My Sister and I are the best of friends. We are 15 months apart and grew up very close. I always wanted the same for my kids as far as them being close in age and hopefully best friends.
Slade and Shiloh are 18 months and 6 days apart.
As a first time mom, When I had Slade, I read a lot. He was on a schedule and he responded very well to to all the random things I tried with him. I remember getting to a point, once he was sleeping through the night , that I would miss him! Miss waking up with him throughout the night. It felt weird going from being a mom on call 24 hours a day to having that 8-10 hour stretch. I would constantly watch the monitor maybe secretly hoping he’d wake up so I could go get him and snuggle him. That didn’t last long, I eventually started getting some sleep.
Knowing I wanted my kids to be close in age when I got pregnant with Shiloh I was happy but very nervous. My life had already changed significantly having one I could only imagine how much more it would change. I enjoyed being a mom so much, though, that I was ready to do it all again. Pregnancy is already very rough on me, having to have a cerclage to carry my pregnancy full term. Taking it easy was much more simple when I didn’t have a child. This time I had Slade, I still had to be his mom, he was a toddler and on the move. The idea of taking it easy was unrealistic. I didn’t think it would be fair to him for me to disappear from his life when, as a stay at home mom, I was the one he was with majority of the time.
Throughout my pregnancy, Slade’s structure started to waiver, I had to do what was easiest for me, the bigger I got. My master is on the first floor and his nursery is on the second. I grew tired of climbing the stairs to put him in his nursery, plus my belly (and my height) got in the way of me putting him down in the crib. He started sleeping in bed with us (and does to this day- that’s another blog). We were mindful, nonetheless, to encourage Slade to be “independent” we allowed him to feed himself even though he made a huge mess. We taught him how to get in and out of his high chair and other little things to “prepare” him for what would be his new norm.
Before I gave birth to Shiloh, Tyrell and I had conversations about how we would introduce him into Slade’s life. Even though Slade isn’t an only child and his older siblings live in the home, with the age difference he was as spoiled as an only child. When I left for the hospital to have Shiloh, I left at 3am, Slade was sound asleep in bed with Tyrell. It was the first time I had spent the night away from him. Tyrell brought him to the hospital early that next morning. When he saw me I was holding Shiloh but he didn’t realize it, he was just so happy to see me he jumped out of his dads arms for me to hold him! Once he sat down and saw Shiloh he immediately stood up and reached for his dad to pick him up. He wanted nothing to do with me for the next 24 hours. I won’t get into that feeling of heartbreak.
Thank God babies spend majority of their time sleeping when they’re first born, this made the transition a little bit easier because I was still able to tend to the majority of Slade’s needs and wants. I made all the effort in the world for things to feel as similar to the way they were before so he wouldn’t have resentment towards Shiloh, or me. I have an amazing husband who happens to be the very best dad and with us being on the same page he knew how important it was that I still gave Slade his bath every night and did his night time routine.
When family would come over to meet Shiloh we had strict rules in place.
- Make a big fuss about Slade before making a fuss about Shiloh.
- Don’t immediately bring up him being a big brother and
- After the first two, ask him to show you his baby brother.
This seemed to work like a charm! Slade became excited about his little brother and wanted to show him off to everyone he encountered.
They were quickly building a bond and Slade was so curious about his brothers every move. He wanted to hold him and touch and share his toys with him. Of course, this caused problems sometimes because Slade had no idea how to be gentle with Shiloh. Being only 18 months old we all had to be mindful of the fact that Slade was still technically a baby and if I hadn’t had Shiloh the expectation of how he behaved would still have been that of a baby and not a “big boy”. Finding the balance between protecting Shiloh and not forcing Slade to be a 5-year-old overnight wasn’t easy. But I think is essential.
Before I had Shiloh, I constantly expected him to be the same and have the same habits as Slade. Wrong! They were night and day different. Shiloh never slept well and has always required a lot of effort to be put to sleep. I constantly had to remind myself that they are two different people. At times I would get down on myself because nothing I tried, worked. I thought I was a mini-expert mom and being a mom to my second child would have been easier than my first. Turns out I was an expert mom to Slade and I had to learn how to be Shiloh’s mom. I let go of the expectation and learned how to be HIS mom!
The older Shiloh got, and the closer Slade got to two we got in a good rhythm. Slade comprehended more and would get Shiloh’s bottles for me or tell me when he saw Shiloh waking up on the monitor. I learned how to hold two kids when I needed to and even eventually got them both on the same sleep schedule. If you’re about to be a mom of two under two, just know that like with any and everything you’ll have good and bad days. Patience is key, especially with your older child. Give them tons and tons of love and remember it’s a major adjustment for them too. You will get to a point where you can’t remember or imagine life any different. And right on time, they’ll get older and older and new issues will arise! LOL
Do/did you have two under two?
How did you handle the adjustment for yourself and your older child?
Tell me in the comments