Over the past few years, I’ve learned that it’s important to sometimes swallow my pride and be honest. Today is one of those times.
Having two kids is hard. I’m sure having three, four, or twenty is even harder. But I’m here to admit that having two is a challenge and it’s something I struggle with on a daily basis.
Our first baby was somewhat planned. I won’t go too much into detail but you can read about it here if you’re interested. So since we already had one, we figured we’d add another and have them somewhat close in age. Our thinking process? We wanted them to grow up together and have a friend to play with. We would do all of the baby stuff at once so we wouldn’t have to do it down the road. If we wanted another one years later, fine. But at that time, we wanted the first two close in age for those reasons.
Fast forward to our second baby being born. Two years and 6 days after our first. It was challenging, yes. But if only I knew then what I know now, I would have cherished that time even more. Life was so much easier when only one of them moved! One child running around like crazy is entertaining. Two children running around like crazy is hard as crap. There’s only one mommy and two kids most of the time, and most days I struggle with being nothing more than a referee. They fight… ALL the time. The older one doesn’t understand the younger one is fragile and just treats her like someone his own size. They fight over the same toy, despite the multiple toy boxes they have overflowing. They get frustrated when one doesn’t understand the other, they get mad when they want one-on-one attention and I can’t give it to them, and they often team up against me.
It’s not easy. Motherhood isn’t easy in general, but being outnumbered feels even harder. People always tell me I make it look easy and I am here to tell you IT’S NOT. So how do I do it? I do the best I can. Ask any mother and she will have the same response… you just do what you can.
We try and spend one-on-one time with them a couple of times a week.
We take turns putting them to bed.
We encourage them to share.
We remind my oldest that his little sister is going to copy everything he does.
We smother them with hugs and kisses.
We take adventures.
We wipe our hands of the day before and wake up fresh for a new day.
I’m not the perfect mom. I lose my patience and temper, I yell, I cry… I’m human. No one teaches you or gives you instructions on how to be a parent. It’s something you have to do and learn for yourself. You’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to have bad days. And that’s okay. So don’t for a second think that makes you a bad mom or that you can’t handle your own kids. Because sometimes I can’t handle mine either. Kids are needy, defiant, and challenge us everyday. They challenge us to be better parents, teach us ways to build our patience and remind us of how strong we truly are. And most importantly, they teach us what true and unconditional love really means.
Do I regret having two kids? Absolutely not. My husband thinks I’m nuts because I go back and forth everyday on whether or not I want more. Would I have waited a little longer to have another? Maybe. But I didn’t. So I’m doing the best I can and dealing with the struggles as I go.
So moms…dads… pat yourself on the back. Having kids isn’t easy. But just know, you’re not the only one struggling.