14 Dec 2013

What To Expect When You're Expecting .... Another

I get asked a lot "So how is it with two?"

Obviously I get this question a lot from friends who either don't have kids or only have one to deal with.

I try to be honest and most days reply with my blanket response that goes along the lines of "It's okay. There are tougher days of course, but you adjust." or  "It's challenging but I know it'll get easier". I am naturally an optimist.

Just like a woman who forgets the pain she goes through during child birth, most parents don't dwell on the cons of parenting but cherish the priceless moments. 

But .... before I totally wipe my memory of how this period of my life really is. Let me give those considering or about to enter the world of having two children, the low down on what life with two is really like:
  • You yo-yo and tag team back and forth between the two kids all day. From the moment they get up, to the moment they go to bed. 
  • There's no such thing as breakfast, lunch or dinner time anymore. Rather, it's 'Quick-they-don't-need-me-I-can-quickly-scoff-some-food' time. Expect to be friends with processed packaged foods because they don't take a lot of time to prepare.
  • There really is no "alone" time for yourself anymore. Accept it, embrace it. 
  • You WILL do laundry at least once a week from now on. Because you don't have the same amount of brand new infant clothing at your disposal as your first child, you realise you either fork out money for more clothes that they will only wear for a few weeks or increase the laundry rotation. 
  • You will be on house arrest for the first several weeks, unless you're brave enough to venture out with a newborn and a toddler. Or you're lucky enough to have a first child who is much much older and doesn't need to be watched over when you're out.
  • You will eat whatever it is that's been sitting in the pantry since you moved in, because you haven't gone out to get the groceries and you're too scared to get out of the house with two.
  • You will fall asleep on them but one will most likely wake you up giving you a nice five minute nap.
  • You look forward to 12pm and 8pm, basically periods when they are both asleep.
  • You will no longer go on Baby Centre or Essential Baby or whatever online baby development site to see what the recommended progress of a baby should be at certain weeks of age. You don't care what the "books" say, you're content with a happy, healthy and growing baby.
  • You become even more organised when it comes to things involving your children, but become lax about things for you. 
  • There will be more crying in the house, hopefully it's not all coming from you. Although you're yo-yo-ing between the two kids, there will be a time they both need you and obviously you can't attend to both. So they will respond the only way they know how - crying. Ironically, you will be able to tolerate the crying more. I'm totally fine with letting one of them cry while I finish grabbing the laundry or the last few bites of my meal. 
  • You won't be taking a million photos of your baby daily, or always with your fancy SLR camera. The smart phone snaps will do. And will probably have the older sibling in half the shots.

What warning would you offer to expect to those who are expecting ... another?
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