Never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would be possible for me to have a baby, let alone two, let ALONE two under two. But that’s where I am: two children, both under two years old.
Finding out I was pregnant for a second time was very emotional for me for a lot of reasons. How the f**k was I going to cope? How would Nova react? How would I find the time to bond with a new baby?
If I’m completely honest, the newborn phase is my least favourite phase. I know that will be met with sour looks and gasps but is is.
I remember feeling very isolated and frustrated in those first few weeks with Nova and the thought of going through it again, along with her to care for, panicked me beyond words.
I started googling, ‘coping with two under two’, ‘essential tips for mums with two babies’ and pinning positive motherhood quotes on Pinterest like crazy!
But throughout my panic, I kept reminding myself how obsessed I am with my own siblings and how they’ve made me the person I am today. Eventually I started to become excited for Nova and for myself.
When my second little girl finally arrived it was like my heart just grew instantly to make room for her.
It was a mad feeling and I can’t explain through words exactly how it felt. I can just say that my little Luna fitted perfectly.
Bringing her home to meet Nova was exciting, scary and emotional. We’d done the standard thing of getting her a present from Luna to make her feel included and it did the job. She said hi to the baby then went off to play with her new mermaid!
I breathed a sigh of relief that that part was over, and then I inhaled, fast realising that now was the time to put into action all my planning for caring for these two babies.
It’s difficult. Very difficult.
Nova was a very hungry newborn and her sister is no different. Those first few weeks were full of intense cluster feeding. I struggled with feeding Luna and seeing to Nova when she called me.
I’m writing ‘struggled’ but it’s still ongoing and I find it’s what upsets me the most.
When Nova needs me, my instinct is to just run to her and help her with whatever she wants. That isn’t always possible now. If Luna is in the middle of a feed, I have to tell Nova that she has to wait a minute for me to grab her a book (if I can’t get up and get it and believe me I try my hardest to get whatever she needs most times).
Those things are upsetting but manageable. It’s when Nova really needs me. When it’s her breakfast time, her lunch time, she needs a nappy change, it’s time to brush her teeth etc… Those times are really hard.
What do I do
Sometimes Luna will allow me to put her in the bouncer and see to Nova without a drama. Other times (most times) she cries.
And it’s not a whiny I-can-wait-but-I’m-not-going-to cry. It’s the newborn cry. The ‘I’m panicking where are you mum’ cry.
It pierces through me and sends me into panic mode instantly. But Nova needs her breakfast, so what do I do?
I work through the cry. I make the pointless ‘shush’ noise throughout the whole time of doing something for Nova in the hopes of calming down Luna (and myself!), all whilst also trying to interact with Nova.
These times really get to me and make me feel like I’m failing them both. I feel guilty and inadequate and like I’ve made so many mistakes. I sit down after it and my adrenaline is making me shake.
It’s a horrible and helpless feeling.
Recently, Nova had an accident in a shop and hurt her head. She was bleeding and crying and looking around terrified. I was in the middle of putting a screaming Luna into a baby sling and I felt so helpless. I wanted to sprint to Nova and hug and comfort her without hesitation. I tried to take Luna out of the sling and back into the pushchair but she was still screaming.
I felt so torn.
But then out of nowhere a woman came over to me and said, ‘give me the baby’. I hand her Luna and run over to Nova. She’s cut her head and she’s crying in pain and I’m just so glad I have her in my arms. I keep glancing over to Luna and the woman has her rested on her shoulder gently patting her to sleep. I want to burst into tears of gratitude, but I hold it down and get on with sorting Nova out.
It takes a village. It really does take a f*****g village to raise children.
Ask for help
Yes, those two babies need me because I’m their mum, but I need people around me to help me raise those babies right.
With Nova, I was so reluctant to ask for any help because I felt strongly that caring for her was my job and my job alone. I’m not like that this time.
If I need someone to cook for Nova whilst I feed Luna then I ask. If I can’t manage bath time then I ask. If I want someone to take Nova out for the day so she’s not stuck in the house with me cluster feeding, then I send a family group text. I never ever did that before because I didn’t see the need and now it’s essential to us all being OK.
Yes I still try and do the majority of things by myself, that’s my nature. I want to be the constant to my children… but I know my limitations in this new dynamic and it’s all for the benefit of them.
Whatever I do or decide is always for them.
It’s still very early days for my new family and it’s been very difficult to adjust mentally more than physically. But when I see how much Nova loves to see Luna in the morning and when I see Luna smile when she recognises her big sister, it really does make everything worthwhile.
Keep going mamas. We got this.
Are you mastering two under two and still chill? We would ❤ to hear from you. Contact us, comment below, or tag #WokeMamas on social media.
Like what you see? Follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. Sick of boring baby blogs? Join our awesome AF collective and raise a kinder world. Subscribe rn to get fresh new posts as they’re baked by hitting “follow” below. We love you 4 reals.