I never really understood the saying 1 is like 1, 2 is like 20 – but believe you me – I do now!
Before Aidan was born, I sort of had the impression that the jump to two kids will be easier than the jump to one because we’ve done it before. We should know what to expect. But honestly… that is sort of laughable to me now. The transition from 1-2 is very much like entering a completely different universe. A familiar universe at times, but mostly still unique.
Life with one kid was a lot easier.
After we had Alyssa however, those first 3 months were so exhausting – or so we thought. My perception of the word exhausting is just on a whole other level now!
After Aidan was born, I found juggling the needs of two little ones extremely hard. Having to deal with the tantrums of the toddler whose world has now been turned upside down and not to mention the lack of sleep – it gave me a serious reality check.
Alyssa took a while to get used to the idea that Aidan is here to stay and she has tested those boundaries when it comes to “playing with little brother”. She also gave her poor Dad a really hard time as she stuck to him like glue during the first few weeks.
However as time went on, Alyssa couldn’t even remember life without her brother and they are now inseparable. There are however, some noteworthy parenting challenges when your tribe gets a new addition, and for the Malans – these are the ones that stand out:
There are no free hands left
With baby no.1, I don’t think we appreciated the fact that if Mom or Dad needed a break, baby could just be handed over to the other partner, and you could get a few moments of alone time and just breathe.
Now both our hands are full and there are very few chances to have “me time”, unless you call grocery shopping on your own “me time”?
Sibling rivalry is real
I had no idea how early sibling rivalry actually begins. I always thought it was something that only started in the teens, but clearly not.
As much as Alyssa and Aidan love each other, they have just as many fights – and it doesn’t take much to get them started. At times, Alyssa gets upset with Aidan for just looking at her. He absolutely adores her and copies everything she does which completely annoys her.
Then there are times when she may try to give him a hug, and he will push her away.
They are very passionate in their arguments and Alyssa is always very emotional about her brother hurting her feelings. He is literally paying her back for all the poking and pinching she used to inflict on him when he was a little infant.
When is date night?
Uh… what’s that?
Finding a babysitter to look after 1 child is very easy, but babysitters are less willing to look after your kids when there’s more than 1 child to put to sleep! So unless we make an arrangement with our kid’s Nanny to stay over, we don’t have many takers willing to play house with Alyssa and Aidan.
But we’re making ( a tiny bit of) progress here at least.
The budget takes a knock
Probably the only reason why we are not likely to have number 3, is the cost factor.
With each child, you have to consider another set of costs for toiletries, clothing, food, education and the list goes on. Initially, you don’t feel it that much, but once they start eating well (like Aidan who eats more than me) and when you have to pay 2 sets of school fees, you will begin to feel it.
You have to have 2 of everything
Although we have a girl and a boy, it doesn’t mean that she only plays with dolls and he only plays with cars. Alyssa will drop her My Little Pony at the drop of her hat, if Dad walks in with a new toy car for Aidan and vice versa.
So the trick for us is to give each child something they would deem of “equal value” and in their world “value” is determined by the size of it, or how loud a sound it can make!
If we can’t succeed at that, they have to get the exact same toy or bag of sweets for that matter!
Overall, it may be challenging parenting 2 kids but it’s equally rewarding. The good moments outweighs the bad, for sure!