Monday, December 8, 2014

Having 2 Kids is TWICE as Hard (Pouring my heart out)

I'm Pouring My Heart Out here. So you know what that means?  No judging!

No amount of research, books, advice, preparation, and work could ever prepare me for life with two kids. Having one kiddo wasn’t easy … so why on earth did we decide to have another one? I’d be lying if I didn’t envy families with just one child. Especially if that kid is over the age of 3. They’re more than likely out of the potty-training stage. They get to hop in the car and just go. Meals are cheaper, admission is cheaper, clothes are cheaper, EVERY THING is cheaper. Stress is less, travel time is more, quality time spent together is enhanced, and discipline is easier.  Having two kids is chaotic. It’s confrontational. It’s bustling. And it’s downright overwhelming MOST of the days. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve just lost complete control of my children. I haven’t … but the thought crosses my mind often.

Why didn’t anyone warn me about all of this? Everyone just kept saying: "you need to have another one", "just one more won’t hurt", "Cash needs a brother or sister", etc.

Nobody ever said: "DON’T DO IT!" "Having two kids is the hardest thing in my life!" And even if they did, would I listen? I could totally see myself just saying, "pish-posh, how hard could it really be?!" I was happy with just the three of us. We had just finished potty training and we were out of the terrible two’s. Cale and I were finally comfortable going out to eat in public as a family. Cash was the perfect child we prayed and hoped for. He was the perfect combination of Cale and me. We were happy with where we were in life.

But then we decided to listen to everyone else. How hard could it really be?!
You know all the things you face with a child: potty-training, finding down-time to spend with the child to read to them, teach them, play with them, disciplining, feeding, illnesses, etc. Take all of those things times two. Sometimes at the same time. It doesn’t matter if your kids are one year apart or 10 years apart. The biggest challenge with two kids is that there is literally no down time. Your oldest still relies on you to play with them, read to them, teach them … while your youngest wants (and needs) the same amount of attention, but a different kind.

In a house of more than two kids, there will always be jealousy. Whether a sibling feels that the other sibling is getting more attention … or whether mommy never gets to see daddy anymore BECAUSE we decided to have two kids.

There is always fighting, arguing, and tattling. The mess is twice as big and the noise level could overpower a jet engine.
When Christopher was a newborn I often asked my husband if it would ever get better. He just shrugged. Today I’m still asking the same question but only rephrasing it: "How do OTHER people do this?!"

Don't ask!
I live for naptime and school days. Naptime so I can finally sit down and read or write. And school because … well, God bless all of you teachers. Am I calling you a babysitter? No. You are the structure that my child needs. You are getting paid to teach my child and give him the attention that I can’t always give him because I am too busy breaking up fights. You don’t get paid enough.

Having two kids is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It tests my marriage, it tests my patience, and it tests my role as a mother.

You often hear people say that all of your children will be completely opposite. If your first kid had the terrible two’s, your second child will not … if your firstborn was really hyper, your second child will be mellow … if your first kid was hard to potty train, your second child will be easy. WRONG! They all need potty-trained, they all need fed (but it will be demanded at different times), they all need your undivided attention (but at the same time). Cash cried a LOT. I remember calling my mom asking her what was wrong with him or me. Christopher cries twice as much as that. Cash was hyper and we felt like we could never go out in public with him again. Christopher has put that to shame. So in a way … they are the same, yet so completely different.

What’s the saying? God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. Even though I may question this at time, I know He knows what He’s doing. Or else Christopher wouldn’t be here.

While my life as a family of 3 was half as stressful as it is now … I wonder now how I ever survived without my little Christopher. He gives me the most purest and honest form of love there could ever be. He loves cars and sports and trying new things. As much as he fights and torments his brother, he is lonely without him and doesn’t know what to do.

I’ve learned to let go of certain things (like getting the dishes done as soon as dinner is over, or even putting the bowls in the sink once we’re finished). I’ve learned to let the TV be a babysitter in order to accomplish what I want done, and I’ve learned to just slow down and take every moment in.
Christopher has taught me a lot. He’s taught me to stop and not only see the big picture, but the small picture too. He’s shown me that parenting is a learn-as-you-go process. No amount of books, advice, and research can prepare you to be a good mother. "Winging it" is the only way to get through raising a child. It’s so tempting and easy to just throw your hands up and walk away from the very ones we are trying SO hard to be perfect for. But I’ve learned that my children give me far more love than I expected or probably even deserve. And I am so thankful for that.

So whether I am cleaning or feeding or changing diapers or playing or planning or teaching … I am thankful. I am TWICE as thankful.

I have question marks and musings daily. But no matter how bad of a day I have, I get to kiss my children on their precious little foreheads before bedtime, wake up in the morning, and start over with a brand new day. And whenever I feel like I’m not going to make it through another day … my family reminds me the reason I am here on earth. I am Cash’s mom … and I am Christopher’s mom. And I have two of the greatest kiddos standing behind me, cheering me on.

And because of that … I’m declaring victory on this whole mother-of-two gig.

NOTE: I'm linking up with Shell over at Things I Can't Say. You should too. It feels good to get it all out!

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  1. Thank you so much for being real! 2 kids IS tough and i don't believe it when people tell me its easy...are their kids self-sufficient adults who dont need mommy and daddy all the time or are they just straight out lying about the ease of their life at home?

  2. Two kids looks bloody hard. I am afraid to make that leap...

  3. Totally what I needed to read today, here I am going "man it was easier with just 1" or "why is everyday laundry day" while theres poop under my nails from one and the other is requesting his 3rd lunch of the day (how can a 4 year old be that hungry?)
    I feel like everyday is winging it, some days naps are a breeze and others are like today where 4 hours after trying to put little one down he's still awake and I need a coffee if I'm going to make big brother a fort this afternoon lol

  4. Doesn't sound like this would be enjoyable for me. Thank you for your honesty. I'm tempted to be one and done. Hubby wants more, but I just can't get into it.

  5. Doesn't sound like this life would be enjoyable to me. Thank you for sharing your honesty. I'm almost out of that toddler phase with my first born and hubby wants more, but I'm thinking I'm one and done. Starting over when she could be in school in a few more years just seems like so much work.