Celia Anderson has been there and got the t shirt, now she shares some of her best tips from her book that is out now, Two under Two.
I just typed ?two under two? into Google and the first suggestion appended ?when does it get easier?? on the end. I want to hug every person who?s ever had to type that in!
But I?m here to tell them ? and you ? that it absolutely does get easier. My girls are now aged four and two and I just spent an hour reading on the sofa while they played ?mums and sisters? in their bedroom. Totally worth the early days when I quite literally ended up screaming into a cushion.
But I?m aware that you may be just entering the two under two wilderness, so let me share some tried-and-tested, sanity-saving tips from my book.
And if I can help you avoid just one cushion-screaming incident, I?ll be a happy lady.
1. Be organised
This is absolutely NOT something which comes naturally to me but when I had my second child, I had to polish up my organisational skills quick smart.
Going from one child to two naturally doubles the number of parental chores on your daily list. So if you can clear a few up the night before, ?tomorrow you? will be eternally grateful. If you can muster the energy at the end of the day, wash up some bottles, restock the nappy bag or put the washing away. Even lining up your breakfast bits and bobs can make the morning routine that little bit less frantic.
2. Be sociable
This was another thing at which I had to work incredibly hard. Getting out of the house with a newborn and a toddler is tricky purely on a practical level. But after the first few weeks, I tried to do it as often as I could. Sharing tea and empathy with friends will really help, and you?re at serious risk of sinking into a world of black clouds if you?re stuck at home on your own all day.
Of course in the early days, you may well struggle to get out of the house, so invite people round and get them to make you tea and entertain your toddler while you concentrate on the baby.
3. Get your children to bond
Spending some time nurturing a good relationship between your children really pays off. It?s still paying off for me: aside from the inevitable sibling bickering, they get on really well.
It can be really easy to get wrapped up in your newborn?s needs, which means your toddler?s nose is going to be firmly out of joint. So involve them whenever you can: get them to bring you wipes when you?re changing the baby, ask them to ?read? a story to your newborn and get them to help you tuck blankets around their little sibling. Find games and songs you can enjoy together and encourage your eldest to make the baby laugh.
All children love to feel important, so make a big fuss of how helpful they?re being and how much their little brother or sister loves them, then just watch that little chest puff out.
4. Potty training
I?m throwing this pretty specific tip in because I screwed it up. Monumentally.
I won?t name names, but certain meddlesome ?healthcare professionals? insisted that I potty train Jenny. She was only 21 months old at the time. What followed was almost a full year of accidents, tears, frustration and a very, very busy washing machine because she just wasn?t ready when we started. Dealing with this and a newborn made life a hell of a lot more difficult than it needed to be.
So with my youngest, I ignored the whining of stickybeaks (?Ooh she?s two and a half? Shouldn?t you be potty training her by now??) and just left it until about a month ago. And amazingly, she was fully trained within two weeks and dry through the night within four.
So if you?re worried about potty training your toddler while dealing with your newborn, my advice would be to just leave it. You?ll both know when they?re ready.
There are plenty more tips like these in my book, so grab a copy and please let me know what you think. If any tip in particular has really helped you, let me know. I enjoy hearing readers? feedback and I really love knowing that I?ve helped relieve some fears!
Celia Anderson, 32, is a freelance copywriter and author of ?Two under Two ? Coping with a Baby and a Toddler?. She lives with her two daughters and her husband in Plymouth, Devon and is planning to publish her second book in 2016
BritMums is the UK’s largest parent blogger collective. We offer bloggers the latest support, advice and how-tos as well as feature great content on food, travel, relationships, health, charities, crafting and much more. Our social network is free to join and helps bloggers connect with others; our BritMums Pro programme connects bloggers with brands on our high-quality projects and our annual conference, BritMums Live, is the blogging event of the year.