It’s Easier Now

Two kids

I’ve had two children for a while but we are just becoming a two-kid family.

My son is 5 years old. My daughter is 21 months old. Up until this point, we’ve been a one-kid-and-a-baby family.

I always wanted two children. I grew up with one older brother and was pleased to replicate my childhood “million dollar family” with my own kids. I envisioned all the things we could do that would be fun with two. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was told, “Don’t worry, two is easier than one because they play together.” HA!  For me, one child and a baby wasn’t easier. It wasn’t two times harder. It was ten times harder.

But suddenly, now that child number two is approaching the age of two, things are changing in subtle ways. It’s easier now.

I notice it while making breakfast: 2 cups of milk, 2 bowls of oatmeal, 2 spoons. No mushy baby cereal, no breastfeeding or bottles. The only difference is the tiny spoons for my daughter’s little bites. It’s easier now.

I realize it while packing for a morning out: two bananas, two water bottles, two handfuls of crackers in little cups. No nursing cover, no bottle warmer. No pureed carrots, bib, spoon and wash cloth stuffed in a too-big, trendy diaper bag. Just a few snacks, one diaper and a couple of wipes jammed in my purse. It’s easier now.

It hits me when one of my children is upset about something. In the early days I would get so frustrated when my babies would cry and cry and I couldn’t figure out what they needed. Now they tell me and I can help fix what’s wrong. It’s easier now.

I notice it when the kids play. The ring stacker and foam blocks collect dust in a bin on the toy shelf.  After hundreds of stroller rides and chewing sessions, Sophie the Giraffe is forgotten at the bottom of the toy box.  I’m used to having my son’s playmobil and lego spread around our house. I’m used to watching carefully to make sure my daughter isn’t eating it. Suddenly, there are two children playing with it, fighting over it. It’s easier now.

I see it in the morning. A few times a week I wake up and there is a little bit of daylight peeking through the curtains. I realize that no one needed me all night long. It’s easier now.

It really hits me at the park. “Come on, little sis!” my son urges. “I’ll hold your hand! Don’t fall! I’ve got you!” Two kids, playing together. It’s easier now.

Oh, we’ve still got some hold-outs. The diapers, soothers, fleece sleepers, rocking chair and crib will be around for a little while yet. I’m glad they don’t all leave at once. As the baby things exit the house, I silently say a little goodbye to each one. I remember the precious baby breaths and the marathon rocking sessions with little faces nestled into my neck. I think of all the ups and downs of our years knee-deep in babies.

Last weekend my husband and I both sat down on the couch at the same time while the children played together. Nobody needed us for a full ten minutes.

We’re a two-kid family. It’s easier now. It’s wild. It’s wonderful.

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13 responses

  1. Even though I still have many tear out my hair moments, I really do love this stage of independence with the kids. Having kids that are able to play together and look out for each other is such a blessing. My SIL is pregnant so we’ve been talking about things you need and it reminded me again of all the things I DON’T have to do/bring when I take the kids out. So much easier…. 🙂 Good post, Anna!

    1. Thanks, Leesa. It kind of sneaks up on you, doesn’t it? Your SIL is lucky to have you around!

  2. I’m not 100% certain we’ll never have a fourth child, but right now I’m really enjoying this my-youngest-is-two stage. We just bought a giant box of diapers from Costco, and I couldn’t help but wonder if that was, perhaps, the last box of diapers we’ll ever buy. Whatever the future holds, you’re certainly right – this is easier.

  3. One kid and a baby WAS hard! Like, really hard! Especially since my 1 child was only 18 months, so it was really, 2 babies! 2 kids and a baby though, not so bad! The 2 kids played together and kept each other company when I was busy with the baby, so, while there were (are) still times I have 3 children at once each demanding something different RIGHT THIS MINUTE, it’s less often than when I had 2 babies. We’re still doing a lot of the baby stuff – nursing, changing diapers, getting up in the night… but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. He plays with his brothers, walks, feeds himself – very messily…. You’re right, it is getting easier. At the same time though, the signs that our baby days are coming to an end makes me sad. It’s nice, this increasing independence and ability to do more things with my kids and really enjoy them, but part of me misses those chaotic, sleep deprived, snuggly days of having a tiny baby.

  4. I think you write beautiful posts.,
    I think you are right when you say : it’s easier now , referring to your children’s age
    I think the photo with the two kids is sooooo lovely!

    1. Thank you! I wish I could read your blog to return the encouraging comments. 🙂

  5. Good morning Mother…it is easier because you are becoming a better mother as each day comes around, more relaxed, less concerned that all is not perfect but OK…they become more precious as each day comes…but remember these days too, as there will be new challenges rest assured. I know, have been there, done this too. Love you…Gr G Bxoxoxoxo

  6. It does get easier. Every day. Then, we decide to throw another child into the mix!!! Then, we are like, WHAT THE HECK? This is HARD! Or maybe it’s just me. Hopefully, this time around when my youngest turns two, I will say, it’s easier, and that is enough. But, it never truly gets EASY does it?

    1. You’re right. It will never, ever be EASY. Easier, yes. Ask me again when we hit the teen years.

  7. What 2 lucky kids to have a mom like you to love, nurture and have crazy fun times with them! Great job, momma! Love you, “Lilla” xxxooo

  8. That’s something to look forward to.

  9. Our kids must be round the same age, and I just noticed the other day that they were playing together – building a den and i felt so happy. I am also enjoying the lack of oversized nappy (diaper) bag although invariably, the days I bring bugger all out with me there are spillages/leakages/up the back poops. But we soldier on cause yes, it is at last getting a tad easier. Wonderful post.

  10. My kids are the same ages as yours, and it is so much fun watching them interact and look out for each other. It’s definitely easier than it was a year ago! So gratifying to watch them become little allies.

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