I’d been writing a post in my head on why I love being a mom of two so much. But then we had such a tough weekend, I was reminded just how difficult it is having 2 kids as opposed to 1! In a nutshell, Charlie was sick and up most of the night, he was overtired and super cranky all weekend, Olive was waking up every 1-2 hours at night and taking 20 minute naps, our nanny cancelled on Sunday (it was our anniversary), she couldn’t come in yesterday (her daughter was sick), and worst of all, Olive fell out of her stroller and landed flat on her back and hit her head while I was tending to Charlie and his naughtiness. I was already exhausted from going to bed at 1:30am and waking up with Charlie at 4:30am (he didn’t go to back to sleep until 1:30pm!), but then I couldn’t sleep later that night because I was watching Olive like a hawk to make sure she was ok!
Things were so easy when we just had one! I just didn’t know it at the time. I was able to focus all my time and attention on Charlie, but now my time and energy is divided between two kids. It got me to thinking about how things have changed with 2 kids!
1 child – We stuck to a schedule with Charlie and almost never deviated. We planned all our activities around his nap schedule, and he always napped in his crib.
2 children – Olive has a good schedule during the week when Charlie is in daycare, but during the weekends she is out and about according to Charlie’s schedule. That means she takes at least one nap in her stroller or carrier. We also take her to playdates and parties without any regard to her nap or bedtime schedule.
1 child – Charlie got his first cold immediately after I weaned when he was 9 months old.
2 children – Olive caught her first cold from Charlie before she was 3 months old, and has pretty much had cold after cold that Charlie has brought home from daycare since then. When one child is sick, that often means both children are sick!
1 child – Charlie has always been a good napper and usually naps 3 hours+. Knowing that we have a long break to look forward to makes the tough days much easier to power through. During Charlie’s naps I would usually work, blog, or just relax a little bit.
2 children – Olive invariably wakes up from a nap as soon as Charlie goes down for one, so now I have no break at all.
1 child – I researched the best toys to buy Charlie, and enrolled him in all kinds of fun music and gym classes.
2 children – I’ve long sold or given away most of Charlie’s toys because I figure Olive can just watch Charlie and doesn’t need as many toys.
1 child – I recorded all of Charlie’s poop, pee, naps, etc. until he was well over a year old.
2 children – Although we have a book for Olive, I never record anything.
1 child – I bought tons of baby cookbooks and prepared organic purees for Charlie.
2 children – Olive is starting solids soon and we’re going to try babyled weaning. I don’t have time to feed a picky toddler and a baby!
1 child – My mom bought Charlie a huge wardrobe and we have many clothes he outgrew before he even got a chance to wear them.
2 children – I bought a big bag of used baby clothes for $35 for Olive.
1 child – I had a pretty active social life when we just had Charlie because it was easy for one parent to stay home. I regularly had dinner with friends, went out to concerts, drank alcohol….
2 children – Now Mr. Bee and I usually divide and conquer, especially at bedtime. Since Olive is breastfed in the evenings (and still is not a fan of the bottle), it’s hard for me to be away from her for more than a couple of hours.
1 child – We took Charlie on a fun adventure every weekend.
2 children – We stay home most of the time. We have to pack so much gear for two kids, and just getting everyone dressed alone is a feat!
1 child – I had hours of quality time with Charlie every day before daycare in the morning, and after I picked him up in the evenings.
2 children – I have much less quantity and quality time with Charlie now since we often divide and conquer, and I always take Olive since I’m nursing. I really miss him! Meanwhile Olive also gets less quality time than Charlie ever did because she spends a lot of time in her bouncer when I’m cooking, cleaning, or tending to Charlie.
A lot of parents say that the transition from 0 to 1 child was the most difficult because your life changes in so many ways. But once you get used to the change, I think it’s pretty easy to hold onto a lot of your pre-baby life. I actually think the change from 1-2 kids is even bigger because you have so many more responsibilities and so much less time, and you have to divide and conquer rather than switching off and giving the other parent a break. We’d never contemplate having a third child, because then we’d be outnumbered!
We’re still easing into the transition as a family of four, and I know it’ll get easier with time. Things are pretty tough now but one day, maybe in a year and a half, Olive will old enough to be friends with Charlie. I think at that point, 2 will be easier than 1!
Do you think the change from 0-1 kids is more difficult, or the change from 1-2 kids?