I remember when Daniel was born, we likened the first few weeks to childless friends as just ‘surviving’. There is a constant repetition of nappy changes, feeding, sleeping. Nothing can adequately prepare you for just how exhausting life with a newborn is. Coupled with the fact that both Daniel and I were poorly, life was tough in those early weeks and it felt like we were existing.
This time round we have not only a newborn, but a rather energetic sixteen month old too. It’s hard to manage both their needs and our own, whilst also ensuring I allow myself time to heal. But, at almost two weeks in… We think we are surviving.
Emma is settling in well… She doesn’t like being in her Moses basket or crib so we are currently co-sleeping and spending a lot of time holding her. I can see my best friend will be the moby wrap over the coming weeks as I bid to have some hands free time. It is exhausting but the world of twitter keeps me sane, especially after a particularly fraught night when I had the lovely hormone crash and it felt like all I was doing was feeding, twitter sprung to life with messages of support and encouragement from a wide range of people.
Damian returns to work on Monday, so next week will be testing at times, I am sure. I have set myself the target of having one meal ready for Damian when he gets in, and the washing to be up to date. Ironing and other things can wait until we have time. I have planned our meals for next week, but as Damian is working his late shift, I’m not quite sure how this will pan out.
The key, I think, to managing two under two will be routine and planning. My aim is to get out most mornings, if only for a walk to pick up fruit and veg or pop to the post office, partly to give us all a change of scenery but also to get fresh air for Daniel and Emma. I am also going to look for another group to take Daniel too. Possibly tiny talk if I can find one locally with spaces available. As I mentioned, I have planned our meals for next week and will be making use of the slow cooker… On the basis that there will be a point at some stage in the day when I can get the food ready, rather than having to do it at 5pm.
When I have come into contact with midwives and health visitors, the response when they hear we have a sixteen month old as well is always, wow, you will have your hands full. Refreshingly a doctor I met on Tuesday said, it’s hard at first but nice for them as they grow up. And that is the view we take.
Yes, it might just feel like survival right now, but in six months time it will be so much more rewarding.