2 Under 2
If your children are close in age (less than 2 years apart), I’m sure you have heard these terms before. With our first child, we struggled for almost 2 years to conceive. With my second child, I was nursing my first and in shock that we got pregnant so quickly and easily. In my mind, I had a plan that was perfect. When my first was two or so, we would “try” and hopefully have our second child when the first child was three. Three was a great age span. They wouldn’t be too far apart to have things in common, but the first child would be old enough to be a “helper” and more independent. However, God had a different plan. Our first child turned 19 months old the day after our second child was born. I had 2 children under 2. That meant 2 children in diapers, 2 children with nap times, 2 children who needed a stroller, 2 children who were completely dependent on me.
For over 2.5 years, I was either growing a baby or nursing a baby. Now that I am on the other side of the infant, baby, and toddler stage – I can say that I survived and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Was it hard? Yes! Was it overwhelming? Yes! Was it worth it? Yes! My kids are so close and love each other so much. They play together and have built an amazing relationship. They share interests, hobbies, and friends. They don’t know life without one another and I can’t imagine our family being anything different.
So, if you’re new to the 2 under 2 club or getting ready to join this journey, here are the top 10 benefits I have found during my experience…
- You still have all of the baby necessities hanging around your house. No need to worry about expired car seats, swings, cribs, etc.
- Once the baby and the toddler nap together in the afternoon – you have quiet time for at least 2 hours a day! Seriously – this was amazing and a life saver!
- You are already changing diapers – what’s a few hundred more?
- The second one potty trains so quickly by watching the older one. Fewer diapers in the long run!
- As they get older, they play together and entertain each other. They have a built-in playmate. You can go to the bathroom alone for 5 minutes.
- If you have children that are the same gender, you can pass clothes down to the younger sibling. We were able to use lots of our gender neutral baby items twice.
- Your oldest child doesn’t know life without the younger child. While there is an adjustment period, sibling rivalry wasn’t an issue for us.
- You become a master at organization and time management. However, you also learn flexibility and the ability to change plans at a moment’s notice.
- Your children move through the same phases of life together: preschool, elementary school, sports, etc.
- As your children get older, life gets easier. You aren’t starting over, but moving forward.
While there are just as many hardships of having two children close in age, I tried to focus on the positive aspects that I experienced. There were many days I wanted to pull my hair out and scream. It is intense, exhausting, and crazy at times. It is also amazing, fulfilling, and fleeting. Surrounding yourself with mommy friends and family certainly helps–your village will get you through. Going to the grocery store alone or sneaking away to get a pedicure is a sanity saver. When all else fails and you can’t take one more minute, close the laundry room and drink a glass of wine.