to feed it to him. Every single spoonful. Which means the days of feeding the toddler cheese chunks while you shove some organic “chickn” nuggets into the oven are over. You are strapped to your newborn’s highchair, so you better have dinner ready for your toddler, too.

6. You live on a diet of Cheerios, “chickn” nuggets, apple sauce and beer. No wonder you look like shit.

7. Your newborn thinks his Earth’s Best Split Pea Soup puree tastes fine straight from the fridge. Because that’s all he knows. You will carry immense guilt for this.

8. The aftermath of every meal will make you want to cry. Except you’re too exhausted to cry.

9. You will not have time to fix yourself a glass of water. Which is probably good since going to the bathroom is also out of the question. (Especially when your only bathroom is on the second floor.)

10. A young toddler may or may not have the attention span to watch more than five minutes of television. This young toddler may also be unsteady on his feet and runs a reasonable risk of emergency-room grade damage to himself at every corner.

11. Meanwhile, your newborn does not take to the bouncy seat, swing, or other expensive vibrating contraption happily. He may tolerate it for a couple of minutes. Then he’ll be demonstrating the strength of his lungs.

12. There’s nothing like a screaming newborn to put your toddler in the mood to destroy something.

13. Getting in and out of the car, especially in the winter, is enough to give any sleep-deprived mother agoraphobia. Unfortunately, staying at home with two young children all day, no matter how tired you are, is probably the very worst move you can make.

14. Getting into the house, especially when that involves scaling 20 steep and narrow stairs, is the bane of your existence. Each week is a new tactic. Most fail. Once you finally move to a new house, you almost wish you had video of those afternoons so you could cry for yourself.

15. The biggest goal of every weekend is getting both kids to sleep at the same time. It rarely happens, so you and your husband fall into a pattern of tag-team napping, all day long. This goes on for months.

16. Despite all of this, your husband still expects “the good stuff.” He will not get “the good stuff” and probably not “the mediocre stuff” either.

17. You wonder if having twins would have been easier because at least then people would drop off hot covered dishes and make sympathetic remarks at the grocery store. (Who am I kidding. I don’t take both of them to the grocery store.)

18. When other moms of toddlers ask what it’s like having two under two because they are thinking of getting pregnant again, you launch into an incoherent monologue about the stairs, the godforsaken stairs. Those moms avoid you.

19. Living in sickening fear that your toddler will kill the newborn. You see the news headlines: “Toddler climbs into crib and suffocates newborn.” “Toddler strikes newborn on head with Toy Story sippy cup.” “Toddler feeds organic hot dog to newborn, who chokes while mother is in upstairs bathroom.” You realize you probably need professional help

20. The heart-aching love you have for both of them as you grasp on to their last hints of baby-ness, forgetting all but #20 of the hardest things about having 2 under 2.

6 comments on The 20 Hardest Things About Having 2 Under 2

  1. Monica
    June 24, 2011 at 10:42 am (3 years ago)

    At least you don’t have the stairs anymore..!! And think of all the fun they will have together in a few more years…(hopefully…!)
    As usual…love your writing Britta:-)

    • Wendy
      June 24, 2011 at 11:10 am (3 years ago)

      Your sister-in-law Cathy shared this………..As I was getting ready to host two, rather destructive, kids for the day along with my own rambunctious 6 yr old son, I was feeling some despair at the prospect. No more….Thanks for the chuckle and best wishes for a good day :)

  2. Jen Selverian
    June 26, 2011 at 10:11 pm (3 years ago)

    Love, god you make me laugh! Great piece. Now I know where you got those great legs… the godforsaken stairs!

  3. Christin Baker
    July 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm (3 years ago)

    Britta, I laughed until I cried and we still have 8 weeks to go! Thanks fit the comic relief. Best, ctb

  4. Triplezmom
    July 27, 2011 at 10:25 am (3 years ago)

    My older two are 15 months apart. I barely remember the first 4 months of my middle child’s life, but by the time he was 2 I was actually ready to have another one. Now they are the best of friends and it’s a lot easier having them all so close in age. I promise that it gets easier.

    I do remember that whenever I nursed the younger one, I would read aloud to the older one(s). That made the likelihood of fireplace death a lot less.

  5. Kimberly
    January 9, 2012 at 10:44 pm (3 years ago)

    I just found your blog on Pinterest, and let tell you, I can relate. I have 3 less than 26 months apart (my youngest 2 are less than a year apart). My husband isn’t very involved with the day to day kid stuff, so I do most everything on my own. People are always amazed at what I can manage to do with all of them, but like I say, I do what I have to do. Anyways, things will get easier in 6 months, right? :)