Having 2 under 2: Matters of the Heart

Having 2 under 2: Matters of the Heart

Sep 13, 2016, 1:12:40 PM Life and Styles

Six months ago,  I became a mum of two under two

We welcomed Miss Taylor into the world on Boxing Day, and she has been a happy and delightful little addition to our family. She’s reminded me of how much I actually adore the baby stage, and for some reason, time seems to be going even faster with Tay than it did with Ash.

Maybe it’s because a majority of my time is spent trying to keep Tay alive.

Parenting a toddler and a baby is hard. I think hands down, the hardest thing I’ve done. Prior to Tay’s arrival, I used to worry about how I would manage and cope with all of the practical challenges – how am I going to feed Tay and entertain Ash at the same time, how I will juggle 2 nap schedules and not be house bound all day, how I will be able to meet both of their needs if they have a meltdown at the same time, etc, etc.

Really all of that stuff is insignificant. You work that shit out. The real struggle is with my mumma’s heart. Everyday my heart is full and broken at the same time. Everyday I wonder whether I am doing enough for each child.

When I was pregnant with Tay, a close friend gave me some advice. She said, “make the most of the time you have with Ash. It will never be just you and her again.” This really resonated with me. With Ash, I really miss us. Even just typing that makes me teary. I miss the days where we would go out on little adventures and it would just be me and her. We had all the time in the world – in and around her sleep schedule of course :p. I really heeded my friend’s advice and I ramped up our activities together up until Tay arrived. We would build things and knock them down over and over, head out to the park and go on the swings together, grab coffee and a babycino and soak in the sun, sing and dance, go to swimming lessons, share delicious baked treats on benches and watch the people go by. Often I would sit and just soak in the moment, and just enjoy being there. Ash is the most mindful person I know.

We still do a lot of those things. Naturally it’s been scaled back while I juggle 2 nap schedules and routines. This often means that in a day, we generally only have time for one activity. Grabbing coffee is my priority and then we would head out to the park, or a play date, or any other place that is toddler friendly. Ash is generally pretty happy with whatever we choose to do. But my mumma’s heart breaks each time she says “mummy sit down”, and pats a spot next to her, where she has allocated for me. All she wants is for me to be in the moment with her, and I can’t because Tay needs me for feeding, or cuddles, or settling, or because I need to get us packed and ready to go so we don’t miss the critical window for naps. But I would very much love to just sit down and join her in whatever she’s doing. My heart also breaks when Ash needs me for cuddles, and I have to cut it short, sometimes before she is ready. In these moments, I wish time would stand still so I could provide endless cuddles.

With Tay, my heart is just filled with so much warmth and joy. She is such an happy little soul, who is content with enjoying whatever experiences that come her way. I love soaking in all of the cuteness, tenderness, and fun that comes with the baby stage. My heart breaks because with Tay, there has never been an ‘us’. Ash still goes to a daycare 3 days a week, which gives me some precious one on one time with Tay. I wish there was more. We are still somewhat limited with what we can do together because of nap times and daycare pick ups. I can’t do as much with Tay as what I did with Ash when she was a baby. It makes me sad to know that this time together will end once I return to work early next year.

I feel pained each time I have to pop Tay down on her lonesome while I sort out her sister’s meltdown. Or when she has to come second best because her sister’s audibility and desperation in demands indicate that she will actually combust if she doesn’t get her needs met right.this.second. There are so many times in my day where I wish I could just enjoy cuddling, and playing with Tay for just that little while longer, but instead it’s cut so short because of Ash’s competing demands.

These days are hard because they both need me in equally important ways. Time spent with one, means less time with the other. At times I struggle with this. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to miss out on a second with either one of them. Maybe it’s because I know that this time is finite. That they will grow before I know it and they will no longer need me in the same way. That one day, they will go off on their own and lead their own little lives and other people or things will be more influential and more fun. That one day, mummy kisses and cuddles will not solve their world’s problems. When tea parties, blocks, play doh, picking flowers, going on the swings together, singing and dancing to the Wiggles will not be core business anymore.

Whatever it is, all I know is that my mumma’s heart yearns to savour each sweet moment before it’s gone forever. I want them to feel equally loved by me. It is my hope that in years to come, they will look back and feel that what they had with me was enough.

Published by Jess P

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