It really sucks to have two children when you spend 25 mins patting a baby to sleep (because then you’ll be free to focus attention on your toddler) and 10 mins into the nap the toddler wakes the baby up. And then you snap at the toddler for doing this. And then you cry and your toddler says “Y’ok Mummy?”. And then you can’t get the baby back to sleep, so the baby is crying and the toddler wants to play ball, but you snap; “Well we can’t play ball now because YOU woke him up, now Mummy has to see to him and we can’t play together, well done”.
And then you cry some more, because this is just a stupid thing to say to your toddler and actually you’re just so damn tired and now have no idea what to do with the baby. He won’t sleep. But if you feed him he probably will fall asleep on you. Which means you definitely can’t do anything with the toddler and will spend at least 45 minutes telling the toddler to be quiet and play on their own and not wake the baby. But the toddler may go out into the hall and make banging noises and play with things they’re not supposed to and you’ll prioritise the baby’s sleep.
Two non-walkers are bloody hard work. Especially when one wakes up a lot at night and naps best in a sling when out and about. It is exhausting and upsetting and at times I have questioned my mental health! And I feel pathetic for this. How many woman have had two kids with this age gap? Or even three kids to look after or more. It feels like… It can’t really be this hard, can it?
I’m also amazed at how much guilt I feel when having a “moment” with one and not the other. It’s weird sharing love. Audrey was such a total focus for us and now she’s lost some of that focus because we’ve added a baby brother into the mix. I feel bad about it, even though in the long run everyone will be happier for it.
But in this heatwave it sucks to have a baby strapped to your front and another to push up one of Brighton’s many hills in the buggy.
It sucks when one needs to be awake and the other needs to be asleep (and they often get this the wrong way around).
Or in the middle of the night when the baby has (finally) slept for a decent stretch but the toddler wakes up crying.
There are so many reasons that dealing with these two feels like a giant challenge at the moment, an uphill climb (with one kid attached to you and the other pushed in a buggy!!), but what will it be like once we reach the top? Only time will tell, but I am banking on this struggle having a happy ending. And I’m pretty sure it will. Hey, just look at the way Rex looks at his big sister…