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Making the decision to have two children really close in age is a tough, yet easy decision. We always knew that our children would be close in age even before they were born. After our son was born, we made the decision nine months later to try for a second one. Like our first, we always joked that my husband could look at me and I’d end up pregnant; well, one month later the pregnancy test didn’t lie. We were overjoyed and excited to embark on our journey of being parents again.
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When we shared the good news, others didn’t feel the same joy. We got blank stares, eye rolls and questions like, “Was it planned?”, “Are you crazy?” and “Wow, your hands will be full! Good Luck!”, followed by a curt smile. I spent many evenings during that first trimester crying over the lack of enthusiasm people that we were so close to me had toward us having another child. I didn’t understand the rudeness I experienced. It wasn’t like we were having our sixth or twelfth child; it was only our second! I actually stopped sharing our pregnancy news and just let people guess when my belly began to grow big. It was so devastating and made me want to protect my child like any mother would.
Fast forward 10 months… And now I know why everyone had such opinions about having a second child. My two boys are exactly 18 months apart. As a mom of two under 2, I can see where everyone was coming from; however, I don’t agree with their opinions! Adjusting to two under 2 is hard work, yet having a child is hard work period! A second child reminded me of the sleepless nights that I had with my first, the time-consuming nature of breastfeeding and the loads of laundry that just grew by one more.
Adjusting is more about realizing and understanding the developmental level of your first child and meeting the demands of your second child. I realize that my first is learning about communication and expressing himself. I realize that I won’t know what he’s asking for or telling me about at least 50 percent of the time. But as his mom, I will figure it out! He’s learning about the outside world. This world is new and he’s mobile and ready to explore it. I realize that I need to learn patience in understanding him and that’s okay. At some point, my first child will learn about sharing mommy’s time with his brother. My second child will learn to explore his surroundings without my constant care. Each moment of every day with two under 2 is a balancing act.
- I’ve learned that my older son is mobile so he must be placed in the car first and taken out last.
- I’ve learned we both must learn to hold hands and walk slow in a parking lot instead of carrying him.
- I’ve learned to tell the baby that it’s his brother’s time for my attention; my oldest must hear this.
- I’ve learned that making my oldest son’s lunch in the morning eliminates me stressing over a crying hungry baby and a crying hungry toddler at lunchtime.
- I’ve learned that turning on the television or finding a video on YouTube that is educational is okay. I’m not a bad mom for occupying an adventurous little boy while I nurse a newborn or make dinner.
Yes, it’s hard work, but isn’t it hard at any age to grow your family? Adjusting to two under 2 takes some clever thinking, but moms, you CAN do this! My boys will grow up to be best friends. They will have each other when Mom and Dad aren’t cool anymore. Having two children close in age brings a smile to my face.