When 1 becomes 2. A Survival Guide.

You may be one of those parents reading this who had their second child and thought you know what this is wicked I intend to have more and just breezed through the whole experience. If so? This is not for you my friend. This is for the person who has their second child and thinks "Jesus Christ this is a nightmare, when will it end and how can I speed up the concept of time so they both sod off to school".

My girl is a beauty. When I had her I thought this is literally the best thing in my life and I want to do it over and over again. I wept when I left her to work full time and vowed to cut my hours so I could spend more time in her company. Then when she hit 2. I gave birth to my equally beautiful boy. And you know what? The shit hit the fan. It. Is. Rock. Hard. It really is! Let's clear this up now. I bloody love my kids so much, but sometimes? Yes, sometimes in the past they have made me weep. There have been times when it was a three way weepathon. So. To help you I'm going to give you a few little tips on how to make it all a little easier for yourself. Make yourself feel a bit better during those times when you are covered in new born sick, and toddler potty training poo, sobbing at your incompetence. It's going to be OK. Promise.

That my brother. Is the sound of the shit hitting the fan. 

Get help
Whenever you can. If someone offers to watch the toddler in the first twelve months of having two snap their hands off. Say hell yes here he/she is and here's a fiver to keep them occupied. Also take advantage of your toddlers free hours entitlement if they are three or over. If not? Maybe try and stretch and pay for a day in nursery for them. This does not make you a bad mother. This makes you a clever mother who wants to spend some quality time alone with their new baby (or just wants to lie there watching a bit of Real Housewives of New Jersey in peace).

The TV is your friend
Controversial this one. OK I'm not saying Mummy Pig should raise your child. But you know what? It's not going to kill your tiny tot if the TV keeps them occupied whilst you try and settle your little one to sleep. Or just if you're knackered. It's really not. Or if it makes you feel to guilty pop on CBeebies. Hey it is a bit educational. They may learn some shit. Like mmmm about bugs and plants? Who cares it will shut them up. And keep you sane.

Nooooo Mummy Pig isn't our Mummy. I don't think?

On hand at all times. Hidden around the house. When my girl was 2 I had a whole box upstairs with just random treats in. Little toys, stickers, new DVDs, felts. And on those days where your baby is upset or tired or randomly crying for no reason and you have to stay in? Hey presto! Whip out a treat. Seriously. No child ever went bad from getting some Barbie stickers from Poundland. It saved my skin so many times. Treats = pure gold. Fact.

Go out
OK stop laughing. This does seem an impossible feat but go out. I am a bit of a tight person but investing in the City Jogger double buggy (and no I'm not being sponsored by this, it's just bloody amazing) saved my life. Go out anywhere. My friend said it is always easier to love kids when you are out of your house. This is a fact. Go to a soft play, go for a walk, go to the park, go anywhere! Babies just sleep and it may knacker your toddler out so they will nap too (THE DREAM!). Even gulp go to a baby club. I'm not a baby club kinda gal. But I did pop to my surestart centre quite often. I didn't make any lifetime friends but my girl was occupied. My boy slept and we got free snacks. Bargain.

Dirty Bathroom? But happy children.

Lower your standards
With baby number 1 she was weaned on amazing handmade purees. No chocolate till 2 and wore lovely beautiful outfits with teeny tiny matching headbands. The boy? Baby led weaned (give them a pork chop and let them suck on it), if his babygro was clean that he slept in I am not ashamed to say it, he wore that the next day too. It is not possible to be the perfect mother, it just isn't. As long as you are happy and your children are happy? Who cares if your one year old is having a few Smarties whilst you dry you hair? No one. In fact no one has to know. And for gods sake use a dummy if you have to! Ignore your Mother's or nosy neighbours advice. They are fools.

Starting a family is one of life's great adventures and sometimes we feel we have to show the world we are having the time of our lives. But 99.9% of us are struggling a tiny bit. Whether it be with potty training, or weaning, or getting the sods to sleep through the night. Having more than one does complicate life but now at 16 mths and nearly 3 and a half. There is light at the end of the tunnel. They are happy. They don't call me Mummy Pig and they don't beg me for Smarties (well not all the time).

Good Luck and God Speed!

They like each other! At last! 


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