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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 11:49 pm
I have an 18 month old toddler and just had a baby. My mother came to town to help me and just left tonight so now I'm really on my own. I know logically that I can handle this but I'm a nervous wreck thinking about handling these two little ones by myself. I'm looking for any and all advice on how to stay sane and manage two under two
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amother




Jade


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 12:11 am
It seems insurmountable but you can do it! Yes, there will be times when they both cry and you can only help one at a time. You are not a bad mother if a child is crying!! Also, LET THINGS SLIDE! Don't focus on perfection, do the basics that need to get done and then RELAX! they'll grow up sooner than you think!!
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amother




Pink


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 12:17 am
I had 2 under one!
It’s HARD!!! But it passes I promise. They grow up a little and it gets easier.

Get onto BC, take it easy and tell yourself every day that you’re a day closer to managing better!
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sunflower416




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 12:18 am
Hang in there, you got this! I had my second when my first was 20 months. It’s definitely intense but on the upside my older one was too young to register much jealousy or awareness that life for her was forever changed, ha.
#1 advice is to get a good baby carrier like a baby bjorn and just wear your baby all day. Baby can sleep on your chest and your hands will be free to deal with your toddler.
And I’m sure you know this but ANY extra daytime help you can call on now that your mom has left - in-laws, friends who have older kids, neighbors - will make a big difference.
Finally I promise it really does get easier with every passing month.
Mazel tov on your growing family!
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amother




Saddlebrown


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 1:28 am
My first was 13 months old when I had her brother.
1. You don't have to manage- the stress of having to manage will make it harder to get things done. It's ok. You'll get through it.
2. Let your older one stay a baby, he doesn't have to be a big boy just because he's a big brother.
3. Focus on your marriage. Please try to take some time to spend with your husband, get a babysitter. Go on outings, go to the grocery together... just spend some time with him.
4. Nothing is going to happen if your older one eats peanut butter sandwiches and fish sticks a few times a week now. As long as he's getting some nutrition you're fine.
5. Try to get as much help as possible- cleaning, babysitting, mother's helper, playgroup...
6. Take care of yourself. Please
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amother




Seashell


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 1:29 am
I had my second when my first was 14 months old. My mom came to help for a couple of weeks but I was really stressed out about when she would leave and after she left I was anxious when my husband left the house. I just felt overwhelmed being left alone with both of them until I got used to it - THIS IS NORMAL! But you DO get used to it, and there are gonna be times when you're sitting holding them both while they wail and feeling pretty helpless, and having to choose over who to go to first when they both need you and neither are old enough to understand to wait for a few mins. But it's going to be amazing when they get a bit older, and you'll get through it, you will! Good advice to lower standards and let other things slide (housework, standard of meals, laundry piling up etc) and if you're in a position to get help with those things, do it (I wasn't). Also my mom gave me good advice to just try and plan things in advance so get things ready beforehand when things are calm to make it easier when things are not. Snacks and food preprepared in the refrigerator, pajamas & diapers out ready for bedtime. Food for YOU prepared when they're sleeping, etc.

You'll be great!
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amother




Violet


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 1:34 am
My first was 14 months when my baby was born. It was planned and I didn't mind. It's a crazy amount of work but I sent the 14 month old to playgroup for 3-4 hours a day so that helped especially in the beginning when I was so tired. Didn't have moms or sisters or anyone to help. My husband tried to help but he doesn't know what to do with babies so it didn't help much but at least he tried!
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amother




Aqua


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 2:35 am
Admittedly my hardest was not 2 under 2, it was when I had twins and my oldest was 5.

It's been a long time since then, but I clearly remember one of my friends asking me how I was doing. I answered her honestly, "I'm drowning."

(She had no idea what to respond.)

But looking back on then, yes it was crazy hard. But it passed. We survived. There were lots of waves, but we rode them. We got splashed and knocked around, but we made it.

Don't worry about managing. Don't worry about being your best, living up to someone's standards, or looking put together.

Whatever you can give is okay. And if you honestly feel that something you can't do is NOT okay, THEN ASK FOR HELP.

It's okay to have a house that looks like a pig sty some days. Really. It's not forever. You don't CHOOSE to live in squalor, but when it's eating or cleaning you have a different set of priorities.

It's okay to eat cereal and milk three times a day. Really. This isn't who you are, but you're making do with what you have. Right now, you have severely limited energy and time. Cereal and milk is food.

It's okay to always be 3 days behind on laundry. It's okay to switch to only paper all week long and yes it's expensive and bad for the environment, and even plastic tablecloths so at the end of the meal you roll it up and the table is cleared. It's okay to bathe them once a week (the American Academy of Dermatology agrees on this one). It's okay to let them cry sometimes, to plonk an 18-month old in front of a screen, or to cry in front of them.

YOU ARE NOT SETTING POLICIES. YOU ARE SURVIVING.

(This blog post says some of this better than I ever can: https://bethwoolsey.com/2013/0.....rent/)

And if it's NOT okay for you to have a pig sty? Then ask for help. Whether that's money for a cleaning lady, a high school chesed girl for an hour, or your husband who's all thumbs at housework.

If it's NOT okay to have cereal and milk? Ask for help. Money for takeout, chesed meals, or a guy's cookbook if you think DH can handle it.

Don't feel like you're setting bad precedents. You are setting a WONDERFUL precedent: When things are very rough, you cut whatever corners are necessary to get you through it. Your priorities are keeping your babies fed, safe, and reasonably clean and happy - and the same for yourself and your spouse. Everything else can be let go for now. Really.

I had dishes literally molding in the sink, so bad I had to throw some out. That's how little I could get done.

But that was a short-term rough spot. I am sitting in a perfectly neat living room now, with my kids sleeping peacefully upstairs. Yesterday's dishes are long clean.

I'm sure you'll do much better than me. None of this comes naturally to me, it was all uphill. But one thing I am very proud of myself for: Not giving up.

This may turn out to be totally manageable, some days you'll feel like you should be writing parenting books. Other days you might do what I did and take videos of everyone crying because it was the only way to remind myself that I am not alone in the world surrounded by miserable children.

Also take pictures of the good moments, the happy times. There will be lots of those.

And when you get through this season you'll be "seasoned" yourself - a much more experienced, much better mother to your family.

Wishing you overwhelming nachas from all of them, and joy to take you there.
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Zeleze




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 5:15 am
Yes, it will be difficult, and sleepless nights, but they get old very quick. actually to quick in my opinion.

You will look back in a few months, and realize how fast the time went by, and that things where less then what you expected
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 10:28 am
amother [ Aqua ] wrote:
Admittedly my hardest was not 2 under 1, it was when I had twins and my oldest was 5.

It's been a long time since then, but I clearly remember one of my friends asking me how I was doing. I answered her honestly, "I'm drowning."

(She had no idea what to respond.)

But looking back on then, yes it was crazy hard. But it passed. We survived. There were lots of waves, but we rode them. We got splashed and knocked around, but we made it.

Don't worry about managing. Don't worry about being your best, living up to someone's standards, or looking put together.

Whatever you can give is okay. And if you honestly feel that something you can't do is NOT okay, THEN ASK FOR HELP.

It's okay to have a house that looks like a pig sty some days. Really. It's not forever. You don't CHOOSE to live in squalor, but when it's eating or cleaning you have a different set of priorities.

It's okay to eat cereal and milk three times a day. Really. This isn't who you are, but you're making do with what you have. Right now, you have severely limited energy and time. Cereal and milk is food.

It's okay to always be 3 days behind on laundry. It's okay to switch to only paper all week long and yes it's expensive and bad for the environment, and even plastic tablecloths so at the end of the meal you roll it up and the table is cleared. It's okay to bathe them once a week (the American Academy of Dermatology agrees on this one). It's okay to let them cry sometimes, to plonk an 18-month old in front of a screen, or to cry in front of them.

YOU ARE NOT SETTING POLICIES. YOU ARE SURVIVING.

(This blog post says some of this better than I ever can: https://bethwoolsey.com/2013/0.....rent/)

And if it's NOT okay for you to have a pig sty? Then ask for help. Whether that's money for a cleaning lady, a high school chesed girl for an hour, or your husband who's all thumbs at housework.

If it's NOT okay to have cereal and milk? Ask for help. Money for takeout, chesed meals, or a guy's cookbook if you think DH can handle it.

Don't feel like you're setting bad precedents. You are setting a WONDERFUL precedent: When things are very rough, you cut whatever corners are necessary to get you through it. Your priorities are keeping your babies fed, safe, and reasonably clean and happy - and the same for yourself and your spouse. Everything else can be let go for now. Really.

I had dishes literally molding in the sink, so bad I had to throw some out. That's how little I could get done.

But that was a short-term rough spot. I am sitting in a perfectly neat living room now, with my kids sleeping peacefully upstairs. Yesterday's dishes are long clean.

I'm sure you'll do much better than me. None of this comes naturally to me, it was all uphill. But one thing I am very proud of myself for: Not giving up.

This may turn out to be totally manageable, some days you'll feel like you should be writing parenting books. Other days you might do what I did and take videos of everyone crying because it was the only way to remind myself that I am not alone in the world surrounded by miserable children.

Also take pictures of the good moments, the happy times. There will be lots of those.

And when you get through this season you'll be "seasoned" yourself - a much more experienced, much better mother to your family.

Wishing you overwhelming nachas from all of them, and joy to take you there.


Wow. This post made me cry. We'll blame it on hormones Wink

I'm feeling so alone and inadequate, how can I meet the needs of two of these tiny humans if G-d only granted me one set of hands? My husband has long hours so he's basically never home and my toddler is in playgroup which is huge but I still feel like there's just no way we'll survive.

How do you keep your toddler safe while you nurse the baby? Specifically in the beginning when nursing is still getting established and needs concentration.
How do you use the bathroom when you're alone with both kids? And how do you comfort your crying toddler when your baby is screaming too?
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 12:17 pm
Pack n' Play is your best friend. Keep your toddler in there, in a room where they can see you, while you tend to the baby. Put lots of cool toys in there.

The toddler will live if they are screaming and you have to tend to the baby. Talk to the toddler so they won't feel like you're ignoring him while you nurse or change diapers.

Don't forget to eat, and don't forget to shower. I know that sounds silly, but I also know it's easier said than done. I remember dragging the high chair into the bathroom so that I could put DD in it while I took a shower. I kept the curtain halfway open so that I could talk to her the whole time. The second she couldn't see me, she'd start to scream.

Use your crock pot. Make big batches of soup and freeze small portions to heat up later. Pack as much nutrients into the soup as you can, and take extra vitamins, too.

Obviously, nap when the babies nap. If they are on two different schedules, try to get them coordinated.

Get a girl to come in and help you with the toddler. Even an extra hour or two in the afternoon can save your sanity.

Get groceries delivered whenever possible.

If anyone says "can I help you?" you must say "YES!" and give them something specific to do, like make a potato kugel, come over to pick up toys before Shabbos, or just sit down and give you some grown-up conversation. Whatever it is you need, don't be afraid to ask for it.

And my number one suggestion: Don't assume that everyone else has this mastered, and that you're the only one struggling!
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amother




Aqua


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 2:56 pm
One of the best things I ever did for myself was to "fargin" myself the right to use the bathroom alone.

That means that I tell the kids, "Mommy needs to use the bathroom right now. I know you don't like that, but you will be okay." And to repeat to myself while they are screaming, "It's okay for them to cry. They don't like when I am not with them, and they want to express that. But they are fine."

Great post on that: https://www.janetlansbury.com/.....ling/

Practically, as Frantic Frummie said, baby containers are excellent ways to ensure your baby stays safe. I like to leave them within earshot just in case, but it is perfectly responsible to leave a baby on a blanket on the floor and a young toddler in a pack n' play or highchair while you take a shower.

You have no reason to feel guilty that the older one is crying. It's their way of communicating. Keep reassuring them, but know that you are doing the right thing.

As someone once said about twins, "You can't do most things at once. Remember, they even had to take turns being born!" Same with any other two kids. First nurse your baby even though the toddler is unhappy, then read the toddler a book even if the baby would rather a walk (or whatever).

Speaking of walks, that is often the only way to get everyone happy at once! Put them both in a stroller and go catch some sunshine (or clouds... at least some nature).

You can do this!
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oneofakind




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 5:45 pm
I wouldn't leave a toddler in a high chair unless they were in the bathroom with me. I didn't have children this close together but still had company in the bathroom quite often.
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