I will be honest going from 1 to 2 children was not easy for me, I struggled a lot and still do sometimes. Looking after a toddler and a newborn is tough. I am 8 months into life with 2 children now and whilst most of the time I’m still winging it, I feel like I’ve finally adapted and the good days definitely outweigh the bad.
I was told time and time again that a second baby just slots into your life, and whilst I’m sure for a lot that is the case for us it wasn’t.
We didn’t have a routine as we were in lock down and during the early weeks I had next to no face to face support. It felt like I was so focused on Ava, feeding, changing, rocking her that Emilia was left to her own devices a lot. This led to horrendous mum guilt, I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. Having no one around to help cook, or clean or even entertain either of the girls for a bit left me feeling pretty down. I had to keep disrupting Danny from his work and that made me feel so guilty.
Those early weeks were just absolute chaos and I’ll be honest I’m still not sure how we got through it.
But get through it we did, things change so quickly with babies so a bad phase doesn’t last long and then you find your feet again. One of the biggest things for me has been finding a routine that works for us. Once we found a good routine getting Ava to sleep was easier and left me with more time for Emilia.
Also luckily Danny is still working from home so he does tend to help out a bit through the day if he can. Either watching the girls with his laptop whilst I cook or having Emilia in the “office” with him if Ava naps on me. It does mean he has to work in the evenings sometimes but it’s what works for us right now.
Having Emilia start nursery has also helped and has eased my guilt over how little stimulation she gets at home at the moment. I have never been the crafty mum or the mum who loves to play. I let other people do that for me when we went to classes and toddler events. I made a real effort through the first lock down but having Ava meant I wasn’t able to dedicate that much time to activities at home. Now I know she is doing lots of playing and developing at nursery we can just focus on having fun at home and even more snuggles on the sofa.
I’ve also had to learn not to put too much pressure on myself.
If we don’t get dressed it doesn’t matter, if the house is a mess it will get tidied it at some point, screen time has been at an all time high but so what. We are all healthy, fed, warm and happy and that’s the main thing. I know I can make changes and address any negative habits when life is a little more normal and Ava is older. The early months with 2 children lock down or otherwise are all about survival.
The biggest change for me has been accepting that this is how life has to be right now. Ava does generally need more of my time. Especially when you add weaning into the mix. But we still make sure Emilia gets one on one time with both of us and that will improve even more as life starts getting back to normal. I make sure I bake with Emilia, I love the Bakeful Play recipes for ease, Danny takes her out on her bike and we also try and include her in helping out with Ava where we can.
Life with 2 children is tough and definitely much more chaotic but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When Emilia tells Ava how much she loves her, or gives her a cheeky little cuddle it makes my heart burst with so much love. All the difficulties fade away with those moments.