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

13 Mar

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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5 Responses to “Having 2 Kids is TWICE as Hard (Pouring my heart out)”

  1. Sofia Herlett March 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Wow Amanda. This is great. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Teresa March 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Oh, honey, I know what you're going through! I used to ask, Does it ever get easier? And the answer I always got was, It doesn't get easier, it just gets different – and that's so true! (Although having zero kids in diapers now is just the teensiest bit easier…) Your boys are adorable!

  3. Kelly March 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    I have 3 and it's chaos. It does get better….then it gets worse again….then it gets better. It's like a roller coaster 😉 Just when you think you have it figured out, it gets a little crazy again. But love the chaos, love the kids and I know I'll be sad when it's quiet around here. And I'm praying for the fourth :)Love the honesty.

  4. Niki A March 13, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    Great post! I have two boys and my oldest was almost 3 when I had my youngest. We did not plan on having anymore after my oldest because our oldest was going through some major stuff and with my husband missing the first year of our now almost 12 yr old son, we did not want to put another child through that. My hubby did not want to go through missing the firsts again. But I found out I was pregnant around Christmas in 2003. Even though both of my boys are special needs, I would not trade either of them for anything. I was an only child and I always wanted two kids. Though every now and again I wish for a girl, but I think my hubby is glad to only have to deal with one hormonal female at a time. LOLHave a great rest of your week.

  5. Shell March 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    It is hard to be a mom of 2(or 3 or…). You aren't just dealing with your child, it's dealing with their relationships with each other and trying to balance out time and attention. It's a challenge. But worth it. And I do think it gets easier. 😉

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