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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Two Under Two

I was one of those "crazy" people who had two kids under two.  Some people told me when I was pregnant that I was crazy, others were supportive and thought it was fantastic.  Yes, it was on purpose.  Yes, we thought it through.  Yes, we decided it was a good idea.  No, we were not crazy.

After I had Sofia, some people still thought I was crazy.  I had to be careful who I complained to about daily life, or else I might be met with the response "You shouldn't have had them so close together" or "I told you it was crazy."  I just wanted to scream "It's too late for that now!"

I couldn't talk about what was going on with Josie and how it made me feel.  I was told that Josie was "normal," that "This is how toddlers act," and "She's fine."

It seemed like any time I mentioned I was exhausted, I was met with even more comments.  "What did you expect with two under two?"  "It's because your nursing."  "Chasing Josie around and taking care of a baby must be hard work!"  Nobody seemed to remember that I wasn't chasing Josie around, she only wanted to play by herself.

These comments didn't help me with what I was dealing with.  I began to feel like I was just not cut out to be a Mom.  How come other people could deal with two under two and I couldn't?  Until we realized that Josie was having issues, and not behaving like an average toddler, I thought was just a bad mother.  Every one of these comments stung me.

I know that the reassurance about Josie was supposed to make me feel better.  But it didn't.  All it made me do was feel like a failure because I couldn't handle it.  If she was normal, than tons of other Mom's could handle it, and I should be able to too.  Why couldn't I?

All I ever wanted was to have babies.  I dreamed about it from the time I was a little girl.  I looked forward to having a large family, and was delighted when I found the perfect man to share my dreams with.  And now it felt like it was all falling apart.

So, I beg of you:  If you know somebody who has two under two, do not call them crazy.  Do not ask them if it was an accident, that is offensive.

Regardless of whether they have two under two, or not, if you know any mother I ask you:  If they need to vent, just listen.  Do not make comments such as the ones I described above.  Offer to help if you can, and FOLLOW THROUGH ON THAT OFFER.  Do not make empty promises.  Let them know that things will get better.  If they sound like they are having a really hard time, suggest that they speak to a doctor.  It could be that they are experiencing postpartum depression, or that their child is truly having an issue.  It could be a combination of the two, as in my case.

And, if you are the one having issues like I described, seek out help.  Talk to your husband.  Talk to your best friend.  Talk to the doctor.  He/She will put your mind at ease, and if you do need help, will start the ball rolling.

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