I, like most everyone who has 2 kids under the age of 2, am in some form of living hell. Maybe what I would even consider to be hell on earth. Some of you may be through the woods and have hit that one year mark with your newborn where things start to get a tiny bit easier. I, sadly, am not. I am in the throws of dealing with a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old. And let me just tell you, there should be a drug for people like us just to get us through the day to day without fist sized holes in every room of our house. Fist sized holes. It happens.
So, I sit here after one of the many “worst days of my life” thinking I can use this opportunity to pour my tears into a blog post and share it with anyone willing to listen. I’m dying a slow death over here, are you? Facts about raising 2 kids, the first year:
1. You thought you had no time with one, you had all the time in the world.
Sorry, it’s true. I was blown away by how difficult one child was, until I had my second child. Suddenly my well kept house is looking like we just suffered from a 6.0 earthquake, and I literally just cleaned it up 5 minutes ago. My bi-weekly blog posts that I would conveniently write whilst drinking a cup of tea during my toddlers nap time, gone. My 5 minutes for a body shower and makeup, gone. My ability to make and eat a sandwich for lunch, gone. I have never been so hairy. Or greasy. Or all around gross.
2. This boat SUCKS.
Sorry, it’s true. Unless you have the good fortune to purchase help in the form of a night nurse and a nanny, you are in the same sucky boat as the rest of us. And it sucks. The boat sucks. And all the photos on your Facebook stream depicting these perfect family photos of trips and laughter and hair and makeup, all based on lies. Don’t believe it for a second. None of those families have it together (unless as I stated above they have hired help) and they are falling to pieces right along with you.
3. You will feel like a bad parent.
You will, from time to time, and that’s ok. Our expectations are so huge, you are bound to fail yourself. When you resort to setting your toddler down in front of a cartoon so you can have a hot minute to put the baby down without “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” being recited in a form of a scream every time you lay him in the crib, you will feel bad. When you have to leave your screaming baby for a minute to check that your toddler is safe and watching t.v. you will feel bad. It’s an insane juggling act, giving you no time for anything except the constant running from one child to the other, and at times you will feel like the ultimate failure. And of course, you aren’t.
4. The small amount of friends that stuck around for the first kid will dwindle and probably disappear
Not their fault, you are a flake now. They are sick of dealing with a person that can’t get their act together, and rightly so. They have no kids, what the hell do they know? They have no idea that you lug around a diaper bag filled with 30 lbs of crap you never need, that you have to time an outing perfectly to be sure you get back in time to pump milk, or that your baby decided to have a 30 minute nap today instead of the full hour and if you leave for lunch now it will be a nightmare because he will need a nap again too soon. I mean, how the hell are you supposed to plan anything with 2 kids? One is always sick, or teething, or sleep regressing, or whatever! Your only friends left, you will find, are other parents. That’s all you got now, unless you have a few stragglers in which case I say they are the tried and true friend to stick by you through this crap.
5. How tired are you?
Tired right? Like, the next level kind of tired. Like torture chamber tired. It’s crazy, sometimes my husband and I get like 2 hours sleep, then we have a day that starts at 6am and doesn’t end until 7pm. If you aren’t falling down from exhaustion from that schedule 7 days a week for a year, I wish I was you and would like to trade bodies. I actually got to the point where I have seen stars and could no longer feel my arms or legs. That’s the real deal. (Then you read a Facebook post about your single friend’s “really hard day” at work and there you go punching fist sized holes in the wall again).
So. Here we are. Together. All I can say is we all need to chant the same mantra together to get through this. The most important sentence of your life and the key to our survival.
“This too shall pass”
And it shall. They will soon be sleeping through the night and be one big happy family and it will get EASIER. And until that time, what choice do we have but to do our best and get through it. So put on a brave face and go easy on yourself. Let things be messy. Relax. Try to find enjoyment wherever you can. And call for help wherever help is available, whether that’s family or a babysitter. Our kids need healthy mommies with healthy brains, and lord knows they won’t be helping us in that department.