Being a mom of two is harder than I thought

Being a mom of two is hard

Yazi I can’t help but feel that my parenting standards have dropped, being a mom of two is harder than I thought. Khumo turned 6 months two weeks ago (yes I know that haven’t done a baby update yet) and this marked a huge milestone in my life as much as in hers. I felt like I had achieved something quite significant, because it’s been a mess behind the scenes. Between the interrupted sleep, the kids constantly exchanging germs and making each other sick, teething, fevers, homework, full-time employment, blogging and house-holding, it’s really chaotic. I feel like I’m scraping through everything in under-achiever style and I’ve had my share of meltdowns over these 6 months.

 

Why is it hard to be a mom of two? A few things have stuck out for me:

Having two children is LITERALLY double the work:

I feel like I should have known that, because… well, it’s “obvious” after all, but the realities only dawn on you later. It’s a case of “you don’t know until you know”. You can plan all you want while expecting your second baby, but you don’t know what changes it will effect for you and your family until that baby is actually there. Keeping both of them clean, happy, fed, and alive is quite the challenge :)! I used to be the mom that was on top of everything, when it was just one 7 year old to deal with. Sadly, I’ve dropped a few balls on both ends at some point and I’ve become the mom who is 100% reliant on the reminders in the parents Whatsapp group for the activities happening at school and I’m learning to be okay with that.

When you have your second child, it doesn’t mean your original responsibilities disappear:

After the post-baby high, things quickly go back to normal. Once all the extra helpers get over your new-born and return to their own lives, you’re still left to take care of BOTH your children. It’s a big change for a mother as well as the older child too, who still needs your full attention as well as the care they needed when it was just them. I touched on this topic in my post about helping your older child adjust to your new baby. A complete mind-shift is needed here really and lots of planning; this has been one of the hardest parts for me. I usually wear my baby in a sling when I get home, so I have my hands free to cook and help my son with homework.

 

It’s not a copy and paste job:

Although I found the new-born stage SO much easier the second time around, I can’t predict which night my baby will keep me up or expect that the things that my son liked will work well for my daughter. I’m realising that you can’t just duplicate everything. They have their own personalities, preferences and tastes, over and above the fact that they have a 7 year age gap. Khumo started solids (you can reference my guide to introducing solids) and I thought it would make meal prep easier, but Lesedi doesn’t like veggies at the moment so I’m doing double to cooking anyway.

 

I love how they love each other

I have no time for myself, this time I mean it:

I felt this way when I had one child, so this feeling has deepened quite significantly since my daughter was born :). My drive to and from work is the only time I’m alone and most of that time my thought-trail isn’t about myself, but rather what I’m going to cook, what I need to pick up at the shops, how many emails I need to get through… Not good.

 

Disciplining my older child is more challenging:

Not sure if this is just my personality, but I often feel guilty when I have to reprimand Lesedi. It’s the strangest thing but I just feel like it’s not fair for his baby sister to get away with everything and he doesn’t. I feel like I’m showing favouritism. Argh, does the mom guilt ever end??????

 

The point of this post is not to complain about my children, but to highlight some of the realities of being a mom of two that I personally hadn’t considered before. I want to encourage the overwhelmed mom-of-two (or more) that may be feeling as run down and overwhelmed as me – you might be sitting there, thinking you’re not alone at this and doubting yourself.

The most important thing to me right now is that my children are healthy, growing and happy. I know that this feelings of being overwhelmed will pass once Khumo is a little bit older, or at least that’s what I tell myself when I need to calm down. I know that we will find our new normal eventually.

Despite the chaos, I am still very open to us having our third child (madness I know) and every single night, I go to bed with a heart that’s grateful and ready to give them even more love the next day.

Any other moms out there feeling the same?

Modern Zulu Mom

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22 Comments

  1. Oh boy – I remember those days of having little ones and a slightly older one. We had 3 under 3 for a while just after the twins were born. It was hard – very very hard. Today the admin is huge – and I can actually not work and do it all. Hence the au pair.

    Best of luck!

    1. I’m so glad to hear this from a mom that’s been there; I’ve felt crazy a few times. Thank you so , it’s reassuring

  2. Eww! Kwaze kwaba nzima.. hang on mommy. You can always find solace in the fact that you’re doing the best that you can. When you do feel like the load is getting a bit too heavy and need the assistance, even if it’s just an hour or 2 to yourself, never be too shy to ask for it. 🙂

  3. Eww! Kwaze kwaba nzima.. hang on mommy. You can always find solace in the fact that you’re doing the best that you can. When you do feel like the load is getting a bit too heavy and need the assistance, even if it’s just an hour or 2 to yourself, never be too shy to ask for it. 🙂

  4. This is my main concern about having a second kid. I don’t want to rush Harley out of the role of being the baby, but obviously she will have to get a different kind of love and attention when a newborn comes along. Thanks for sharing the truth of just how hard it can be!

    1. I totally hear you Zoe. I have a 7 year gap and in the beginning the guilt was still there, even though he’s out of the baby stage. If you get there, you will find a way to make it work, trust me. It’s manic but it works out.

  5. I’m still on maternity leave and I can’t imagine what it’ll be like being a mom of 3 working full time. As backward as it may seem, I really think that moms should stay home period and look after the house and develop the kids. I feel like we’ve put ourselves in situations where our standard of living is so high that moms need to work to support it, whereas we can do without the extras, live in smaller homes and just stay at home. I’m super nervous about getting back to work. Can’t I just win the lottery?!

    1. It’s not easy mommy, but it is not impossible. I always think back to our grannies who used to have 5-10 children.

  6. I STILL have mom guilt that I am trying to deal with. With just one child I feel overwhelmed at times.

    The thought of another leaves me in a panic!
    😩😩

  7. Dont sweat it my darling you’re doing great. My kids have a 4 years age gap and it feels guilty to say”hayi” to my boy whereas the little one just does all they want and doesn’t get a “hayi” too. It will feel like you’re doing favouritism whereas he got away with things when he was the same age as his sister. I love how detailed you write and it feels like your story is mine 😀
    I think its ok to feel bad here and there but don’t beat yourself up about it. Much love mommy

  8. Reading this post it is as if i wrote it, I have a 4 year old and a 3 months old. It has been chaotic and i also feel i don’t give my 4 year enough time. Before the newborn i was always on point everything figured out and i had a working schedule. I don’t think i will go for baby number 3 even though i would love to have a girl someday. I am thinking if i had hired a helper before birth maybe things would have been better.It tough being a mom.

  9. I know how you feel,having 3 kids has been the most challenging period for us.I feel guilty about not being able to put all three to bed and read them their bedtime stories but I also remind myself that I’m doing the best I can. It will get easier with time once baby girl grows older and try to get assistance of q nanny or a night nurse.

  10. Oh my word! Sjoe, this is giving me something to think about. I thought it was much easier with the second one coming – but you speak the truth. Though it might seem easier, because you freaked out on Baby 1, the workload is more. There is actually two wanting your attention and that needs to be clothe, fed, etc. You really find out these things once you get there. This post is an eye opener. Strongs mama, I am sure you are doing a great job.

    1. Thank you so much Mel – it’s easier in some ways and not in others but you know what, it is literally double the blessing and I wouldn’t change things. xx

  11. “Keeping both of them clean, happy, fed, and alive is quite the challenge” 😂 the way I’m feeling this with only one tot! I applaud you for keeping it together especially while juggling all of the other adulting stuff. A few meltdowns here and there are necessary and totally ok. God knows I’ve had (and continue to have) my share of them. Just when I think I’ve got this motherhood thing down, I realise I don’t. Have no idea how two+ kids will be eish.

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