Meet my new friend Sarah and enjoy her tales of surviving two under two. Check her out at Dancing in the Rain: Musings on Motherhood:
My husband was away on a business trip when I found out. After a week of being sick I was still feeling nauseous every night to the point all I wanted to do was lay down and sleep. My mother in-law had called to check in on J and I that afternoon, and jokingly suggested I take a pregnancy test when I answered her inquiry about how I was feeling. Although I was pretty sure the outcome would be negative, I took one any way. Four tests later, I stood staring at them lined up on the back of the toilet as my ten month old unwound the toilet paper. I had too many thoughts going around in my head to even attempt to correct him- according to these tests I was most definitely pregnant.
Being pregnant with a toddler under two can rattle even the calmest of mothers (and I'm definitely not even close to the calmest of mothers). How can you possibly juggle another human? You were just getting a handle on having one little person to care for and now you're going to have TWO? Of course my husband and I were shocked and overjoyed to be welcoming another baby to our family, but we were also scared to death! We oscillated between telling ourselves this time would be so much easier and wondering what had made us think we were qualified to raise tiny humans.
Now that we are six months in to being parents of two under two, I'm happy to report that our fears were largely unfounded. Everyone has survived (mostly) unscathed. Neither the husband nor I have completely lost our sanity and both boys are clean, fed, and dressed routinely- daily even! Quite impressive if I do say so myself. If you find yourself in this same situation, allow me to share some pearls of wisdom with you that I've gathered over the last six months.
One of the biggest worries I had was how I was going to manage to get two kids out of the house. I've never been a punctual person, although I do try (most of the time), and I struggled to get anywhere even remotely close to on time after my first was born. Let me share a secret with you: you will find a way to maintain your status quo. I find that with two kids I am no later than I was when I had one. In fact, if anything, I've become more punctual. The less time you have to waste (and you won't have any to waste at all) the better you will become at managing it.
You'll also probably learn to let a few more things slide. With my first kiddo, there is absolutely no way I would have left the house with him in his pajamas. With two kids, I'm much more apt to let my youngest leave the house in not only pajamas, but anything that's clean and fits.
The other big fear that I had throughout my second pregnancy was that I would miss the one-on-one time I had with my oldest son. I was keenly aware both that this would be the last time we would spend our days just the two of us. I loved spending our days together; running errands, playing, reading, just enjoying his company and getting to know this wonderful little human. I worried that with a new baby, who would need a lot of my time and attention, I wouldn't have time for these special moments and that our bond wouldn't be as strong. I was worried that he would resent his new brother, that he would miss my undivided attention and that he was too young to understand all of the changes in his life.
I'm not going to say that none of those things happened. He did, and sometimes still does, have a hard time sharing my love and attention with his younger brother. What I didn't understand though was that he would be in complete awe of his younger brother. That he would love him and work to make him laugh when he's crying, to lavish him with hugs and kisses, try to sneak him pieces of his crackers and sips of his juice. I couldn't have foreseen how beautiful the love between my sons would be and how it would warm my heart.
I also couldn't fully appreciate how I would come to treasure the opportunities to spend one on one time with one of my boys. I can't give them each my undivided attention every waking hour, but those moments where I get to be alone with each of them are that much more special. A friend of mine summed it up perfectly when she said the day she became a mother, her heart grew three sizes. That was true when my first son was born, but my heart grew exponentially when I became a mom the second time.