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Monday, November 25, 2013

Motherhood Mondays: Life with two kids

Anton and Toby are interacting so much now! It's totally adorable. Toby has a trick where he says, "Shoulder ride!" really loudly and Anton will crack up with his husky throaty laugh. And they took their first bath together yesterday. Their growing relationship is so, so sweet to watch and makes my heart burst. So that is going well.

But although we're getting into a rhythm now that Anton is 4+ months, it's still pretty nuts. It ebbs and flows, right? Sometimes when we're hanging out with friends and Anton is happily wriggling around and Toby is cracking jokes, I'm like, we are total parenting geniuses! But then a few hours later, the little dudes are freaking out at home and I feel like a total mess.

Also, one of the less glamorous parts of having a baby: My hair is falling out, which, according to google, is because of dropping estrogen. Did you lose your hair four months after having a baby? In the picture above, my hair was still thick and glossy, but now I look like this:
Anyway, I'm curious to ask parents of two: When does it get easier with two kiddos? When did you generally get back on your feet? When I've casually asked friends with two kids, the most common answer has been "when the youngest child turns three." (WHAT!) Also, I'm curious: When did you think it got easier with one child? I remember feeling like myself again (thank goodness) once Toby turned one.

P.S. Always helpful to remember: Babies be babies.

236 comments:

1 – 200 of 236   Newer›   Newest»
Mona peacecabona said...

my hair has been falling out since my baby was about 8 weeks!! She is only 5 months now and i definitly dont feel normal yet ;) Going out on my first night out alone without my baby tonight. Cross my fingers she sleeps and doesnt need food for she hasnt learnt to take a bottle yet!
- mona

Erika said...

I'll be looking forward to reading these replies, too! I have a 2.5 year old and a 6-week baby, and it's definitely feeling chaotic. Did you have hair loss with your first as well?

Kathy Velandia Ricardo said...

Hair loss is totally normal.
I lost a lot of it when my baby was about 6months.
She's 2 and a half now and we haven't decided on the second child yet. Maaaaay be when she turns 3 we will try for the second.

Meghan Tantono said...

I have 3 girls, ages 3 years, 14 months, and 1 month! When I think back, two was easy! Three is quite the challenge! When the middle daughter was around 5 months is when we were able to go out and socialize a bit, although some days were better than others. With the new baby, it seems like all three girls will never be on the same schedule, but hopefully someday that will happen :)At least when Toby is in school you can dedicate your time to Anton and if Anton is asleep, you actually have time for yourself. With three,however, that is virtually impossible!!

Rachel Weaver said...

I think it gets easier when the oldest one can do some things for herself- get a glass of water, use the bathroom, find an activity to do. So it depends on the kid and how much independence you promote. And it's a darn good reason to work on promoting that independence.

Joanna Goddard said...

yes, my hair fell out tons with toby—i had bald spots! thankfully it grew back pretty quickly.

kika raetherei said...

Same here! My hair is falling out too – and my youngest is two... so still a bit of road ahead. But I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

mgn said...

That's funny. I have an 8 month old and a 3 year old and I felt like the first 6 months were much easier than it is now. I think it so much depends on the nature of your kids and yourself! So with everything, it'll be so different from family to family. Enjoy even the difficult stuff. When I find myself stressed out I think forward 20 years on how nostalgic I'll be for a screaming baby!

Laura Rawlings said...

Hearing that my youngest will be 3 before I feel like normal again is both daunting and reassuring, in that I've still got someway to go but there is light at the end of the tunnel.. Ha ha! I have two very boisterous kids - my daughter has just 4 yrs and my son is 19mths - and most days it's just about getting through it all, with everyone as happy as possible and in one piece! A while yet til my youngest is 3 but I can totally see how things will most likely have settled down by then. I'm both looking forward to it and also know that I will miss this crazy, emotional rollercoaster ride that is having two small children!

Remy said...

Girl, my hair fell out in huge (HUGE) clumps for about 2 months straight about 3.5 months after I had my baby. I really thought I was going to lose it all. One day though it just stopped falling. My hair now (my baby is 10 months old) looks like a big mushroom with all the baby/short hair on top. I'd take that any day though over the bald spots I was sporting before. PS: I just had my first baby in Jan. and I'm already yearning for my second one, deep down I think that might be a bit crazy.

Joanna Goddard said...

laura, i felt the same way—daunting and reassuring!

Adrienne said...

Our youngest is 2.5, and it's just now starting to feel like it's getting easier, but we still have to deal with the ebbs and flows to an extent. There are sometimes when the girls will sit together, reading books, watching movies, or building forts, and they do it so nicely. But then half an hour later, they're chasing each other around the house, screaming, kicking, biting, and pulling each others' hair out. Saturday, I got a day with just the little one, since the older one was on a date with Grandma. We watched a movie, read some books and baked. While she was taking her nap, I sat down and thought about how much easier it was with just one baby. I regret that I didn't enjoy it as much then as I did Saturday afternoon, but such is life. From what I can tell, you are doing a beautiful job raising your two spunky boys. I don't think it ever actually gets easier, and I don't think the hair ever stops falling out, you just get used to it.

Kimberley Wenzel said...

I don't have a second child yet, but my hair definitely fell out! It was horrible because it was right in the front too! It's still growing out but definitely not back to normal a year later, which is kind of a bummer. I think I also get bummed out realizing that it may happen all over again if/when I have another baby!

BabyMarz said...

2 was a huge adjustment for me-I felt like when my little one was walking and uttering words soon after 16-18 months things got a tad easier but sometimes I still can't handle my 3 1/2 and 5 1/2 year old! I'm sure you Are doing amazing and doing the best you can-it's always going to be hard...

Joanna Goddard said...

remy, haha, i know what you mean about those baby bangs!! they're so spiky and weird!

BabyMarz said...

2 was a huge adjustment for me-I felt like when my little one was walking and uttering words soon after 16-18 months things got a tad easier but sometimes I still can't handle my 3 1/2 and 5 1/2 year old! I'm sure you Are doing amazing and doing the best you can-it's always going to be hard...

BabyMarz said...

2 was a huge adjustment for me-I felt like when my little one was walking and uttering words soon after 16-18 months things got a tad easier but sometimes I still can't handle my 3 1/2 and 5 1/2 year old! I'm sure you Are doing amazing and doing the best you can-it's always going to be hard...

Wens said...

I'm a hairdresser and I'd like to mention that it's completely normal to lose hair anywhere from the first few weeks after giving birth, to a year later. Don't worry though, it's rarely permanent hair loss, your body will balance back soon :) I'm sure Reagan would have some helpful advice too!

PeaocksWalter said...

My mother-in-law always said, "big kids, big problems!" My "baby" turns 12 in 7 days and I long for the sweet, cuddly times. (Don't get me wrong, having older guys is a blast.) I worry much more now than I ever did. Being a parent is for forever. You're doing a great job!

Lauren Knight said...

I have three boys: six, four, and two, and I am just now starting to feel like myself again. EXCEPT when I'm on my own for more than two days with them... then all bets are out the window and I get all shrieky.

My hair fell out too at around 3-4 months, but then it grew back in. Don't worry!

I do agree with other readers that I think the key is a bit more independence with the babes. Once they are able to help themselves a bit, it is so much easier.

Elizabethwi said...

I have three little ones- 4, 2, and 8 months. Yes, my hair is falling out like crazy. But for me, the biggest adjustment period when it came to kiddos was going from none to one. It was just SUCH a lifestyle change and we lost so much spontenaeity. From 1 kid to 2, and then from 2 to 3 seemed like less of a big deal each time. Plus my third baby is a little angel baby, just so sweet and easy. You are doing an amazing job- just keep up the great work!!

summerlily said...

My hair started falling out when my son stopped nursing around 5 months. It continually fell out for 6 months (I was bald at my temples)!!! I didn't experience this with my first child. I have to say, my son is now 17 months old and my hair is growing back. Slowly, but steadily. My daughter is 3 1/2, my son is 17 months. Things are a little easier now. I'm thinking when the kids are 3 & 5 things will be much much easier (wishful thinking??).

Joanna Goddard said...

thanks, wens!!

Jamie said...

I really didn't feel like myself until #1 was 18 months old. Just about the time he decided that taking naps and sleeping through the night were good things. I'm pregnant with #2 now and I keep praying, "Please let this one sleep. PLEASE." I'm not sure if I can handle that much sleep deprivation again.

jess bell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melanie Price said...

I often wonder about this. We will starting trying for #2 around the New Year and the thought makes me a little nervous. My daughter, Dorian is 2 1/2 so if all goes according to plan (which it never does) she will be 3 1/2 when the next bebe arrives. *Gulp*
And yes, I lost a TON of hair around the time Dorian was 4 months old. I have crazy thick hair so it was a little strange for me to be loosing so much. Normal, I'm sure. And I really started to feel like myself again around the time she was 9-10 months. It felt as though I had been holding my breath that whole time and then *FINALLY* I was able to breath again. Such an amaing time in life...but such an exhausting one as well.
You are doing this mommy thing beautifully!! And any advice on how to cruise with 2 kiddos is always welcome! Cheers to you and your little men!

jdg said...

Ummmm, my youngest is 14 months and hair still falling out but have weird "baby" hair growing in. May need to cut bangs to compensate.

jdg said...

Ummmm, my youngest is 14 months and hair still falling out but have weird "baby" hair growing in. May need to cut bangs to compensate.

Ellem said...

Luckily I have thick hair so most people can't tell, but my little guy is 16 mos and I have some awkward-length regrowth above my ears and underneath, noticeable in ponytails which i sport often (my hair's about the length of yours). My shower drain is still terrifying and I have to clean it out at least twice per shower. My hair is growing back, but I want to try taking Viviscal supplements (biotin alone breaks me out) to help strengthen it. However, I'm also thinking about having another baby and I don't think you can take it when you're pregnant or nursing.

Alicia Marie said...

I think that around 18 months it got easier with my two boys. They started to play really well together at that age ( 18 months and 3 1/2) and I could just watch them play instead of having to interact all the time. Plus my 3 yr old would tell me when my 18 month old was getting into things:) I have a 10 wk old baby now, so we are adjusting to 3 kids! I think no matter what age they are, you will have those great moments of awesome parenting and those awful moments.

Miss Rosie said...

omg my daughter is 5+ months and at 4 months my hair was falling out in clumps. every. day.

collette said...

Agree with these assessments: When the youngest is three or when the first is one you have a spring in your step. Also, I'm getting a sick kind of joy knowing I'm done! :)

Unknown said...

I think it gets easier! I have 4. Babies 2 and 3 were the hardest, but only having to do with the fact that at 2 kids I was out numbered and then with 3 kids, us parents were out numbered. By 4 we had babies to help (just kidding). Its a learning curve. Hair does come back- sadly it has taken me many years after my last be sort of like before having kids.

Megan said...

I have a 3.5 year old and a 22 month old (They are 18 months apart). It starts to get easier at different stages. When both are sleeping through the night and going to bed at the same time you get back your evenings alone with your spouse. Then when the youngest turns one they gain a little more independence. I felt like it really got easier once my youngest was walking (unfortunately she was 17 months!!). That way I wasn't having to hold her all of the time and she could roam around the house some. That said, it is still crazy at our house at times. New challenges always arise! For us it seems like our kids must talk before they go to bed and decide whose turn it is to wake up at night and torture the parents :) They seem to never sleep through the night simultaneously!! Good luck!

AJS Brocante said...

I tell people 0-4 was tough-horrible even. I felt like I was in triage and looked at other moms (who IRONED!) like they were space aliens. I still am not sure if I was the anomaly or she was.4-12 has been a dream. I know there is supposed to be rough water right around the corner, but I think I can handle it because this person is so great. I count the change as when she could fill her cereal bowl on her own (leave box and bowl in low cupboard) and I could sleep like a human. Also the ability to discuss and reason. They really get it and it makes things less of a power struggle.

JM said...

I have three daughters (ages 13, 11 and 7) and I think the transition from 1 to 2 kids was as hard as having your first child and going from being a couple to being parents. Especially when they are within 2.5 years of one another. Going to 3 children and all of them being the same gender, wasn't as tough.
One trick that I highly recommend is promoting "quiet, alone time" for Toby when Anton has his afternoon nap. You may be tempted to think it's the perfect time to get some one-on-one with Toby but actually, I think it works really well to encourage him to spend time entertaining himself quietly in his bedroom (as long as Anton is a good sleeper) looking at books, drawing, talking to his stuffed animals.
I used to use that time to just decompress. No chores, no email, no anything except sit down with a book or relax with tea. It gave me a bit of time to get some perspective and energy for the rest of the day and it promoted independence in my daughters. Kids nowadays really need to feel comfortable with alone time without devices or parents or activities to amuse and distract them. They need chill time too.
Anyway, that helped me a lot and I found my older ones were able to hold on while I dealt with the baby in other situations because they were used to chilling.
Have fun!

Susie said...

I think it happened once they were both sleeping through the night and taking good naps (when my kids were around 8 months old and 4). Then I had a chance to just "be." It can feel all-consuming, so make sure you have some activity (mine was reading/writing -- two things I'd given up because of time and energy) that's just yours for that time. I even kept that hour after lunch once the kids were older by making it a mandatory "reading" (in bed) time. Each month, they got a prize for doing their hour every day. I think the routine really helped me feel my groove again...I just had to give myself time and space to adjust. Now they're 12 and 16 (and a caboose who is 5) and that time long ago seems so easy. ;)

Caroline said...

2 kids is totally nutty. We didn't start to feel semi-sane again until #2 turned 9 months. Then 1 year and walking was another turning point for the better. I know babies are cute and all, but they also wreak havoc on you physically, especially when also dealing with the emotions of a 3 year old!

Your hair will come back!

Ann Cundy said...

I am about 6.5 months along with baby #2 and I am already getting those crazy little wispy pieces along my hairline, yikes! With my first, I remember it taking twice as long in the shower to shampoo because of all the hair I had to pull out and set on the edge of the tub (sorry, that is probably TMI). We have definitely had many conversations about how busy it will be with two and how we are going to cope, so I am appreciating these responses too. Is sounds as if you are doing a wonderful job, Joanna! No doubt that bigger, brighter apartment and nearby green space helps too!

niki said...

I am expecting my second child, and he will arrive when my daughter will be two. I am so scared thinking how it is to be parents of two, since with my daughter the first year was not so easy. I am looking forward also. Strange feeling....

Lisa said...

As the parent of a 27 month old with #2 on the way, this is such a great question. I love reading the responses as well as your thoughts on watching the boys' relationship develop.

I didn't go through hair loss with my first. I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that we breastfed forever? As in perhaps hormonal changes from that + hormonal changes post delivery evened things out? No clue. But yes, everyone I know who went through hair loss grew it all back!

One of Several JenSmiths said...

Mine are both in elementary school, so I'm enjoying some "easy" years. With a moody 9-yr-old daughter, I can already see glimpses of teen-ness, and it's scary!

As for hair loss, I cut mine in a bob because I felt like I was walking through spider webs when my little man was 4-5 months. Thankfully, it stopped falling out after a couple of months!

isabelle said...

My oldest is 5 youngest is 2 and they fight all day! I hope the easier when youngest is 3 comment is right, got one more year to go :-)

Coco Cake Land said...

i only have one babe thusfar ... but we're planning another... and i nearly died when i saw that your friends said "when the youngest child turns 3!" omg. my sisters both have multiple children, it really does seem like it's full on motherhood/family world once there's more than one child - but it also seems really wonderful to have siblings! my sister who has two girls is still able to do things on her own and has their naps coordinated - but my other sister with three, she rarely ever gets time to herself!

all the best joanna!! my hair totally thinned out too but came back after 6-9 months... still not the same as it used to be... :)

Andrew and Crystal said...

With my second baby, my hair fell out around 5 months too. Didn't happen with my first. I just had to cut bangs because I had crazy bangs only on the sides after it started growing back, which is an issue since I wear my hair up a lot. Might not have been as bad if I wore it down more often, but I really was starting to look like a mad scientist. My kids are 3.5 and 15 months and we're still in the thick of it sometimes. Some days are better than others, but we are in no rush. They are only this way for such a short period of time. Just trying to savor and kiss as many chubby baby checks and sweet little baby mouths while we can!
-crystal

Jen Brooks said...

My youngest is just turning 2 years and 4 months, and it's gotten WAY easy. My oldest is in school all day (heaven) and my "baby" is finally cool with playing on his own and just seems all-around more capable and human-like. I think it started getting easier around 14 months, when I weaned him. But it would have been even earlier if he could have just slept through the night like every other baby! So don't worry - the day will actually arrive even though it's hard to believe.

NatureLinds said...

Congrats on being such a super mom!!
We also have a 3 1/2 year old (Jude) and our new little man (Eliot) will be 4 months old on 11/30--so I love following your blog since our boys are so close in age! Anyways, I think the past few weeks I'm starting to really feel comfortable with having two kids! Our boys are both super easy going and Jude is very, very helpful and understanding when it comes to his little brother. We bring both the kids to Football Sunday gatherings with friends, play dates, shopping, you name it--and all is well :)I really feel like we found our groove and rhythm so it's been wonderful! I think a HUGE part is Jude's age-- its a big difference between having your first be 3.5 vs. 2.5--much easier the older they are before the 2nd joins the team! Now we are mildly entertaining the idea of 3 :)

Now the hair: My hair only really started falling out 2 weeks ago after I stopped breastfeeding! I'm talking huge balls of hair in the shower--and then just pieces falling out on my shoulders throughout the day. Same as with my first...I know it's normal and grows back so I'm not freaked out. I did however just get my visit from Aunt Flow--first time in a year! So that sucks...

Happy trails ladies!!

Linds

NatureLinds said...

PS- You are way hotter than George Costanza ;)

Erin said...

Ohhh the hair loss. I felt that I kept losing my hair until I stopped nursing (13 months). Which I did not remember being the case with my first child…I felt a definite sigh of relief when my second turned 6 months…it wasn't immediately "easy" but I could start seeing the light. My kids are 2 years and 3 months apart, so when my baby hit 12 months I felt another burst of light. He is now 15 months and I found out I am expecting my third. Big surprise. Wasn't going for three. Hard to swallow. Definitely don't feel ready for the craziness again.

Kristín Jóna Kristjónsdóttir said...

Thank you for posting and sharing - I'm expecting my second one (my oldest is 2 1/2) so I've been thinking a lot about this.

About the hair, with my first one my hair was awesome, thick and shiny, until he was about 3 1/2 months when it started falling out like crazy. I literally had bald spots and I have really thick hair. My hair dresser recommended taking really large doses of vitamin B, you can't overdose on it since it all "comes out" but you have to drink lots of water with it. He said it's best to start as soon as the baby is born so I'll be trying that now and keeping my fingers crossed. ;)

It's also really good to take magnesium supplements when you have a new born (it's good for anyone, really), works wonders.

All the best,

sherise said...

I agree with three as a magic number, well 3-ISH. We have two boys also: 2 yrs 9 mo apart. Once the younger one peeled himself off of me and started playing more with his older brother, that's when it eased up. But, like everyone with older kids say, there are different challenges at each stage! And luckily, we have that time, as they grow, we also grow as parents :) My hair fell out for a long time also while I was nursing! It'll stop at some point. Congratulations on two beautiful boys and have fun!

Erin M. said...

Mine are 4 and 3 and j would say when the youngest was 2 it gets somewhat better and def by 3, but it still continues to ebb and flow. Each step of them becoming more independent helps. Other parents say five years and older makes a big difference too.

Kate said...

Yes on the losing hair. Mine peaked at around 4 months and was getting back to normal around 5.5 months. Good luck riding it out and enjoy your new best friend, the vacuum, until then!

Erin Hofer-Shall said...

Hmmmm, I'm still waiting for it to get easier. I have 14 month old twin boys so I got my two kids at the same time. I'm exhausted all the time! But I have to say in the past month they've really started to interact with each other and have fun. They are late walkers, neither are walking yet, and I have a feeling once they can be more mobile and perhaps hold my hands and explore more it will get easier. I have heard that 3 is the magic age when things get easier.
Oh and I lost all my pregnancy hair between 3-4 months. I was sure I was going to be bald by the end of it.

Stephanie Mc said...

My sister in law told me "three days, three weeks, three months, three years" - things get progressively better on that schedule. My second is turning three in a couple of weeks so fingers are crossed.
And I would say just in the last couple of months has my hair really started to come back. Buh.

Elaine said...

We have two girls ages 4 and almost 6. I was expecting the first year to be really tough but was pleasantly surprised when it got easier when my youngest was about 6 months. At that time the youngest started taking regular naps and sleeping through the night. She was also able to sit up on her own, so I wasn't always toting her around (making it tougher for me to get things done and making the older one a little jealous).
It's a tremendous help if your older child is gentle with the little one and ours was - she's such a great little helper and such a pleaser. I found that it get's easier and easier as they are able to play more together. Age 2 (for the youngest) was noticeably easier for this reason. They did (and continue to do) so much pretend play that they could occupy themselves for extended periods of time and they are such a joy to watch playing together.
We passed another milestone after our youngest turned four this summer. We were at a party and found the two of them going off on their own without us and we were able to have lots of uninterrupted grown up time.

nancykate said...

we're in the thick of it right now with a 26 mo old and almost 6 mo old, both boys. I feel like I did hit a turning point around 4 months where there was more routine to the day and not just chaos! we are able to go out and do some errands and I'm not completely terrified. it's great to see them interacting more, like you said, although we still have our jealous moments, especially when dad is holding the baby. our sleep schedule is still horrible (how did your training go with anton?), so I'm sure I'll laugh in another 6 months thinking we had it "together" right now.

my hair loss finally looks to be slowing down after 3 solid months of clogged drains!

مریم ع. said...

I have a three year old boy and a 4 month old girl. With my boy I never even noticed my hair falling out but this time it is everywhere on the floor but I guess that is normal.

I actually feel like I am going crazy sometimes. Feels like I don't have enough energy. Thank goodness our girl is such an easygoing baby. I am definitely sure that after 3 years it will be loads easier but I hope a lot sooner. With my son it was easy 10-20 months when I weaned him and then we were worried about his speech delay and I got pregnant and everything went chaotic.
We don't have any friends or family close by. I think having someone take care of them for you so that you can have a time off every once in a while would help a lot.

mummysam said...

When the youngest one goes to kindergarten :)

stacy said...

We have one child(by choice), a 4 year old daughter, and she is an easy child in general, but I noticed that when she was 3 1/2 life just got much easier. Lots less whining, more independent play, more wanting to be a big girl, not a baby, etc.

glenda said...

Yes... when the youngest is 3 it will feel right.

My hair fell out in clumps and the Dr did test to make sure it wasn't my thyroids. Thankfully it was due to pregnancy.

I'd ask my daughter in your case.

sarah anne said...

my kids are 16 months apart...and when my daughter was born (jan 1st) i thought i'd never leave the house again. that first year with two kids was super chaotic. around the time she turned two and my son was 3.5 i thought the world might turn around again. now they are 6 and almost 5 and they are awesome friends. it's a crazy time but you'll be though in no time...don't be afraid to get help (cleaning, cooking, child minding or psychiatric) if needed. it takes a village to raise children.

Michelle said...

Every month gets easier Joanna. The biggest break for me came when the baby could walk confidently. Not having my arms/ torso tied up all the time made outtings a lot easier.

Lara Kristin said...

We totally saw you guys this weekend! :) We were at the Natural History Museum. Anyway, I only have one kid, and I swear it didn't get easier till she turned six! I do not know how people do it with two, I'm in awe.

margaux said...

oh, god. i left a trail of hair behind me everywhere i went like a alopecic hansel and gretel. my daughter is 20 months now, and it's just now really beginning to look normal again which means i'll probably get pregnant very soon and lose it all again. yay. ( :

i can only imagine how tough it must be to deal with 2 little beings! wowza.

Bree said...

My girls are the same age spread as Anton and Tony. When they were about 2 and 5 I thought it got infinitely easier. At 3, Anton will have ideas about things that won't be Toby's. And, lo, the fighting will begin. I felt like my younger was much more eager to please (read: do whatever her sister wants). I do much more refereeing now. However, they are great friends too and I see it getting deeper as the days go on.

I also have a 3 month old now. When will that get easier? People say when she's three. :)

Emily G said...

For us, life with two kiddos seems to be a collection of extremes. The good is oh so good. The bad is... chaotic. The good thing is that things can switch from icky to great in an instant. I felt more like myself with time. First milestone was kiddo #2 sleeping through the night. Second milestone was when kiddo #2 switched to one nap. Third milestone was kiddo #1 starting preschool. And I agree with the advice of getting whatever help you need/want/can.

raina tinker said...

Oh I NEED to hear these replies- I'm due with my second baby in May and my first will be just under two at the time. So... I'm trying to mentally prepare for utter chaos but I'm sure it's one of those things you can't REALLY prepare for, right? I'm excited for sure, but also a liiiiiiittle terrified. Can't wait to hear you experienced mamas weigh in!

art lover said...

I only have one child but I completely agree, once my son turned one I felt a lot more normal and parenthood felt like old hat!

I would love to have a second child but I am a little freaked about having two. I found parenthood a huge adjustment for me (do other people lie and pretend it's easy???) and a BIG learning curve. It's gotta be easier the second time around....right?!!

And yes, my hair fell out something terrible at the 4 month mark and didn't stop until 8 1/2 months postpartum. I had beautiful, thick hair prior to birth followed by one awful receding hair line. I'm still working at growing my hair back. *sigh* Just one of the many "perks"!

Cathy V. said...

When I had my third child!

grapedidit.com said...

Thank GOODNESS my older sister told me about hair loss post baby or I would've freaked out. Yes, mine actually fell out more a few months after baby(s).

I have had the experience (4 yr old, almost 2 yr old) that it goes in phases. You have months where you realize everyone's trucking along (good schedule, good rhythm) & then transitioning periods where things seem shot to hell for a short time. If you can be zen about the transitions (I am not), you can coast along to the easier times :)

Your part about everyone being a mess made me laugh. So true. Last night our (sort of potty training) baby pooped on the floor, our little boy lost his new present from granddad & then baby dumped a cup of milk on the floor. In that moment, we had to laugh. Other times we don't handle as well. It's tricky.

bisbee said...

It REALLY gets easier when you become a grandmother!

Just kidding (sort of)! But, I agree with most of those who said when the youngest is 3. Of course, all of the time prior isn't totally difficult...when Anton is sleeping through the night consistantly, things will be easier, when he is walking, they will be easier and harder simultaneously, when he begins to talk it will be a bit easier...try to relax! This gift/burden of 2 children is still new! What really shows you the light at the end of the tunnel is when they really play together...that takes a LOT of the pressure off, and gives you a breather, even when you are in the same room!

Carrie Le said...

This post is so sweet. Totally melted my heart. <3

Carrie
www.inloveandwar.ca

stefanieshouldbearealityshow said...

My daughter just turned two and I feel like we have a pretty good handle on this parenting thing, but she is an awful sleeper and it makes me hesitant to have our second until she can get down and stay asleep through the night. Ebb and flow, ebb and flow though, right?!

Liz Slyh said...

Oh man, I thought the transition from one to two would be so much easier than it was. I mean parts of it were easier, I knew everything hard would pass and I already had my style of mothering but as a whole I found it a pretty tough change. I think it is interesting your friends have said when the youngest child turns three is when they feel like themselves again, my youngest is nearing his third birthday and it really is getting easy. I was like you with my first, I felt that things got easier and I was more myself shortly after her first birthday. I think the biggest reason it's easier as the youngest nears three is because once they are fully verbal it levels the playing field for siblings. My kids are best friends now and entertain one another so my job is really just meeting their needs and laughing at their antics. Good luck to you, it DOES get easier!

Anitra Sweet said...

I have 3 kids. A girl who is 3.5 and boy/girl twins who are 2.5. The twins will be 3 in March and I feel the cloud lifting slowly. It's still hard at times but it's getting better and better and more fun! Hang in there!

LPC said...

There are various stages of "getting easier." I will say that the hardest year of my life was the first year with 2 kids. So it gets easier at 1 year:).

Then it gets easier again whenever the youngest is really able to play - in my house that was, yeah, I'm going to say when he hits 5.

Then it gets really easier when the older one can have self-sustaining playdates, i.e. a friend comes over and they disappear for 3 hours to play, surfacing only for a snack.

It's really easy when they are 23 and 26:)

It is worth it to try and do a good job.

KATE said...

I just read an article this morning about Mum's feeling like they have it together once the baby is a year old - so that rings true with how you felt. My daughter is almost 11 months and she has been a dream, but we still certainly have our moments.
And on the hair front - I just cut my hair off as I couldn't deal with the regrowing baby hair fuzz any longer. I had an awful hairy halo whenever I put my hair up - not pretty!

domonique matthews said...

You are in the thick of it right now. We have 3 kids. It will ALWAYS ebb and flow!! There are times when it feels a little more on cruise control and there are other times when new issues arise when you least expect them. 3 was a tough year with my 2 youngest. Now that our youngest is about to turn 4, things are much easier. But let me tell you, my oldest is 10 and it's complicated in a whole new way! ah, the tween years.....btw, sorry to say, but your hair will likely never be the same again! I had my youngest at 37 and my hair has been falling out ever since. It's NOT one of the perks about being in your 40s. I only shampoo 2x per week now which has helped a lot.
you are a great momma!

Katie said...

There were so many great comments...and since there were so many, I didn't have a chance to read them all! So, this might be a repeat.
I don't actually think it (raising children) gets "easier." I think that as the grown-ups, we become accustomed to the new normal that is our lives at that moment. That's what makes it seem easier. We can anticipate what our kids need, how to support them, and when we might get some damn sleep!
Then, the kids switch it up again by mastering some new task: walking, talking, going on dates, (YIKES!) Then we have to readjust all over again and it becomes "easier" for a moment. It's kind of a beautiful ebb and flow when you step back from it for a moment. But maybe not quite as beautiful as a full night's sleep! ;)

WenC said...

I have 5 kids ages 2 to 11 and they are all about 2 years apart. My hair did fall out a few times, but it's all set now - it grows back. :)
As far as things getting easier, it's probably how you look at it. You know how those well-meaning, sweet old people pass you in the store and smile and say, "Enjoy it - it goes by so fast"? SO TRUE! I so clearly remember all of mine being newborns and they've come so far!
When you are not sleep-deprived, it's easier.
When you don't have to lug around a car seat, it's easier.
When you've taught them how to dress themselves, get a drink themselves, and go to the bathroom by themselves, it's easier.
Also, I think it's so important for moms and dads to identify what they need to keep themselves "afloat." Get your exercise, your fresh air, your time with a friend, your craft time, your nap, your together time or whatever it is- do not be the captain of a sinking ship!

Heather said...

I feel like it so depends on the mom but for me that first year is always brutal. After that it gets easier and easier. Keeping in mind that each stage brings new challenges to work through. Check out powerofmoms.com it has some awesome tips on surviving each stage.

Ashlee Hein said...

My daughter will be one next Tuesday and, like you, I feel like it is just not starting to get easier and I'm feeling more normal. I also lost lots and lots and lots of hair!! I now have full on bangs because it's all growing back at the same time! Crazy what motherhood does to us!

mommaruthsays said...

I don't know if there is a certain age -- with our crew, it's always been "when the baby starts sleeping through the night!" -- we're about to have our fourth, and I'm already dreading those months when the baby doesn't sleep. As soon as a baby starts sleeping continuously through the night, life just seems to get better in spades!

trish said...

You are not alone! I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 2 month old, and I also have those moments when I feel like we've got it all under control quickly followed by moments of chaos. Thank goodness they are so cute and give such great cuddles! I am also amazed at how my 2 1/2 year old only seems to remember the good moments and quickly forgets those moments when he's melting down, so I'm trying to follow his example! Our biggest challenge is the lack of sleep--our littlest guy is still sleeping in only 2-3 hour spurts. Did you find anything that helped Anton sleep better?

Rachel B.C. said...

Hahah love the George Costanza reveal!

Joanna Goddard said...

lara kristin, that is awesome! would have loved to say hi:)

Joanna Goddard said...

margaux, haha, your comment made me laugh out loud.

*katy* said...

I have two boys, 7 months and 3 and a half, and this post was especially timely for me. For me, the first few months were smooth, but when I returned to work full-time two months ago the wheels started to fall off. Because I have more flexibility in my schedule than my husband, I'm the one responsible for taking the boys to their daycare/school and picking them both up, and because they're in two different places right now it's a logistical nightmare. I feel like I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off, half the time! I have much more working mother guilt this time around, too. So I constantly feel stressed out. And I feel like I have no time (or money with two kids in daycare) to take care of myself anymore. I've gone from being someone who was always reasonably cool and stylish, to someone who can't hold an adult conversation and who needs to apply to be on one of those fashion emergency makeover shows. (Okay, maybe this is a slight exaggeration but it's how it seems, some days!)

But the flip side is the boys bring me SO much joy. I also *really* feel much more like a mom now that I have two, which is weird to say but it's true. With one, it was still kind of novel. We were the first in our group of friends to have a baby so everyone we hung out with were non-parents and I my identity as a mom just wasn't as strong. I also had more free time to continue to cultivate my own interests. Now, I'm in the trenches and I feel like all mom all the time. It's funny to feel like this has only sunk in after two, but I'm really loving it.

Unknown said...

My guys are now 4 and 19 months. Definately gets easier all the time but I think things hit a stride about a month ago (sorry if that sounds a long away for you). They go to bed at the same time and have really started to play together. Like for stretches of time. They frustrate each other sometimes which cause more work at times but the fun outweighs the complaints of late.

Amanda Visagie said...

Hair loss - the worst! And yes it happened to me big time. When does it get easier? Well, yes it is true life feels much easier when the little one turns 3, although there are some days I'm pulling my hair out. But actually the truth is it does get a teensy bit easier each day, really. You look back over a few months and you realise it has. My advice is try and crack the sleep thing with no 2 as early as possible. We left it for 18 months and we were like zombies from the lack of sleep. Hire someone to help you if you need too, seriously. The best money we ever spent. Once you are getting a full night it's WAY eaiser.

Julia Fain said...

hmmm. I think it gets easier over time and it just ebbs and flows (like you said) one thing I really like about my 2's ages now is they are really into playing board games together (they are 4 and 6) but really, they have been buddies since our little girl started walking :)

N K said...

My little guy just turned 4 months and I"m waiting with my breath bated for him to sit on his own. I think that's the first shred of freedom :)

Jenna said...

same thing happened to me after our second baby was born as far as the hair goes. it's just postpartum alopecia and it's completely normal. i just continued my prenatals and it eventually all grew back. i remember when ava was a year old, it felt like the hardest. between one and two, but now that we have nolan (who is now 14 months) and ava who will be 5 next month, it seems as though it'll get easier when nolan is almost two. i think it's different for everyone, but don't feel like you're a total mom failure when the kids are losing it and you feel like you just want to lock yourself in the bathroom. mama hood isn't easy, but you're doing a wonderful job! :)

xo jenna
sweet grace

Annie Green said...

Okey doke..it gets easier when they go to bed at the same time, eat at the same time, walk about together and entertain each other. So, let's say in one year you will find that things let up. But actually, just become different. It becomes physically more intensive but more enjoyable. Get them at the table at the same time (high chair for one) and able to feed themselves, in the bath together and into bed together and you can collapse so much earlier! Also, get them to nap together and go to bed yourself. Saved me. The hair grows back, worry not. Before you know it, one will be at school and then you will be breathing a little easier. Worth it in the end.

Annie Green said...

Okey doke..it gets easier when they go to bed at the same time, eat at the same time, walk about together and entertain each other. So, let's say in one year you will find that things let up. But actually, just become different. It becomes physically more intensive but more enjoyable. Get them at the table at the same time (high chair for one) and able to feed themselves, in the bath together and into bed together and you can collapse so much earlier! Also, get them to nap together and go to bed yourself. Saved me. The hair grows back, worry not. Before you know it, one will be at school and then you will be breathing a little easier. Worth it in the end.

melissa said...

You're awesome. I don't think I ever really felt like myself again after #1! My kids are almost the exact same ages as yours, so I love your motherhood updates.

Carrie said...

I had my 11 month old goddaughter this weekend (3 days) and my husband and I felt like we could totally rock this baby stuff. Now that is all over. Baby brain has been killed. Thanks all :)

Lana said...

Hi! I'm a long time reader, but rarely comment. Love your blog, and hearing about your experiences as a mama make me feel more normal.

That said, I have two little ones as well. They are 18 months apart - my son is almost 3.5 and my daughter is almost 2. They are a handful and it I am still waiting for it to get easier! :) It did get A LOT easier after my youngest turned 1 and I'm slowly starting to feel like we have a routine down. However, most of the time, it's utter chaos in our home. I am a total neat freak and so I've had to get adjusted to ALWAYS having a messy house. Those two kids are like tornadoes. My hair also feel out with my youngest, and it JUST stopped...I think that's just part of process of getting to a new normal. Most of the time, my husband and I just take everything day-by-day and take solace in the fact that (1) we are having fun despite the chaos and (2) it WILL get easier, and our little ones are turning into best friends.

Hang in there mama!! You can do this

Lana

sarah said...

things started calming down a bot for me when my little one turned 2… but they are getting even easier now that she is 2 1/2! i think the most helpful thing has been her language development. she was an early talker and so now speaks as well as my 4 year old so there is no doubting what she is gunning for. the most frustrating thing for me has been their constant need for me… i am only one person! now they play nicely together and i can force "quiet time" so that i can do stuff to keep me sane. like catch up on my blog roll! you have some more hard road ahead of you but it really gets easier day by day. keep your head down, you are doing great!

Eleanor James said...

I lost a lot of my hair around the same time after having my first. It was rough. Finally, after about two years, I think my hair is back to is thick luster. :) I have one toddler and as we approach her third birthday, I think things are getting easier. Honestly, I can't imagine having two! My LO is also high needs though, so she's very sensitive, easily excited or upset, and is a greater challenge than a child who is not high needs.
xo
E

Amy Lauree said...

Yep I felt basically bald! My hairline totally receded and in photos it looked ridiculous.
Easier with two...hmm..well my older girl is 4 and my second girl is 18 months. I find it easier now that I don't have to cart around baby pureed food haha. But naps are still crazy, and someone is usually crying every 10 minutes about something. But I think once your Anton is able to sit up and such it gets a bit easier...the beginning was the hardest in my opinion!

Melissa Blake said...

My mom seemed to find her stride once my younger sister was a toddler. Things weren't so overwhelming then and she could relax more.

GOSIA said...

1. never
2. never
a mum of 10, 8 and 2 year olds.

Jess said...

We have a 6 1/2 yr old boy and am expecting his sister
Any second now! My husband and I are both from big family's and our siblings all had kids close on age. After witnessing how hard that was we waited until we wanted to do it all again. Our son is very independent and is at school most of the day so I'm looking forward to the baby time again not dreading it. My sisters boys are 7 and 6! She definately drowned for a few years but now loves that they can share so much and do so much together. Horses for courses as the saying goes. FYI you look totally in control!

kmohawk said...

Hi Joanna, I have a 3 year old and unfortunately I'm still shedding. If it persists, check with your doctor about the drug spironolactone, which is prescribed for female hair loss related to hormonal balances (namely, overproduction of testosterone). Hang in there, you're doing great.

Callie Glorioso-Mays said...

Oh man! The hair falling out?? It's the absolute worst part of postpartum! My son is 16 months old and I think it's just starting to get better. I have naturally thick hair, so I don't think anyone else noticed, but I definitely do.

Eliza Lewis said...

I have 3 girls ages 3, 2, and 8 months. My life is so crazy that I don't even have a point of reference of what normal is anymore haha. It's definitely chaotic but I love it. Once you can put them all on the same schedule I think it gets easier. But then, of course, I'll be ready for #4 :)

Rachel said...

We just found out we are expecting our second next year. Our first will almost be 2. And am I the only one here whose hair didn't fall out?! Lucky me! *knocking on wood*

Home Sweet Style said...

Things became more normal for me when my youngest turned one and I stopped nursing. Huge difference! Now they're four and 18 months and I feel like we're hitting a happy stride. And the girls are great friends!

Jenny said...

I had a TON of hair fall out, but didn't realize how much until it started growing back. My son is 20 months now and I have these strange bangs now that won't seem to grow longer than 6"! At least it grew back though :)

Anna said...

I have a 6 and 3 year old (both boys) and we live far away from family and help and my husband travels often so at times it hasn't been the easiest - especially in that first year. It does get easier though when your younger child starts to play with the other child - instead of trampling/trashing their latest toy/creation/art project and when they actually start cooperating. As you said though - it chops and changes according to whatever one or the other are going through developmentally. Everyone reminds me though: enjoy them now because soon they'll be teenagers...
Btw bald or not, I still think you're very much a gorgeous Mommy!

simplystylishmom.com

Jenna said...

I had the same hair problem, and I found that the Aveda Invati system worked really really well. It's pricey, and I didn't keep it up once my hair came back, but for that period of 6 months - 1 year where it was growing back, the Invati really helped my hair seem fuller and thicker. Even my husband commented and he didn't even know I was using anything special.

Roopika Malhotra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roopika Malhotra said...

Joanna, I adore your blog and have been reading for years. I've never commented before, but thought you should know! I have two girls, two years apart. I don't think it will ever get easier per se, since each age has its own unique set of challenges (through adulthood!). Instead, I try to focus on just finding an easy moment in each day...a synchronized nap time, a somewhat peaceful meal together (even if it's short), a few minutes of parallel play. Those are the tiny everyday victories I relish, and I try to remember in the moments of chaos that it won't be like this forever, or even one month from now.

Unfurled said...

I'm having my second any day now, and different from the first child, I'm kind of resigned to the next year being really difficult physically. Between the breastfeeding, the hair falling out, the weight fluctuation. My only reassurance is that after the first year I, too, felt like everything regulated. It's just for a while (ok, what feels like a LONG WHILE) your body is really not your own, right? :)

emily said...

I have identical girls that are almost 8 months, so I don't know any different :) But I noticed a huge difference when they turned 6 months and finally had predictable schedules!

DesignMom said...

I remember thinking when my kids were 5 months and 3.5. This is the craziest and busiest it'll ever be. A co-worker just laughed at me. Flash forward. They are 4.5 and 7.5. And in many ways it's harder and busier. I think you just trade for different kinds of hard each year.

Jenn Rudolph said...

I am thick of the hair loss too! I remember having it with my first, but this time around it seems so much worse. It has lasted a few months, so surly there is an end in sight. Fingers crossed.
I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 7 month old and I feel like we have recently found our groove. Those first few months are an adjustment for everyone, but like you- seeing those boys interact with each other is so amazing. Sitting up was a pivotal milestone for us- I think my oldest felt more engaged when his little brother could sit up like him. They can sit in the same room and play/laugh- warms my heart. There are good days and bad days, but I am pretty sure that will never change! I have found there are few problems that a glass of wine cannot solve ;)

Bonnie Boyson said...

My boys are 2 1/2 yrs apart. I thought it was so much easier when younger bro started talking at 18 months. He could communicate his point of view and they would run around pretending all day. So much fun!

andscha said...

My hair started to fall out exactly four months after my sons were born - both times.

I made the same experience as you, and in my opinion it gets better when the kids are able to play together. My sons are 2 and a half years apart, now they are almost 5 1/2 and 3 years old and it's a lot easier than before. Plus they really seem to love each other despite all the fights… ;-)

Stacey said...

I have a three year old boy and a 6 month old boy. And just lately now that my baby started eating solids he has mellowed out so much and is sleeping so much better. I also felt nuts and so tired but I just weaned him to only eat once at night which has saved me! I thought every time he woke up he wanted to eat but it turns out that it was MY problem. So now I feel much more human with more normal sleep and I just pop his pacifier back for the other wake ups. Anyways...you are doing great. I am officially going to make myself a note that things get normal at 6 months because my husband and I have been losing our minds because we forgot what our first was like! We want a third but this time has thrown us for a loop!

Good luck...you will feel normal very very soon!

AMY said...

My kids are 3.5 and 1.5 and the past couple months life has just been so easy and perfect I can`t believe it. Seriously, I was sure I wanted 3 kids but now not sure if I can give up this perfect easy life, we have decided to at least wait another year to decide about baby #3

elisabeth said...

My daughter, now almost 5, was a poster child for easy babies, so when my son arrived two years later, I thought it would be a piece of cake again. I was totally wrong. He didn't sleep, really ever, and he cried for about the first six months straight. We always talked about having three kids, but I honestly didn't think I could add another child to our family without having some kind of a breakdown. In June, when my son was a little over two, there was a dramatic shift and all of a sudden I wanted another child. I'm four months pregnant now and while our life feels pretty under control, I'm definitely harboring some fears (bordering on abject terror) about what will happen when this baby is born.

I've decided it's more about the baby than the number of children. Easy babies just fit into your life more easily. The good news is that even the most challenging baby will most likely grow into an awesome kid. We just had a parent teacher conference at my 2.5 year old son's preschool and he was described as the "man about town" and so happy and well-adjusted. I wouldn't have predicted that when he was screaming and not sleeping for the first six months of his life, but now I'm hoping I'll have more perspective no matter what this third baby is like.

Oh, and the hair--it breaks my heart. My hair is fine to begin with. I pretty much look sick for months once it starts falling out. I'm blocking that part out and enjoying my thick pregnancy hair for now.

Jovana Đaković said...

the post i've been waiting for! my only child is 16 months old and i still don't feel like i've completely got the hang of it. but perhaps i had him before i fully got the hang of all my other responsibilities (i.e. housekeeping, work, marriage). i long for a second one but need to sort out the non-parenting areas of my life first.

as for hairloss - i had tons! the worst was the regrowth - i have bangs and i basically grew a second set of (much shorter) bangs underneath my regular ones which always found a way to poke awkwardly through. i basically had a bad hair day that lasted six months. but i thought ahead and got a short bob a week before my due date - short strands of hair at least look less scary when you see them all over your bathtub.

Astrid said...

O MY GOD may I just say that women are THE heroes!! After facing our periods every damn month our whole lives long, after carrying our babies, giving birth, and feeding them we also casually have to deal with stuff like hair loss due to dropping hormones or whatever (while our shiny and thick hair is at that moment basically all we have left :). That's just so unfair and horrible! I definitely want kids some day, but sometimes I am just so unbelievably happy that I don't have any right now; the thought of so much responsibility and hassle freaks me out completely, and it should be ok to say that. :)

Susan M. said...

I've had lots of hair loss w/both pregnancies. With my second born, who is 5 1/2 mo now, it seems to be tapering off. Many women don't shed much during pregnancy due to hormones, so there is some catch-up shedding to be done. I hardly shed at all when I was expecting. Yes, the baby bangs -- that's the worst part. How to style or camouflage? Maybe I'll get some kind of cap for bad hair days!

kiwigem said...

I have five children (ages 12 to 2) and my hair loss was worse each time. I hate it! I think when you feel like yourself depends largely on the child, but three is a pretty good rule of thumb. I'm sure others have said it, but don't wish away the little years. They are just magic. :-)

Jovana Đaković said...

also, i heard that the easiest age is between 6 and 12. i can see how that might be true, but it's a loooong way from now.

Susan M. said...

p.s. I'd love to bathe my baby with my 3 year old, but I'm not sure how to hold a baby in a big bath. Any tips?

iLa said...

Life with two is tough. My oldest is 2 and a half and my second is 14 months. Life it is still not easier. It has been better since the youngest started walking and eating more of what we eat, but still...it's tough.

iLa said...

Life with two is tough. My oldest is 2 and a half and my second is 14 months. Life it is still not easier. It has been better since the youngest started walking and eating more of what we eat, but still...it's tough.

New Mom and the City said...

I feel the same way... my little one is about to be 3 months and things are definitely getting better but there are times when we all want to pull our hair out!
http://newmomandthecity.blogspot.com/

Amy said...

I'm a single mother (by choice) of an almost 13 month old and trying to decide if I am going to try for a second. Because of my, er, advanced age, I need to decide quickly and keep hearing that 2 is a handful but I keep thinking that it is for a small window of time in the greater scheme of things.

Scout and Rice said...

OMG YES about the hair! Didn't that happen the first time around, with Toby? I remember about six weeks on having a shower and when I washed my hair a massive clump came out, and it just kept coming, no matter how much I ran my hands through my hair I just had more and more of it.
I had a freak out thinking I was dying or something; nobody told me I would lose my hair after a baby came along.

Jen said...

It is always going to ebb and flow like that with two, but after Anton turns one you will feel like you finally have your head above water.

After my second was born my hair thinned so much in the front, I was forced to get bangs! My hairdresser literally said, "you gave to." She was totally right. Once it grew back I was able to go back to my usual style.

You would look cute with bangs!

rindi said...

You're doing a great job, from this vantage point. You have such love for your boys and are so positive, even when things are tough.
I have two boys - my oldest is 3.5 and youngest just turned 17 months. With my eldest, things got so much easier at about 10 months. This time around, it was easy(ish) for us when the youngest was small - he took 4 hour naps in the afternoon, plenty of time for my oldest to nap and then we could go play outside! The hardest was when the youngest became mobile (about 6-10 months) and suddenly all the eldest's toys were up for grabs. Plus we were mired in the terrible twos at that point - that didn't help! Now that the youngest is walking, running and talking, it's a little easier. The boys are getting better at sharing, taking turns and the eldest can help teach or they can talk about the things they love (trains, trains, trains!). It's so wonderful to watch them play together. I feel like things are only going to improve from here. We're thinking of having a third, hoping for a girl, but I'm a little afraid! It took about 6 months longer this time around for me to feel like I wasn't at the end of my rope.

Aleisa said...

Oh my, the hair falling out! So distressing to pull your hair out by the handful. With both my boys, my hair began falling out in earnest around three to four months post partum (then let up a few months later). It was the most bothersome when cooking and preparing food because--as diligent as I was--my hair still usually ended up in the food. If we were cooking for guests, I would wait with baited breath as everyone ate and pray that no one came upon a hair (I should have just gotten a hair net :).

My boys are nearly 3 and 15 months, and I thought things felt easier once the youngest became mobile and the two boys could more easily interact and play together. (But that means they can also wrestle, push, pull hair, etc. :)

Maura said...

Vitoria is 4 and a half and Pilar is 20 months. Today I had some marvellous and peacefull 10 minutes just by myself while they both were in the living room alone painting. I was sure they were doing something they shouldn't because they were really quiet and tht's not a good sign! But I couldn't stop enjoying that moment of "relaxing" (if we can say we relax in this kind of situation). Then I came back slowly to see what they were doing trying not to be noticed and... the table, the chair, the floor, their hands and arms and their faces were all painted blue... Although, I thought it was the beggining of the easier times...

Maura said...

Vitoria is 4 and a half and Pilar is 20 months. Today I had some marvellous and peacefull 10 minutes just by myself while they both were in the living room alone painting. I was sure they were doing something they shouldn't because they were really quiet and tht's not a good sign! But I couldn't stop enjoying that moment of "relaxing" (if we can say we relax in this kind of situation). Then I came back slowly to see what they were doing trying not to be noticed and... the table, the chair, the floor, their hands and arms and their faces were all painted blue... Although, I thought it was the beggining of the easier times...

morgane daumarie said...

My son Evan, nb 2, is now 8 weeks, and i found it was all much easier the 2nd time around, birth, the first nights (no worrying about whether he's breathing every 5 seconds, no feeling this pressure that"shit i am a parent now, and i am responsible for this adorable thing for life!", …) ….
And for the moment I am still in that phase of pure happiness (hormones they say, but i take it as it is).
I guess my recipe includes a few things:
- when they are so little, they can sleep anywhere any time, so go out and socialise as much as you can (not going nuts, sleep is my first priority, obviously!)
- Evan has been on a bottle at night and now 2 (9 pm and 3 am) for the past 3 weeks, which allows me to A: have long night sleeps at least once a week when daddy takes over, and that makes me human and B: go out with daddy and / or friends
- concentrate on the recipe for sleep success during those first weeks, to get back into a normal sleep cycle asap … so timing feeds, baby sleeping in his bedroom from 2 weeks old, and others tiny little steps, one at a time, but they make me feel good and Evan sleep

… that was the part where i can gloat … after that my lesson from having Margaux was: do not expect your life to come back to what it was, so easy now is not what was easy before, spend your energy finding the fun in what you have now. It took me 2 years with Margaux and a depression, so I hope it takes less this time around :-)

no hair loss, but far too many additional kilos!

c & b said...

I am a single (child) and we have a single, but my cousin (who has multiple kids) has a theory. He believes that the first child is always much more easy going and the second one is tougher. He says, sort of jokingingly, that it's an evolutionary thing. If the first child was difficult then parents would never have another child and thus society as we know it would grow at a snail's pace.

Jesse said...

I have 2 boys ages 4 and 1. IT'S HARD! I think the first 6 months were harder, but I have to remind myself on a daily basis that things will change and to enjoy this baby toddler stuff while we have it. I remember thinking when the 2nd was born, why didn't anyone tell me this was going to be so hard? I struggled a lot with my changing relationship with my older son. He has taken it fairly well, but he's physically rough with his little brother. You are lucky Toby is so easy going. My hair is just starting to feel back to normal. You're doing great, Mama! Don't worry, we're here with you!

Hermalala said...

Oh, the hairloss....it freaked me out big time as well. At some point I got scared combing or even touching it, being afraid my complete ponytail would just fall off if I would do so...
The funny thing is, when you stop paying attention it all of a sudden seems to disappear ( the hairloss that is, not all of your hair. ;-))

About the age...our kids were 7 and 4 when we said; boy, this is really getting easy, they can dress, feed and wash themselves, we can do this, we're super parents!.....let's try for a third child. Two months ago our 3rd was born and yes, its a complete mess again...Just try to go with the flow, it does get better, it always does!

princess butterfly said...

I lost so much hair, but it does grow back, and it stabilizes.

For feeling normal, my midwife said a year, and I felt that too, but I also feel like with two there is a period of just realizing you are in a 'new norm', just as you go through it when you have your first child.

Truly the most most amazing part of having two children is seeing them love one another!

Amber said...

I think the transition to 2 was the hardest for me. (I currently have 3, they are each about 23 months apart) it seems between 5-8 months I got my rhythm, and then the baby crawled and it got a little crazy for a bit! It ebbs and flows. You will get there! Just cherish each crazy moment, which I'm sure you do! And wine doesn't hurt either!

Celine said...

I cannot agree more with what has been said so far - "kinda normal life" gets back when the youngest turns 3 or so. I am quite comfortable *now* with my 2 kids, 4 and 7 years old.
I could probably develop more on a "Now You Know" motto. Having an elder makes it much more comfortable to welcome a newborn, because there are so many things that You Know, Now. So, although Toby and Anton will turn to be very different human beings, Now you Know that :
- it gets better when Anton sleeps full nights (well, almost full ones). Alas, this will be the nights Toby chooses to be sick and keep you up almost full nights.
- you dont have to turn crazy every time Anton does something weird (sounds, noises, whatever) : this is normal for a very young boy
- it takes time and patience before you can interact with your little one - and once you have established a pattern and feel comfy with it, bam - Anton will develop further more and blow the pattern away. This is ok. At the same time, notice Toby has completed potty training, for instance. Bam, this is brand new.
I will stop for now with the Now You Know, you probably caught my drift :)
The last thing I know : Now, I Know I will not have a 3rd child.
-

Jennifer said...

My oldest is a bit younger than Toby, and youngest a month or so older than Anton. I am with you, some days are wonderful, and some are totally chaotic and stressful. Looking to the last 6 months, I can see that things are gradually getting better, so that is good. Hang in there! Remember to take a little time for yourself now and then.

And yes, between him pulling it out and natural loss, I was sure I would be bald. He's 6 months and in the last week or so I think I'm noticing the fall-out to slow down. Thank goodness!

Amy said...

When the youngest is 3 the eldest is often in school so that makes sense. I can't freaking wait for that day.

I have a 3.5 year old and an 18 month old and I would say that my youngest dropping his morning nap around five months ago was a turning point because then I could co-ordinate nap or quiet time and get a bit of a break. Getting my 3 year old to stay in her room is another challenge.

I actually find my 18 month old easier than my 3 year old. 3 has been tough. She is so whiny and she's the one who now gets up several times a night when she used to sleep like a rock. Ebb and flow as many others mentioned.

Jessica Scott said...

I reckon feeling 'like yourself' has something to do with when you get your period back.... It's like your hormones start to balance out & get back to normal. I remember thinking 'why am i freaking out that i can't get a car park, thats not like me'! It's the worst feeling! Sleep deprivation & crazy arse hormones - its recipe for self doubt, anxiety & chaos! But we manage to raise little people through that fug - motherhood really is like becoming a super hero!!

PenelopeB said...

When your second is 2.5-3 it gets easy, and once your first is in school its super easy. The trick is (and this is really important) not to have another one!

emmi said...

I have two kids in Manhattan too, mine are now 3 & almost 6 years old and there is a bit of a break in the madness for the moment. Looking back, although there were high tides and low tides of sanity, overall, things got easier on me and I felt more like myself again when I stopped nursing my youngest (at 18 months) and my son started pre-k at 4 years. I love it when my kids hang out and play together and I hate it when they fight but generally its the best thing ever. Hang in there!

ezrazoe said...

get your thyroid tested with a blood test... your levels could be shifting and causing hair loss. Very easy to remedy with thyroid meds or supplements. I am shocked that my kids are fighting a lot now at age 4 and 7 --- but up until now they were so fun to be around! ; )

Liz M C said...

Oh man, I remember going bald after Charlie was born. Holy crap I was not prepared for that. I knew some would fell out, but I would just run my fingers lightly through once and 30 hairs would fall right out. It went on for weeks. And the best part is when it all started to grow back in. I looked like a fuzz ball with all those super short hairs sticking straight up out of my elbow length hair.

I've wondered the same thing about life with two littles. Our son is about to turn two and I'm really trying to figure out if I could handle a second. I bring him to work with me, so it's ROUGH! I can't imagine adding in a newborn! Terrifying.

janul said...

For me it was when the younger one turned one year. At that time she started to actually sleep continuously at night. Up to her one year, the night time was a nightmare.

Luisa said...

First of all: Congratulations for your blog, I really enjoy it! It made me smile when I've read about three years, it's the same thing we say in Spain,..... And as a mum of two (6 &4) I have to say it's true. By that age we started traveling as before and we didn't need any special equipment!
Thank you for your work, I never miss it!!

E. and Baby P. said...

my son was a great baby and toddler and then when #2 came he was a nightmare. which i later found out is completely normal behavior with a new baby. now they're 7 and 3 and things seem a lot more manageable. my kids bicker and still have melt downs but they also adore each other which is just amazing to see and makes all the hard moments inconsequential.

Kira said...

My daughter is two and my son just turned 6 months. We occasionally still have crazy days, but I feel like we have found a rhythm these last couple of months. I'm no longer afraid to take them out in public by myself anymore.

My hair is totally falling out this time around too. It didn't happen after my daughter so I was pretty shocked that I'm losing it now. Such a bummer, but it grows back!

Kari said...

I have two boys, 27 months apart, and it wasn't until my youngest was 3 that things got easier (and more challenging in some ways). My boys play wonderfully together now, but it was hard in the early years.

Kate Miller said...

50mg Vitamin B6 3x daily stopped my hair falling out and regrew it! :) x

Clairsy said...

This is terrifying, my second is due December 30 (great planning there!) and my first just turned 2. I was just thinking things have gotten easier with him - now he's talking he's great company and I can kiiind of reason and explain things to him. So now I'm preparing myself for a holy sh!tfight with 2!

I have heard though that it's great when they're at a stage they can play together, so you're not constantly entertaining them. Yay, less stacking blocks and knocking them over!

Thanks for your honesty - you are a good mama.

(And totally hear you on the 4 month hair loss. Post birth I looked like I'd been hit by a truck but I was loving my full, glossy mane! Then it fell out.. to be replaced by a spiky fringe (I think you guys call that bangs?) some months later. Hot)

lauren michaud said...

I think it just changes! My boys are 5 and 2.5 and they are so sweet but we still have our chaotic days. You find a rhythm and then they grow or change and you find a new rhythm! It is totally fun and crazy and wild!

secret stylist said...

I was having just this conversation with my pregnant girlfriend today, she is expecting in early may and hers will be 21 m apart. I wondered if you could do a post on day naps? I'd love to hear readers thoughts as some days I struggle so much. My little boy can sometimes just nap 30/45 mins total! He's nearly 1 year old :)

Lucy x

Jodie De Zuba said...

I had twins first up so it felt crazy up until they were one. Now I have three and there are times where everything is going so nicely and then it all goes crazy for a while! I think that's just how it is, the calm moments keep you going thought the crazy times.

secret stylist said...

I was having just this conversation with my pregnant girlfriend today, she is expecting in early may and hers will be 21 m apart. I wondered if you could do a post on day naps? I'd love to hear readers thoughts as some days I struggle so much. My little boy can sometimes just nap 30/45 mins total! He's nearly 1 year old :)

Lucy x

Mariana said...

No experience with 2 but my hair also started falling out around 2-3 months.. HUGE clumps. I still have sections that are growing in and the baby is 18 months!

jen said...

For me it got easier when the second child could walk. My children are 5 and 3 now and it's a different kind of chaos because there is usually some sort of tears or fighting... I mean sharing, going on. The moments when everyone is happily playing, though, and we are floating in our little family groove, they are golden. Hang in, you'll be there sooner than you know it. Also, I still have thin areas on my crown with baby hairs sprouting around. It drives me crazay!

Maddie said...

sooo much hair loss. It broke our vacuum, was in all of our laundry, the dog ate it, my husband and I would both find it in our clothes, and my mom still finds it in her bathroom from when we visited 4 months ago. It was everywhere!

KR said...

I have 4 kids (7, 6, 5 and 1.5) and for me the turning point of going from compete insanity to the "I've got this!" feeling was directly related to getting enough sleep. None of our kiddos slept through the night until about 9-12 months but once they did and I was able to get some rest, I had the energy and confidence to handle the hectic household. Lining up nap times with quiet times is also important. Everyone in the family needs some alone time. Then you have time to "miss" each other and you've recharged your batteries. We call 4 the "golden age". Things will get easier before then but will get really enjoyable once the youngest is 4. About the hair loss - it's awful! I still have very thin spots and wispies on my temples!

gigi said...

Jo - I thought I was the only one! My baby Poppy is just a few weeks older than Anton (born at the end of June). I thought I was going to be spared the hair loss since it didn't start right away, but it kicked in about a month ago. Good thing it was thick to start with, because it looks like there's a wooly mammoth in my drain every time I shower.

Christine Davis said...

My best advice, from someone with girls who are somehow already 19 and 15! is that hair loss and sleep loss and all the other craziness is a fond, fond memory now. Now we say "remember the time..." And somehow, just like that, all the stress and worry and crazy is exactly where all the good stuff was :)
Still lots of good happening now with college and high school and watching my lovelies come into their own. The challenges of babies and toddlers morphed into the hurdles of school age ladies which in turn transformed into hearts full of feelings and growth with serious boyfriends and some big life decisions. Best ride of my life. It's SO good :) Just enjoy :)

valerie said...

Hi Joanna, nice to meet you at the lasagna party :) My hair fell out at around four months with both kiddos, but it was so much worse the first time around, with my son. Either that, or I am too sleep deprived to notice whether or not I have hair anymore. Re: two kids, we are not much further along than you, but I started to feel a bit more normal when our daughter turned six months. Somehow, having her sit and start to eat solids took away a bit of my anxiety. Of course, I still feel like I'm running a tiny circus most days, which is probably why I said, "I know" instead of "nice to meet you!" after you introduced yourself. Sigh.I am hoping to feel like a parenting genius in three years, or, if not a genius, at least a bit less frazzled.

Deane said...

Giben how healthy you look, and the care and attention you give your guys, you're doing very well.
"You're a good mama."
I digress, but whose jeans and top are you weariing.

Molly Witherington said...

My hair fell starter falling out with each baby when I quit nursing. But that was at around 5 months so could have just been the timing too, not the nursing. Anyway, I have 2 girls, right at 2 years apart. I feel like we but a great stride when they were 4 and 2. Started playing together well, Nd their diet was the same so I was able to fix 2 of the same at each meal instead of something different for each. Of course as soon as I said "we're hitting a stride and this is getting easy" we decided that maybe it's time for #3. And wouldn't you know it, #3 (a boy this time!) came 9 months later! I think adding to the fam doesn't make it harder /c of the # of kids but b/c you're throwing yourself back into the baby phase. While sweet, it does make everything harder. That said from someone who lives down south. Can't imagine having multiple kiddos in NYC! Your boys are adorable!!!

Megan Jones-Smith said...

I've been following all of your family adventures since I discovered your blog since we're basically just a few steps behind you - one boy who turned three in July, a second born this August. I totally feel you on the "this is wonderful" / "this is complete chaos" roller coaster. I have no insight, only commiseration. And the hair! Can't believe it's going to get worse. I've started to just run my fingers through my hair as a bit of a nervous habit and I come away with fistfuls. I also really need a haircut and can't decide if I should just wait until the great shed is over or not...

Miss Sarah said...

The hair. YES. Didn't happen with my first one, but my majestic mane from pregnancy all came out around the 4 month mark too. It was everywhere. I vacuumed every day and there were still tumbleweeds of my black hair floating around every crevice of the house.

Eventually, I had to just cut it off because it got all stringy and I looked like Gollum. Good news is that new hair is growing back! Bad news is... oh-so-slowly. Have been rocking a blunt bob with bangs for a year now. If it gets worst, just go to your stylist and get a second opinion! Makeover time:)

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Susan said...

Oh wow - my hair fell out for like 4 months straight. I think it stopped at around 6 months, maybe?
We have two now, also - a five year old and 8 month old. There are definitely moments of chaos - but the second child is SO MUCH EASIER, mainly because we know what to "expect".
Best of luck : )

Nat B said...

I have an 11 month old and another one on the way in a few months. My hair fell out in clumps too, I had a receding hairline! I can highly recommend taking Great Lakes gelatin every day, my hair is looking better than ever before (not to mention it is awesome for skin and cellulite!). Love reading your blog Jo, your openness and honestly is so endearing xo

Beautifulosophy said...

When both children are over four years old it really eases up. So much actually that we decided to have a third child...In this case I cannot enough stress the importance of having a few years of calm. Ours were 7 and 5 when out third arrived, and it has been beyond wonderful to see the two elder taking care of the little one. Here in Sweden "everybody" has three children (three is the new two) and many have them with two years in between, which is really hard work. Take a break and enjoy it I would say. Caroline

Mami China said...

We had babies around the same time (mine was July 23) but it's my 3rd one. I have 3 boys 5, 3, and 4 months. I think 1 kid became "easy" when I had the second, lol. I spent most of his first year thinking it was so hard but the transition to 2 was a tough one for me. I think when my second son was 8 months old things seemed easy because he was more interactive and my oldest son and he have been thick as thieves ever since. Having a 3rd baby hasn't been as hard of a transition for us except it feels super busy, like I literally don't have anytime during the day because someone needs something at all times. So I feel you on the times when I feel like they are such a blessing and the other times where I think to myself why did we decide to have them so close in age, lol. But we are trying to have lots of fun in the process and keep perspective that they won't stay little forever. Also, yes my hair is falling out, tons of it.

Camille serege said...

Hello joanna, I am a french mother of a young 8 month old girl named simone, she is an angel, with a very sweet nature and smiling all the time, but I have to say, that my body and my mind is in a bloody mess!
My hair start falling, when simone was 4 months, I almost lost half of it... My belly, bottom and thigh are ot anymore what it use to be and it is very frustrating! But I think it is the price to paye for having such a sweet life!
but it is heartwarming to see that other women are in the same mess!! it doesn't change anything, but i'm not feeling alone anymore!! so thank you so much! camille

jm said...

I just love that top picture of you and Anton in the park. It all gets better. Before you know it Anton will be 3 and Toby 6 and it will be easy sailing. I am glad you talk about how hard it is to be a mother. Usually, people paint such a rosy picture. Of course, the joys far outweigh everything, but still it can sometimes be a nightmare - especially when you are totally exhausted!

Lynn Read said...

Like you said, "It ebbs and flows, right?" My oldest will be two yrs old next month and my youngest will be ten months. Some days are great and easy going and some are just crazy with both wanting 100% of me with no mood to share.

My kids are very easily disrupted from their sleep schedules too. An extra five minutes of nap time or being five minutes late can mean on long night with some crazy hours for us. Hardest days are when when littlest one is teething or one or both of them gets sick. It spells disastrous for our sleep schedule which is harder for me to adapt to now for some reason.

I'm really looking forward to this time next year when my youngest will be almost 2 and will be taking one nap a day. It's crazy hard having two on different nap patterns.

Really though, it's almost like the hectic feeling is the new normal so it's okay ya know? Like how when you are a new mother you just get use to waking up to feed every few hours? It become your new everyday and you don't mind as much. Then one day you wake up and a new routine has become your new normal.

Katerina Kosta said...

I never had strong and thick hair so losing half of it after the birth of my son left me practically bald! I could deal with the baby fat but this was so frustrating!!!

jiggy jools said...

I am constantly in awe when I see my friends with multiple offsprings actually somehow managing to stay sane. I would go bonkers in under 24 hours!

lessthanperfectmama.com said...

Wish I had good news here but…it'll be tough for a while so rest up and go easy on yourself. My kids are 6 and 3 and while they were sweet together in the beginning, it's a throw-down between them most days. Lots of sibling rivalry and it can be utterly exhausting. My advice is to try to let more things go (not that I take my own advice!) and enjoy those fleeting moments of sweetness. And remember - this too shall pass.

barbara said...

I just posted about my morning routine with my two daughters: http://mybrandnewlifeasmom.blogspot.it/2013/11/morning-routine-with-two-kids.html

My daughters are 2.5 and 3+ months and things are still hard and chaotic here! I love reading your adventures with your kids because none of my friends has kids so close in age and if you don't try it you can't understand!
Honestly I hope things will be better way before 3 years!!

Kristin Ewald said...

Lots of greats comments and it looks like the reality is it never get's easier! That's not a bad thing though, the business just keeps changing! I have a 9 year old daughter and 4 year old son at 5 years apart (not by choice, but it was meant to be(). Things I thought would be easy weren't! My daughter was helpful when he was little yes, but her life and needs were so different that I have been in 2 worlds all this time! And as the years grow their lives get SO BUSY with activities, homework etc. It's just a new set of demands...pretty challenging ones!Just enjoy the ride!! the best part is the sibling bond, it is amazing..I am so happy I get trying through some tough years to see it with my kids!

martyna said...

Joanna! I adore your boys!
Three + months ago my two baby girls was born. Its not easy to have twins, but on the other hand I feel so blessed! I always dream of having three but now I am not so sure :)A week ago I strat loosing lots of hair too. I hope it will grow back quickly! I

Erin said...

My hair fell out for months after I had my baby! I could have manufactured hair dolls off of our bathroom floor. My son is 8 months old and I'm starting to feel back to myself again....but man, what a roller coaster it has been. I always thought I'd want to have 3-4 kids, but now that I've had one baby I can see why you'd stop at 1 or 2. You finally start getting the hang of things and feeling back to yourself and then you'd be starting all over again with another child. Ugh. It's worth it, though ;)

Tracy said...

I have three: my sons are 6 and 4 and my daughter is 2. With each new arrival life got easier when the baby was old enough to play (at least a little) with the others... around 10 months or so? and then much easier when the baby rounds the first year, isn't nursing as often, can start to drop the morning nap. At this point, my three entertain each other all day long - Such fun!

Jetsetter said...

Love your honesty - I've been there! It gets easier when you get them to sleep through the night. Each family approaches that differently.

I have 2 glorious daughters (2 & 3 years old - 15 months birth to birth) and it is and has been great for about 8 months now. I must get out of the house and meet g-friends, have date nights with my husband and tackle stuff alone in order to thrive at home with the kids. A little bubbly never hurt too!! Cheers!

Chuzai Living said...

Some say never! Different challenges at different stages. I'd say when the youngest starts going to school. Love your sense of humor!

Honore said...

I have really thin hair and I started taking Biotin (vitamin H) in order to thicken in up. I'm definitely noticed a difference in both my hair and nails, especially in the growth rate. Maybe it can help you too!

Anna said...

For me, it was when my daughter started walking at 13 months. I had a brief respite of ease when she was able to sit up and entertain herself for a few minutes alone. I could sneak in a quick websurf or read an article. But when she started crawling, things got hard again. I was so worried about her putting something in her mouth that she might find on the floor, and I felt like she was basically a dust mop for all the dirt on the floors--not that we have dirty floors at home! When she started walking, she also became more independent. Now she is 2, and things are great. we are thinking about having another and are relishing the ease of a 2 year old singleton till then!

Emily said...

Joanna, I'm always impressed with your ability to speak about stressful/difficult things in your life with both honesty and perspective.

Alaina said...

I have two and I love it, but I feel a lot like you...overwhelmed with feelings of happiness, love and confidence in our parenting in one moment and then a complete mess the next. I think it's all just part of the whole deal. My oldest will be 3 in March and the little will be 1 in December. It got easier once he could crawl and follow his sister for entertainment, but it's still tough. I hear it will be easier once the littlest can walk well enough that you don't have to carry all.the.time. Just know that you aren't alone and you are soon great!!!

L4G said...

I have an almost 3 and a half year old and a fourteen month old (two girls). I found the first three-four months with two really really hard, it was a much bigger adjustment than I expected. However, once the baby is no longer a newborn, I really feel like it all gets a lot more manageable. I've been back at work full-time for a couple of months now, and the girls love their nursery/kindergarten and we're all doing well. Long may it continue!!

S said...

thanks so much for posting about this (and everything else), Joanna! I'm not a mother yet, but your blog is my number one source of information on what to look forward to (and to be aware of so that I don't freak out, like hair loss).

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