Hey, I’m Jess! I am a mum to two babies 14 months apart. Michael is 2 and Thea is 1. My life is crazy busy. I work at an Art Gallery on a casual basis, I’m studying a bachelor of Primary Education full time, and I care for my two children whilst being a loving fiancé.
If you have two little ones close in age, or you’re about to, then this blog is for you!
Tip #1 Get ready earlier than what you think you need too.
If you have somewhere you need to go, GET READY EARLIER THAN WHAT YOU NEED TOO!!! This is something I’m still trying to motivate myself to do more of because I am constantly running late. I get my kids dressed and ready for day care two days a week so that I can be sitting in my uni class by 9am. Sounds easy enough, right? Not when the toddler and baby have chucked my shoes god knows where, they’ve tipped their cereal all over themselves and the floor and then proceeded to stomp it into the ground, and they’ve thrown a GAZILLION tantrums about each step of the getting ready process. Some mornings I think I’m doing well for time and then suddenly my two kids are brawling, and I’ve got to break them up, comfort them, and then remember what I was doing. And then it happens again. Just trust me, get ready earlier!
Tip #2 Schedule some one-on-one time.
Once you have two, schedule one on one time with each child. This will help prevent jealousy and fights between the two children.
Tip #3 Stock your car.
There will be times when you have both kids, you get to your destination, and you realise that you have forgotten the baby bag. Have a stash in your car so that if you’re in this situation, it’s not the end of the world. This stash could include nappies, wipes, a towel, spare clothes, water bottle, toys, blanket.
Tip #4 Teach independence.
It’s useful for your children to enjoy playing on their own. Independent play has so many benefits, and once baby number 2 comes along, it will be so beneficial to have time when your toddler is happily playing that you can run around and get things done. Don’t feel bad for not always having activities planned. Boredom creates creativity. If you want to occupy them, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Include them in the household routine. Let them grab a nappy for you, pick out some clothes, put washing in the machine, prepare dinner. They will be so excited for this responsibility and independence, and you’ll notice a lot less meltdowns.
Tip #5 Invest in a sound machine.
Since my second was born, she has slept with her Glow Dreaming white noise on every night. In a perfect world, I would’ve loved for her to have slept in complete silence. But with a crazy toddler, that’s just not feasible. She sleeps amazingly and I don’t have to stress too much about how noisy my toddler is being while she sleeps. Although, I do still teach him to play quietly if sissy is resting.
Tip #6 Take a Break.
My partner is happy to look after the kids whenever I want time for myself (even though that’s not very often lately haha, it’s something I need to work on more). If you can, ask trusted family members or friends to watch the kids for you. Join a gym, go read a book in bed, have a sleep, go see some friends (my mum friends are a godsend), whatever will give you that much needed break. It’s so important to be able to relax and rejuvenate so that you’re ready to get back into being the best mum you can be. I know that it’s a lot easier said than done. I struggle immensely with mum guilt and stress. I struggle with others looking after my babies. But the benefits are undeniable. I feel so much better after having that much needed me-time.
Having two under two can be so flippin’ hard and I take my hat off to all of us mums out here doing it! Even with all the struggles that come with it, I am still the biggest advocate for having kids close in age. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
By Jess Solomon, Mum of two under two