The Truth of Going from 1 to 2 Kids is an award-winning piece about the realness in motherhood in going from having one child to take care of to now having two. All the obstacles that come along with parenting more than one child are daunting.
Folks, I’m just going to throw it out there and be completely blunt.
This sh*t is f*cking hard.
Okay, deep breathe. Exhale.
You know how people are like labor is hard, but they don’t tell you HOW hard it really is and then you are laying (or squatting, or whatever your preferred birthing position is) on the hospital bed screaming in pain, yelling at your doctor that your vagina is on fire. Same sh*t happened with this. People were all, “oh, going from one to two was harder than when I went from 6 to 7.” But they don’t keep it real.
So let me keep it real with you.
You will never sleep. And this isn’t like never sleeping when you only have one. You get the big kid down, then you go lay the baby down, the big kid gets up. Then you get them both down again and the baby is up. For some reason your toddler decided she wanted to be one of 0.04% of kids that didn’t give up breastfeeding so now you find yourself tandem nursing them both and the big kid is nursing more than the damn baby. LIKE. FOR REAL. Just Stop it. Except when I’m engorged and then I’ll happily let you nurse. Otherwise, back up and have another cookie.
Speaking of cookies, hide those everywhere. I mean behind the couch, random drawers, under your pillow. EVERYWHERE. Because the older one is going to flip their lid at random times because you are naturally stuck under a nursing baby every 25.3 minutes around the clock. Cookies help. Chocolate preferably. Make sure you put some extra in there for yourself, because you forgot to eat breakfast and lunch and it’s 3:00pm. Go ahead and order pizza because you forgot to thaw out the chicken for dinner tonight.
Once the baby starts crawling, the older one suddenly learns how to hit and bite and pinch and scream because EVERYTHINGGGG is THEIR TOY! Everything. Their actual toys. The baby’s toys. Your cell phone. Your socks, dishes, and underwear. Essentially anything that the baby can touch is theirs and will cause them to go ape sh*t the moment the baby touches it.
Someone is not going to be showering. Whether it’s you, the big one, or the baby, maybe all of the above, there’s just not enough hours. It’s probably going to be the baby, because hormones have you smelling less than fantastic, showering the toddler get you 6.8 minutes of peace (add color tablets to the tub for 10 minutes), and the baby only spit up twice today, so she’ll be good for another 4 or 5 days.
Just start eating your food straight from the fridge. You will never eat another hot meal until your kids are 12 so just get used to it now. The literal moment that you sit a pipping hot plate of food down, your mouth starts salivating because you haven’t ate all day (except for the random slice of orange, 4 blueberries, 1/2 a pbj sandwich, and cookie crumbs your toddler left behind), the baby will start screaming. And not like just a little cry, like full fledge scream like someone poked her in the eye (which also may have actually happened if you forget to sit the toddler down to the table).
But I digress. Somehow the moments where you catch them chatting, holding hands, and laughing together, make all the craziness worth it. And then, as if it’s not already hard, the mom guilt will kick in. You will realize that the big one is growing up too fast, you haven’t spent enough time with them, and you will break down in uncontrollable sobbing to your significant other, telling them that you are a horrible parent and they will look at you like you have five heads.
Carry on. Be strong.
This post won a 2017 VOTY award from BlogHer for best written short piece. Here’s some other posts that you may enjoy on our site:
- The Last Time She Called Me Mama
- No Pictures Needed
- Postpartum Almost Ended Our Family
- I Don’t Sleep with my Husband
This post was originally published on 1/8/2016 and has been since updated to add other related posts.