The Transition From 1 to 2: It’s Hard!

So everyone knows that a few weeks before Christmas we welcomed a little girl to our family. Soon after I talked about how it really does take a village to raise children. Y’all. On some most days, I need way more than a village. I need a village, an photo-170endless supply of wine, seven diet cokes, a therapist and the promise that one day I might get enough time to myself to actually consume just one glass of wine. Oh, and an iced coffee would help, too.

It’s hard. Way hard. Harder than I ever thought it would be. It’s kind of like all of those things that happen during labor, delivery and the glorious postpartum period that no one talks about until you’re in “The Club.” But once you’re in “The Club,” then suddenly everyone’s discussing what actually happens during the miraculous process of pregnancy and childbirth. And you halfway want to be angry that your best friend didn’t let you in on these little details, but then you realize that you’re probably better off just learning about it on your own. Having two under two is pretty much the same.

When I was pregnant, all of our friends and family were elated for us. “Congratulations!” “You’re going to be busy but blessed!” “It’s so great that they are going to be close in age!” “The days are long but the years are short!” “We had 3 in diapers at one point, and I miss those days!” (It should be noted that that last comment came from someone who likely doesn’t actually remember what having one kid in diapers is like much less three. Time heals all wounds, I suppose!)

And let me tell you. We ARE busy but blessed. I love that our son will be able to protect his little sister in high school and beyond. Some days feel like they are 98 hours long, yet I find myself scratching my head at how our baby is turning 2 in a few days. Our daughter just grew out of her newborn diapers and I might have shed some tears. I know that I will miss these days.

I will miss Saturdays spent at the zoo listening to our son’s amazement as he sees the “ooh-ahhs” (monkeys), “white tiger ROARRRR” and “al-ga-ters.” Even if it took an act of Congress to get there and the car ride home consisted of two screaming children, I will miss it. I’ll miss the sound of him opening the sippy cup drawer and pleading for apple juice even if it comes at the most inopportune time like when I’m feeding his sister and have zero hands. I’ll miss his sticky fingers covered in his beloved king cake even when he smears them along the walls (that’s what Magic Erasers are for – that crap works!). photo-168I’ll miss his excitement from the back seat at seeing a “choo choo” even though that %#&$@&$% “choo choo” is going to make us late to school – again – and lead to the newborn screaming because heaven forbid the car stops. I think I might even miss the newborn screaming … once I’ve consumed my endless wine supply and she’s gone off to college, that is.

So when people ask me how we’re doing, I don’t sugar coat it. I always respond with two words: it’s hard. Because it is. How else can one describe the immense responsibility of caring for two small children who can do nothing for themselves? It’s a miracle if we make it through the day in one piece (and yesterday we actually didn’t; we ended up at Children’s for my son’s busted chin that required treatment), much less teach them grace, humility and manners along the way.

Transitioning from 1 to 2 was – and will continue to be – hard. The best advice I have for those of you out there that are wondering whether to expand your family is a quote that someone once shared with me (she has four girls and a fifth on the way!) … “if you think my hands are full, you should see my heart.”

And my wine glass.

Ashley Angelico
Ashley is the Co-Owner of New Orleans Mom, Red Stick Mom and Lafayette Mom, now the largest network of parenting websites in South Louisiana. Proud graduates of the University of Virginia, she and her husband Blaise spent time in Tampa and Scottsdale prior to settling down back home in New Orleans, something they both said "would never happen." An avid runner, she'll try any workout at least once and is always up for sweating with friends. When she’s not shuttling her 3 very active kids to school, gymnastics or baseball, you can find her cheering for the Saints, trying new restaurants or spending time with family and friends. She's also not afraid to return mediocre books to the library before finishing them because life is too short for bad books. A native New Orleanian, Ashley loves exploring and discovering the beauty of South Louisiana through her growing children's eyes.

27 COMMENTS

  1. I could not agree more. Going from one to two (under two) was harder than going from two to three (three and under). They look so cute together though- which is what help keeps us somewhat sane. 😉

  2. I just laughed and cried in the same minute. Good job!

    Random thoughts-

    1. You are handling this 2 under 2 thing very well! And to still maintain your hobbies? Pure awesomeness!

    2. Magic erasers- that crap works hahahaha.

    3. I applaud your honesty.

    4. Hope Thatcher’s chin is doing ok today!

  3. Ok I want in on the “club” details. I’m terrified of adding a second one when our first decided that terrible twos are all the rage right now. Tell me……if I going to give one of them up for adoption? (to those that don’t know me…I won’t I promise….at least I think i promise)

    • Well in good news she’ll probably be on to something more entertaining than tantrums by the time numero dos comes. You know, like scaling the highest piece of furniture in your house while you’re pumping and changing the baby’s diaper and cooking dinner all at once.

  4. as a mom of 5 i can promise you that all the crazy days are more than worth it!! we had 2 under 2 and 3 under 3! now we have 9, 7, 6, 4, & 15 mo and it’s completely nuts some days . . . but i wouldn’t change any of it for anything in the world!! . . . and yes we are done . . . 5 is our max!

    • Girl, I am tired just imagining that! But I totally understand and KNOW that it is worth it. Whether we have 1 kid or 10, all of this – the parenting blood, sweat and tears so to speak – is what life is all about. What else would we be doing? Enjoying leisurely lunches and pedicures? Wait – don’t answer that!

    • Thanks for stopping by! And I feel like a rock star on a bender since the little one kept us up until 1:30am last night. #notenoughcoffeeinNOLAforthat

  5. Haha – loved the last line! I felt we really turned a corner around 2 months and things got SO much easier! Now I feel like we are days away from Cora being able to crawl and I’m thinking things may get a little harder again 🙂 I can’t just leave my little baby anywhere now and know she’ll just lay/sit there smiling! 🙂

    • So we’re at the magical two months. Why oh why was Hadley up until 1:30am last night? She’s our party girl! I was warned that the second one moving can create a bit of chaos in an otherwise calm home!

  6. I love this post! I could’ve written it myself too- I even have a snap of my youngest two playing on the same play mat!
    The transition from 1 :2 IS hard and let me tell you, going from 2 to 3 is nowhere near as difficult!
    xx

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