February 26, 2020

My Experience (so far) in Transitioning from 1-2 Kids.

SAMTransitioning from 1-2 Kids (small) | Leggings: Commando (small) | Boots: Miloh |On Nate: Coat: Zara | Pants: Zara | Sneakers: Vans

When I found out I was pregnant with Sasha, I went down a crazy rabbit hole of googling things like “what is it like transitioning from 1 kid to 2?!” I was so scared. So nervous. Excited, but more than anything, I didn’t know how all of us would handle it.

I was panicked over many things, big and small. I worried about the logistics of a baby and a toddler sharing a room. When I shared these room sharing plans on instastories, I actually had one woman DM me and say “Wait. they’re going to be sharing a room?! Are you sure that’s a good idea?!”  Like she was a family member and had a say in the matter.

I worried about our family dynamic, I worried about my relationship with Keith. I worried about my relationship with Nate, I worried about Nate’s relationship with his sibling. And I worried about space or lack thereof,  I worried about never sleeping. So much worrying.

The reality is, having a child is an enormous decision. Having a second (or third, or fourth, etc…) child is an equally a huge decision. I knew that things were going to change and I was worried (more worrying) about how thin we were going to be spread. Mentally, it was a lot to handle.

Transitioning from 1-2 Kids

Now, we’re 3.5 months in. One thing that really stuck with me was how many people warned us that it would take three months to settle in. Seasoned mothers of multiples would tell me “it’s crazy at first, but it gets easier. You will find your groove.” Well, they weren’t wrong. As the days go on, it’s been getting a bit easier and easier. Sasha is starting to sleep better, both during nap time and throughout the night, which as we know, makes all of the difference.  But to be fair, even when we bought her home, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the feeling of “okay, I’ve got this…” took over.

Personally, I found the transition from 0-1 harder than 1-2. It wasn’t as much of a shock to the system and our lives were already in parenting mode. We were already getting up super early, attending birthday parties on the weekends and constantly stepping over toys. Bringing a new baby home did not feel like “oh my goodness. our lives have changed so much!”  In fact, she just added to the beautiful, craziness that it currently is. Don’t get me wrong. Some days are complete madness and I know that as soon as she starts walking, it will be a different ball game, but we are taking it one day at a time.

Transitioning from 1-2 Kids

What I know for sure is that the four factors that made a huge difference for us:

Having some help lined up.

With Nate, we didn’t really have a nanny until he was about 5-6 months and I foolishly thought I’d able to handle working from home and a newborn baby. HA! Yea right. Sure, I was able to squeeze in a few things when he was napping, but it was always with this lingering feeling of “okay, he’s about to wake up..” I could never really relax or get into a work groove. With the second, I went into it knowing what it would take to keep us all sane and happy. Keith works incredibly long and late hours, so I made sure to have some help in the evening hours.

There are plenty of days and nights where I do it all alone, including putting two kids to bed, on top of managing my site and projects, but it’s not all the time. When I do, I’m not feeling resentful or burned out from handling it, day in and day out. We have the same incredible nanny that we had with Nate (found her through friends) and she comes a couple of days a week. I have a great mix of being able to spend quality time with Sasha while Nate is in school, but I’m also able to get some work done.

Basically, it’s important knowing what will work for your family! Juggling more than one child still takes a lot of balance and patience, so if you’re able to outsource in any way, I do recommend it. If it’s financially beyond your means, even getting a mother’s helper to help with your older one? Anything helps!

Having Nate be a bit older.

I imagine that when you have two younger children, it’s a wild time. I cannot speak from personal experience, but just from speaking to fellow moms. And I don’t say that to scare anyone who might be experiencing that soon, but more to give credit where credit is due. Every experience is different and me saying “it was a lot easier than I expected” has a lot to do with Nate’s age. He’s handled this transition like such a champ. I’m able to leave him to play with his toys or watch a little cartoon while I tend to his little sister. I’m not worried about him getting into everything and me having to watch over him like a hawk, on top of a new baby.

He’s also been a huge reason as to why the transition has been smoother than I thought. The way he has taken to his new role has blown me away! He wants to help, there is little jealousy and he seems genuinely excited to have her be a part of our family. This morning, as we were getting ready for school, he said to me: “I’m excited for Sasha to be a little older so we could play together..”  My heart burst into a million pieces.

Knowing that it will all be okay.

The first time around, there was so much unknown. We had such fear over the thought of raising a human being, on top of how much our lives where about to change. This time around, I’ve felt so much more relaxed in the grand scheme of everything. I’m aware that the hard phases will pass. In fact, they’ll pass so quickly, I probably won’t have time to blink. We all hear, over and over and over again, how quickly children grow up. Well, it’s true. This time around, I’m finding myself really letting go of the little things and really trying to embrace this beautiful phase in our lives, crazy and all.

Finding the Humor. 

Parenting is hard as hell and finding the humor in all of it is essential. I will often be in a certain situation and think to myself “wow. this is a real life meme” and laugh out loud. It’s really the only way to come out alive.

The tricky parts:

Now, I don’t want to completely sugarcoat everything.

There are moments that are a lot tricker. For example, a few minutes ago, when I was getting Nate ready and simultaneously trying to put Sasha down for a nap. I asked Nate to stay downstairs with Keith while I went upstairs with her. As soon as I put her down, drowsy and about to fall asleep, he marches into the room telling me he wants to help and of course, wakes her right up. F@!k me.

On the nights when I’m handling both myself, I have yet to figure out what works best. We just started falling into a groove with her. So it requires a very specific nighttime routine to set the future path for success. Again, the other night I tried to put her to sleep while Nate was playing legos and he comes into the room “wanting to help..”  Sweet, but completely throwing me off my groove. In those situations, I’ve found myself snapping at Nate and asking him “to please work with me!” Certainly not my finest moments, but it happens to the best of us.

Being Extra Cautious. 

A couple of days ago, I caught Nate trying to stick a lego in his sister’s mouth while she was hanging in her swing. I freaked out and tried to reiterate, over and over again, how dangerous and unacceptable something like that was. Nate is such a smart boy, but I also had to remind myself that as smart as he is, he’s still a little kid. I realized that if I have to go to the bathroom, I’m better off taking Sasha with me. And I do think I drilled the message home. But it’s just not worth taking any chances. I often think about when she starts crawling and all of his little legos everywhere. That’s another bridge we’ll cross when we get to it, but they’re definitely not fears we had the first time around.

Getting Out the Door. 

Oh man. I thought getting out the door with just one was tricky. Now, I need to start prepping hours before. And if I’m trying to look put together on top of it? Forget it. I have to start planning the night before. Even on those days when I generously pad when I think we’re going to leave, it’s always an hour more than that. There’s a diaper to be changed, a feeding that needs to take place,  a toddler meltdown to put out, some dry shampoo to spray in, snacks that need to be packed. Even with proper planning, there’s always somethingI’m hoping this part gets easier and it probably will, but for now, this is the reality. 

Never Ending To-Do List.

I really feel like there’s not enough time in the day for everything that needs to be done. Whether it’s for the kids, for myself, for our relationship, doctor visits, errands, house chores. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the never ending list.

It’s a beautiful mess.

All in all, there’s a lot of crazy. Our lives are completely chaotic, but the transition has been so much better than I could have imagined.

What was your experience like? Please share!

Other posts you may enjoy: Helpful tips when transitioning from 1-2 & My fears from going from 1-2.

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16 comments

  • Chanel

    I will be there so soon! This gave me all the feels and also brought me some peace.

  • Natalie

    Getting out the door on time (or even at all)…oh man. I only have one kiddo I stay at home with, and it can take me well over an hour to get him fed, dressed, and ready to leave the house! I can’t imagine two, so major props to you 😂 I’ve followed your insta for awhile now and you seem to handle it so gracefully! Loved reading this post.

  • diana

    Thanks for being so real in this post. I don’t have 1 yet, but I’ve always imagined it being harder to go form 0-1 than from 1-2. I have a sibling myself so I’m sure when the time is right for me, I’ll be ready for it. and if I’m not ready, I’ll get ready LOL

  • Ayesha

    I have a friend who had kids at similar times as me. We now have 3 each our eldest being 15 but when you speak about dealing with both by yourself… With work etc etc it reminds me of something she said back then. She was working full time.. I wasnt.. and I asked how do you do it and she said as a woman your capacity to deal with things just increases. We have more on our plate so we just deal with it.
    Well done to you for managing it all!!

  • Melanie

    I’m due with my second in early May and I’ve already got my mother’s helper lined up for the summer. I know I’ll need all the help I can get when my older son is home from school! It give me peace of mind to know that she can walk him to the park or just hangout and play while I’m busy with a new born.

  • Monica

    Read this entirely and love this! Just had my first baby and annoying are finding that even after all I’ve been through I find people asking about the second unborn child and when he/she will be born… wth people! So thank you Helena for writing this and giving us examples of how you’re thrown off your groove with Nate. Thank you for not sugar coating it <3

  • Janine

    I don’t have anything to share on this topic, but I do wanted to say that I applaud you for being so open and honest and not sugarcoating at all, yet also highlighting factors that can really help other mothers out there! Great job!
    Xx Janine
    https://walkinmysneaks.blogspot.com

  • Jessie

    Thank you for bringing back so many memories. I had 3 kids in 3.5 years and it was a complete dumpster fire at times. My husband always worked/travelled and I had to juggle everything. Now I have two away at university and my daughter will join them next year. I survived(!) and I’ve learned to let a lot of things go! There was a lot of “don’t judge me please” and so many years of barely holding it together, but I did! We are stronger than we think. We juggled so much (literally, late for everything) but it was truly the absolute greatest part of our lives. God, from hockey to soccer to lacrosse to dance, snowboarding and travelling.., I can’t believe I’m gonna say this but I miss the chaos sometimes! The only thing that hasn’t left me is the worry. When they’re driving or away at school, that’s what keeps me awake at night…You have a ways to go on that front. Enjoy your beautiful babies, time is a thief.

    • Rox

      Beautiful comment

  • amit khanna

    Thank you for bringing back so many Beautiful memories. I had 3 kids in 3.5 years and it was a complete dumpster fire at times.

  • srikanth

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  • erprealestate

    Thank you so much for providing beautiful article of ‘MY EXPERIENCE (SO FAR) IN TRANSITIONING FROM 1-2 KIDS’. Which is most helpful for all human.

  • liza

    You appear to be handling it beautifully. That picture of the two of them is the cutest thing! Gave me a reason to smile this morning.

  • Jenny

    Seeing your picture reminds me so much of my two when they were that age! My son (12) and my daughter (10) are, and have always been, the best of friends. It is such a joy getting to watch them grow up and I am so glad you are now beginning your journey of watching your children’s friendship grow. 🙂

  • Natali Lukin

    Pretty accurate (I had 2 babies under 2). My experience was very similar to yours except my babies were closer in age and had to find a daycare for my son as I would not be able to be on top of everything. He has so much energy and I would not be able to give him the attention that he needed when his sister was born. It helped a lot but still feel guilty sometimes that I was not able to take care of him when his sis joined us.

    THE NEVER ENDING TO DO LIST 😒
    It really never ends. I think people do not talk about this enough and how overwhelming it really is. Many people hide the fact they are struggling with keeping up with all the demands. Thanks for being so transparent it makes us all feel very normal about our feelings of overwhelm. 🙏🙏🙏

    Love your blog!

    You are doing great mama!!

  • Lindsey

    Love reading your thoughts and agree with a lot you said. For me I’ve found that mentally I have to let some things go. I’ve learned to be ok with a perpetually messy house. Someday I’ll regain control 🙂

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