Two Small Kids: A Real Balancing Act

| September 26, 2013 | 17 Comments

The days can be a real balancing act trying manage the logistics of parenting a baby and older toddler. One day soon they’ll play together, and we’ll barely notice the 21-month difference. Right now, though, these early, physically demanding years are what I believe they call being “in the trenches”.

The kids (now 2.5 and almost 9 months) are both at ages known for dependency and not for patience. Otherwise, their needs are pretty much all different, from eating to sleeping to playing. We have one who needs to nap, and another who wants to get going. One who can’t yet walk, another who wants to climb all over everything.  One who loves to play with coins, and another who tries to eat everything.

There’s us at the playground, me trying to help Big Bro navigate monkey bars (read: hold his entire weight while he touches each bar) at the same time as Little Bro dangles in the Snugli. I pulled a muscle just thinking about it now.

And yet, both are also at TOTALLY ADORABLE and fascinating ages, and I just want to hug and squeeze them to bits and lie on the floor with them and bask in all the “they’re only small once” stuff and milestones and stories and shaking sillies out and more hugs and one-on-one time. And I want to do it to the same extent that I could do it when I had just one kid.

And, oh yeah, take care of myself and make food and do dishes and all that stuff that I used to do when days included a “nap time”.

I’m a smart person who understands logically this is not possible, but somehow, I catch myself thinking that I should be able to manage all of my attention all of the time to each kid. I get myself all strung out thinking there must be a way I can cuddle one and wrassle with the other at the same time.

They’re only young once! Savour every minute! ACK! I’m trying!

So it’s an adjustment to process reality, even if I knew rationally this is how it goes, and sometimes I find myself feeling all bad for whichever kid is not getting the attention or whomever I’m missing out on. Aww, poor Big Bro is wandering around with a laundry basket on his head because he’s been waiting all morning for his brother to wake up and eat before we can go out. Or, aww, poor Little Bro is all sleep-deprived because he’s been tagging along at all his brother’s activities. The humanity, I know.

I know they’re fine. And I know it’s good for them to have their own time to play and, you know, contemplate life. Good for me, too. Still though. I sometimes picture what goes through their minds…


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Category: Babies and Toddlers, Family, Kids

About the Author ()

I am a lifelong (award-winning!) cartoonist and mother of two delightful boys, aged 7 and 5. I like to view today's adventures in parenting as material for tomorrow's cartoon. Looking at family life through "cartoon-coloured glasses" helps me keep the all-important sense of humour required for raising kids... even for the events that don't seem so funny at the time.

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  1. Valancy says:

    There certainly is a huge gap between what we “rationally know” and what we believe. I can relate! This post made me smile; thanks!

  2. Sharlene says:

    I can relate – my first 2 daughters are 15 months apart (now 13 & 12), then my last two (boy & girl) are 2.5 years apart (5 & 2)..the first years are tough, but as they get older it gets a bit easier..especially when they’re out of diapers and can entertain each other – or at least when they can sit up. 🙂 Hang in there! It can be done…

  3. Lynn M says:

    I can relate,my boys are only 18 months apart.But when he started to crawl,I had my oldest show him how,it was the cutest.

  4. It’s always nice to hear others are having a similar experience! 🙂

  5. Brenda A says:

    Ahhh, I remember those days. I miss them. You may one day, too! My girls are almost 7 and 9 and I have been a stay at home mom for 7 years. The best career move I have ever made!

  6. Oh, definitely, I’m all too aware that I’ll miss these days, even when things are easier. That’s why I’m trying to cram as much into these days as unhumanly possible!

  7. Omg I can relate! I have a 1 1/2 year old and 6 year old. It’s hard. I’m a tired mama.

  8. Katina Michelis says:

    I call them ‘survival years’…do the best you can, with as much patience as possible, to keep them alive and healthy!

  9. Jo-Anne Pfoh says:

    I don’t know how you do it, I found one hard at times.

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    Actually when someone doesn’t understand then its up to other
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  12. kathy downey says:

    I remember those days so well

  13. kathy downey says:

    That sounds like a big job my kids were 6 years apart

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