2 under 2. When did it get easier? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 08-25-2011, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have an almost 3 month old and an almost 2 year old.  I am at my wit's end.  My newborn doesn't nap well (not even in a wrap or the ergo!) so I am constantly holding her while trying to feed, read to, play with the toddler.  It's frustrating for her (and I totally understand!).  I am desperate for my dh to come home from the moment he leaves for work.  The toddler smells my desperation and seems to do exactly what she knows I don't want her to do just to see me cry (throw her lunch on the floor, yell in the baby's room just as she's falling asleep, put her toys in the dog's water bowl, etc).  I don't really cry in front of her. 

The baby won't even sit in a bouncer happily for more than 20 seconds.  This leads to the toddler becoming increasingly demanding of me and then throwing a typical tantrum when I cannot oblige.  It takes about 4-6hours to get the baby to sleep every night and by that time, I don't want to be anywhere near her.  :(  Sad but true.  I don't feel like being an attachment parent...in this baby's case, it just doesn't work.  I never imagined I'd have a baby who doesn't even want to be in a wrap with me.  I feel very tempted to just give her a bottle of formula so I can just get the hell away from here for a day.  (I can't pump while holding a newborn and fending a toddler off from pulling the cords out of the wall).

I remember feeling like each difficult stage was going to last forever back when dd1 was an infant and then I'd look back every few months and realize how short lived it really was and how things were already so different as she gained independence.  I'm having trouble believing that'll be the case with these little ones since the newborn is SO high needs.  My first daughter was this same way.  Everyone I know had a MUCH easier second baby who slept so much better and I am still in shock that this baby is so difficult.

Did you have two high needs babies under 2, but they're now older and you're still alive?  When did things start to get easier?  How did you survive? 

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#2 of 18 Old 08-26-2011, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*bump*

 

Oh come on, really?  None of you had 2 under 2 and lived to tell about it?  Oh man, this is worse than I thought.  :(

 

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#3 of 18 Old 08-26-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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Um, survive?  It's questionable!  My younger is soon to be two while his older brother just turned three. Whether or not I am alive really depends on the day. It was pretty easy for us until they were both walking. Then it took more energy to keep up, but wasn't awful.  NOW?!  Well, now I'm ready to run away. The three year old is trying to bully his brother.  The almost 2 yr old is trying to steal stuff from his older brother JUST to get a reaction. 

 

At the moment, they are supposed to be playing nicely behind me, but are in actuality throwing furniture around the room. Should I do something about that?  Probably, but as you might note, I'm a touch burned out. :P

 

I was actually very good at juggling it until about 2 months ago though- if that's any consolation.  Much of my burn out is pregnancy related. 

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#4 of 18 Old 08-27-2011, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post

Should I do something about that?  Probably, but as you might note, I'm a touch burned out. :P


Ha, that made me laugh!  I have said that very thing to myself..."should I do something about that? Probably."  Well, congratulations!  While things are SO hard for me right now, I think it was even harder when I was supposed to be parenting dd while pregnant (hyperemsis gravidarum and all).  THAT was awful.  But I just kept thinking that it wasn't permanent, it would end in x amount of weeks.  Hang in there.  The fact that you got good at juggling things before getting pregnant is a bit of consolotion for me, so thank you.

 

Now, is everyone else too scared to respond because they only have bad things to say....?  I told my mom I posted this (she also had two under two) looking for some comfort and she couldn't hold back laughing.  I can't believe she didn't tell me how hard it was!!!

 

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#5 of 18 Old 08-27-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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My youngest 2 are 13 months apart with one of them delayed.  It has been very hard.  It got pretty good right around 12-15 mths(the youngest one) and the other was a little over 2.  Then the fighting started.  They are now 3 and 4 yrs old and currently one has a bow and arrow(toy) and the other has a shotgun(yea another toy) and are shooting each other.  They have a crapload of energy and are always feeding off the other one.  Bringing them both to the store-very hard.  The minute one "steps out of formation" the other one does and then all hell breaks loose ;)  Much easier when one was in an infant seat and the other not able to walk.


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#6 of 18 Old 08-27-2011, 05:36 PM
 
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When I had 2 under 2, it got better when I had 2 under 3.

 

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#7 of 18 Old 08-27-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~cassie View Post

My youngest 2 are 13 months apart with one of them delayed.  It has been very hard.  It got pretty good right around 12-15 mths(the youngest one) and the other was a little over 2.  Then the fighting started.  They are now 3 and 4 yrs old and currently one has a bow and arrow(toy) and the other has a shotgun(yea another toy) and are shooting each other.  They have a crapload of energy and are always feeding off the other one.  Bringing them both to the store-very hard.  The minute one "steps out of formation" the other one does and then all hell breaks loose ;)  Much easier when one was in an infant seat and the other not able to walk.


This is the phase we are in here.  Honestly though, I don't really mind it.  I admit that (particularly while pregnant!) I am exhausted and my patience is not what it should be... but I'm holding on to 'only three months left!!' (ish)

 

They really do have fun together, but the energy is boundless and when I'm not as 'on my game' as I should be, they let me know. :)  It is amazing watching them play together though. Most of the time things go smoothly, but my older boy is entering the age of pretend play and bossiness, while the younger is finding his autonomy and trying to mimic everyone else. They happen to bounce off of each other.  Before this though, they eally enjoyed each other, and I know that in their better moments they still do, they're simply butting heads right now and will work it out wih time. 

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#8 of 18 Old 08-27-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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I had 3 under 2.  (Twins born 17 months after my singleton)  To be really honest with you, it didn't get a lot better until the youngest were 4 in many ways, though when everyone was potty trained and done with nursing it cut down on my burnout level significantly.

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#9 of 18 Old 08-27-2011, 06:18 PM
 
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things will get easier when the baby can sit up and be worn on your back, instead of always in arms. can the older one go to playdates or something/ 


Wife to Doug, mom to Hank and Logan !!!
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#10 of 18 Old 08-27-2011, 06:42 PM
 
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 My 2 sons are 12 mths apart and it was hard.  They are both high needs, children. I don't know how we got through that first year, but somehow we did and survived with some degree of sanity.  I think it started to get easier when the youngest was 1.   And now that they are 2 &3 I am loving their closeness in age and playing with each other.  Yes, the energy is boundless and they totally feed off each other. But they have each other and often that helps me to get something done.  I am expecting a 3rd and will have 3 under 4 and am slightly terrified.


Mama of 3 little boys - DS1 4/08, DS2 4/09, DS3 12/11

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#11 of 18 Old 08-27-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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when dd was 6 mos was the first time that I could breathe.


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#12 of 18 Old 08-27-2011, 07:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnpmama View Post

 My 2 sons are 12 mths apart and it was hard.  They are both high needs, children. I don't know how we got through that first year, but somehow we did and survived with some degree of sanity.  I think it started to get easier when the youngest was 1.   And now that they are 2 &3 I am loving their closeness in age and playing with each other.  Yes, the energy is boundless and they totally feed off each other. But they have each other and often that helps me to get something done.  I am expecting a 3rd and will have 3 under 4 and am slightly terrified.



We can enjoy the terror together!  Though, there will be a much bigger gap between the younger two for me than there was between the two little guys, so I'm kind of hoping that by the time #4 is mobile, #2 will be pretty easy and #3 will be moving out of the 'early two' stage.  

 

If not, you'll find me typing from the locked bathroom with a bottle of something really strong by 3pm. :D

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#13 of 18 Old 08-27-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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I had two under two (they're 12 months apart), and 4 under 6. Crazy times:) I sat on the bed and cried a few times in the beginning. It was so hard!

Now, the babies are 2 and 3, and the older two are 6 and 8... It's way easier! I'm not worried about the baby being trampled to death, or eating marbles and Playmobil:) Everyone is sleeping through the night! The babies are such good friends, I'm really glad they are so close in age.

It's way easier, but still crazy busy. I miss the little baby stage, though. Embrace the chaos. It's so sweet and brief, but oh so exhausting!
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#14 of 18 Old 08-28-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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Hugs to you, mama. You sound a lot like I did at that point in time. And it didn't get better until DD was at least 1. That's the ruthless truth. DD2 was so high needs, screamed all the time, didn't sleep well, didn't want to be held, couldn't be comforted. Then she started walking and talking, and it progressively got better. Nightweaning (at 15m) was when I started to get back to normal, but I still joke with my DH that it took me three months to work off my sleep debt and start feeling normal again.

 

BUT NOW I SEE THAT IT WAS WORTH IT. (I could not see that it ever would be worth it when I was in the midst of it.)

 

I LOVE having two girls close together. From the time DD2 hit 18 months or so, they have been fast friends and excellent playmates. DD2 potty-learned on the heels of DD1 with little effort on my part, just from the exposure. There are a lot of hidden benefits to having a less-than-2-year spacing. You just don't see most of them until long after you've paid your dues in that first year.

 

 

Oh, and just a practical thought--I was able to pump because I gave DD1 her own set of horns, and she "pomped" while I did ;)  You need that time to yourself.


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#15 of 18 Old 08-29-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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My girls are 18 months apart and the first two years were challenging but now that they are 5 and 6, not a week goes by where I don't think to myself how wonderful it is that they are so close in age.  I wouldn't change it.  It's especially awesome for vacations and special outings, they like the same things.  They are best of friends and occasionally worst of enemies, but definitely mostly best of friends.  I see my friends trying to keep kids with vastly different ages happy for outings and I'm so glad that I don't have that particular issue to contend with.  There are definitely cons to having them close in age, but in my opinion, the pros far outweigh the cons.

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#16 of 18 Old 08-30-2011, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh I am so glad I checked back in...I didn't have time and figured nobody was responding so I didn't make much effort. So glad I came back and checked! It's so good to read what you all have to say.  It made me cry!  (Well, everything makes me cry lately, ha!)  Okay, so embrace the chaos, embrace the chaos, embrace the chaos.  That'll be my new mantra, thank you cara lee!  And I'm getting that it basically will get better around 6 months but still hard.  Even better by 1 by which time I might have a nice ride until they start fighting, but that once everyone is done nursing, is sleeping through the night and has established good play-together skills that I will really be glad we did it this way.

 

...that is, asuming I don't get pregnant again!  I really, really don't wan to!

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#17 of 18 Old 09-03-2014, 11:40 AM
 
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2 under 2 not easy yet

It's really hard for me as well, mine are 21 months and 3 months now.. I started a blog so that other moms could read my trials and tribulations of having 2 under 2.. some days are better than others I must say and the first 2 months weren't bad but it has been difficult since both babies are teething and oh so irritable! follow my blog for more details lifewith2under2.com I post all kinds of stuff on there, my schedules, must have checklists, what the first week was like, activities to entertain toddler while breastfeeding, and I'm still adding stuff.
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#18 of 18 Old 09-10-2014, 05:42 PM
 
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All three of my children are 7 years apart in age so I have no idea what it's like to have children close together in age (thank goodness!) but both of my sisters had their children extremely close in age and it was tough on them the first few years. One of them was a SAHM and the other pretty much had her kids in daycare by the time they were out of her cooch in the hospital (not really but seriously close!). They both complained about it for the first few years and after the kids hit school age they were so glad they were close in age because they got everything out of the way faster. And their kids are all in their 20's now and have kids of their own. I personally don't think I could have made it through the first three years of their lives if I had kids that close together but to each his own. Once you're stuck in that situation you just have to make the best of it.

Have you tried a toddler class for the older child? A preschool that goes for 3 hours a day a couple days a week? At least you would get some freedom and alone time with the youngest one. Maybe hire a mommy's helper to play with the older child a couple hours a week for you while you do other things. Ask a family member to help? I've had a lot of moms tell me if they don't reach out for help then those around them have no idea they are needing the help.

I definitely think you have the advantage because your children being close in age will be better once they get older as in them having a friend that is close in age to confide in and do things with and they will get through the years closer together and you will be kid-free faster. Mine are all spread out so I have a 19, 12 and 4 yr old and it's tough at times knowing I'm 46 and still have a little one that hasn't even begun kindergarten yet.

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