Goodbye two under two
Kiran Chug: Goodbye to two under two
From the moment I found out I was pregnant with my second child, the phrase ‘two under two’ kept haunting me. As soon as people knew I was expecting again, they would bring it out. “Oh, you’ll have two under two - good luck!” they used to say. And they’d all have that same nervousness in their voice. It was hard to ignore.
Milin was 18 months old when Jasmin was born last summer - so yes - I had my two under two. I know people have smaller gaps between their children and manage, but I was still very worried. Milin, in my eyes, was still a little toddler. He still needed his mummy for so much. How would we cope as a new family with two such young children?
Well, Milin turned two just over a week ago. And, I realised, we had made it through having two under two. We managed, we survived, we coped.
It wasn’t an easy six months. There were many tears, many long nights, and many days when I wondered if I really could do this. There were many hours in which I questioned myself - was I doing a good enough job? There were times when I got to the end of the day not particularly happy with myself for snapping at Milin or not spending enough time with Jasmin. But, as I said, we managed, we survived, we coped.
I realised after a few weeks that being fixated on a label like ‘two under two’ wasn’t helpful. It wouldn’t help me bring up my children, it wouldn’t help make them happy and it certainly wouldn’t help me with the logistics of feeding a fussy toddler his lunch at the same time as breastfeeding a reflux baby at the table.
Once I waved goodbye to that label things really did get easier. Life didn’t magically become a breezy walk in the park, but things did improve because I became less anxious. So much of what I had been worried about was actually manageable, I just needed to trust myself that I could do it and stop trying to put a name to what I was doing. The practicalities were hard and often exhausting - but I was a mother trying my best - and that was what was really important.
Life is getting so much easier as Milin and Jasmin get older. I’d never wish away these precious baby days, but it is a relief to see how far we have come. As Milin becomes more independent, and Jasmin needs to breastfeed for shorter periods, things are undoubtedly becoming more manageable.
Leaving the house is no longer a task I dread. Getting out for an activity no longer has to be timed with utmost precision around feeds. There are now so many beautiful moments where I can sit down with both of my babies and play with them together - six months ago I could not have imagined being able to do that.
I no longer have ‘two under two’. I said goodbye to the label a long time ago, and last month, I said goodbye to Milin being a one-year-old. I’ll always look back on that time as one of immense happiness, and also of achievement. Being a mum is hard. I didn’t need to make it any harder by telling myself it would be impossible.
Kiran Chug is a freelance writer and lives in London with her family. You can also follow her parenting adventures on twitter @kiranchug and her blog Mummy Says
You can find more of Kirans blogs on http://mummysays.net