Wednesday, 31 January 2018

MOTHERHOOD: Seven Months into Life with Two

Seven months into life with two. Over half a year of bringing up two little people. Just before Poppy was born I felt intimidated and scared about what was to come, in fact I wrote this MOTHERHOOD: I am scared. blog post back in May so the worry had been there for a while. I think it's natural to worry whenever you approach having a baby, whether it be your first or last. Change is inevitable and often in wilder ways than you could ever imagine. Yet, somehow I find myself just over seven months into life with two children and wondering where the time has gone! 


The first few days after Poppy was born Isabella's behaviour became more challenging with a lack of listening and following instructions, she seemed like a different person. Those days were hard and broke my heart; I was so scared we'd broken Isabella. Had we made the right choice having another baby? Will we ever get our happy daughter back? How on earth were we going to manage two children?! I cried. Isabella cried. Poppy cried. My husband didn't, but I'm pretty sure he would of given half a chance. It was hard and far from what I had hoped for, what had we done? 
Luckily, oh so luckily, after a few days Isabella was back to her usual happy self and we were starting to settle into life with a newborn baby and energetic toddler. My husband was on paternity leave, it was the summer and we spent our days visiting pretty gardens, enjoying lunch out and not even having particularly bad nights sleep. Looking back I think Isabella's challenging behaviour was caused by worry and uncertainty. I never leave her; I am always there (whether she likes it or not!) attending to her needs and providing a consistent routine. Isabella is someone who loves routine; it gives her comfort and allows her to know what's coming next.

As I went 12 days overdue (here' my Induction Story and Birth Story) I was booked in for an induction on Wednesday 14th June 2017, which is a day Isabella goes to nursery. We explained to her that Grandad would be picking her up and sleeping over, whilst Mummy and Daddy go to the hospital to have our baby. This is such a hard concept for a toddler to comprehend, but we tried our best. My Dad picked Isabella up and she was unsettled and emotional. I feel so bad that I wasn't there to cuddle her, that guilt is still there now. Luckily I was in established labour by 8pm on the Wednesday and gave birth at 9.46pm; all very quick and unexpected! 
This meant that my husband could go home that night and be there when Isabella woke up in the morning. Something I learnt very quickly into life with two children was that it is so hard to balance everything; I wanted to be at home with Isabella, yet needed to be in hospital with Poppy. That was the first moment I experienced how, as a parent of more than one child, your heart is constantly pulled in different directions and the mum guilt is multiplied. 

After those love filled, sleep deprived, hormone driven early newborn days life settled down and we begun to find our rhythm as a family of four. There's no denying that everything takes longer, there never seems to be enough hands/arms free to do everything needed and the stress of dealing with a crying baby and toddler mid-tantrum is something I wouldn't wish upon anyone, but there are highs too. Despite the initial wobble, Isabella now loves being a big sister to Poppy and is so caring towards her. If Poppy is crying Isabella was always be there trying to make her happy again, whether it be by singing to her, finding a toy or stroking her face. Those moments melt my heart beyond belief. There has also been a lot of 'be gentle', 'please don't lean on Poppy', 'careful of her arms', 'please stroke the back of her head and not the top' and 'try not to push down on Poppy when you stand up'. I have to be like a hawk, forever checking that Poppy is ok and that Isabella is learning how to care for Poppy in a way that is, well, caring. 
So far, we've not had any issues of Isabella hitting/pushing Poppy, but as Poppy gets older and wants to play with toys too I anticipate some issues arising. Siblings argue and bicker, so to hope that they won't would be naïve. It's something I'm nervous about and am trying hard to instil a willing to share in Isabella, though all parents will know that sharing isn't something that necessarily comes naturally to children.

We've also started weaning Poppy, which is bringing a whole new challenge. Getting the timing right between meals, naps, milk feeds and going out each day is something I'm still working on. Just as you feel like you've got this whole 'parenting two children' business, in comes another milestone or change and you're back to square one. Right now, I feel like I'm back to square one. Forever juggling too many plates, not having enough time in the day, yet always wanting to ensure both Poppy and Isabella are happy and content.

Parenting two children is hard, there's no denying it. Some days the mum guilt is too much. Some days I feel like I am the worst mum in the world. Some days I just don't get it all right. Some days I wish for a break. Some days I feel overwhelmed. Some days I cry about all of the things I am failing at. Yet. Every day my heart is filled with more love than I could ever imagine. Every day I love watching the bond between my daughters grow. Every day I learn something new. Every day the positives do outweigh the negatives. Even if it doesn't always feel like that.

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x

I'm linking this blog post up with Blogger Club UK.
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18 comments

  1. Being a parent full stop is hard, being a part to two is harder I can totally see....but I love what you have written about the positive points which make everything worth while.

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  2. So glad you have written this - I need to hear as much positivity as possible before baby arrives as I'm pretty terrified right now! x

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  3. I remember feeling exactly the same when my second was born, like I was being pulled in two different directions and hating that I couldn't be there for both of them at the same time. About a week after my youngest was born, my eldest (who was three at the time) got a horrible tummy bug; I remember him in the bathroom crying because he'd been sick, and the baby in the crib crying because he'd woken up hungry and needed nursing, and literally not knowing who to go to first! Now my youngest is nearly two, and he and my eldest (who just turned five) are starting to become real friends, playing together and inventing their own little games. It's all worthwhile :)

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  4. This is such a lovely post, and yes, being a mum is one of the toughest jobs in the world due to the emotional rollercoaster ride we are perpetually on!! Hang on in there you will be doing a fine job :-)

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  5. Such lovely pictures, I love the name Isabella too. It sounds like being a parent is a tough job but I bet it's super rewarding too!

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  6. It really does sound like a rollercoaster! I thought having one baby was hard! I always wonder how Tyler will react if and when we decide to have another child. I’m sure it will be tough at first but hopefully he will be as loving and caring as your big little girl! x

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  7. This was very interesting! Seems like a lot of hard work, but can bring a lot of joy. Your pictures are gorgeous too! x

    Victoria | www.spokenreveries.co.uk

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  8. That's so good that your eldest has settled into having a sibling quite quickly, but you have nothing to feel guilty over x

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  9. I have three children but my little two are really close in age (14 month gap) and I remember how hard it was at the start. My middle child totally changed when her brother arrived, now they are 3 and 4 and they are the very best of friends and play together so lovely. xx

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  10. I had twins from the start so I have never known life with just 1 child. It is tricky to balance everything.

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  11. Hi Helen!
    Thank you so much for posting this as I found it at a great time. I have been feeling like a second baby is in our cards as I'm watching our two year old grow but the mom guilt has started to tick in as I wonder if she will feel okay with having a sibling. I worry that she didn't have enough time with us and I worry how we would all adjust with a new baby. Its hard but your post was reassuring and made me smile. I absolutely love your writing! Keep up the great work. (:

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  12. We have a 14 month old now and we're trying to figure out when we'll be ready for number 2. I'm sure no matter how many you have, you have to go through the roller coaster of the first few weeks to figure out how to work as a family with a new addition. There will be ups and downs in behaviour if you have 1 or 10. Can't wait to jump on the two baby train!
    #BloggerClubUK

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  13. Day to day it seems tough but it also goes far too quickly and you only remember the good bits. The sleepless nights fade away but the smiles and memories last a lifetime.

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  14. I found the transition from one to two a breeze, two-three was the killer with the dreaded middle child syndrome!!

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  15. There were so many things in this post I could relate too. My daughters are 3 and 5, and there were lots of issues when the youngest arrived. There's still hitting, but at least the youngest can hit back so even though you have to break it up and talk to them both about their behaviour, things are on more of an even keel. On a positive note, when they get on well, it's brilliant and I wouldn't change it for the world

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  16. I think that parenting is ALWAYS a juggling act, whether you have, 1, 2 or 10. We are all facing battles but how we get through the day is just amazing sometimes isn't it! Sounds like you are doing your best xx

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  17. Parenting is so hard with 1 or 10 kids and the mummy guilt will be there whatever. Your doing a fab job.

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