So Kate Middleton is expecting her second baby this week. This is great news for the media because I expect there are only so many times they can run 'stories' like 'ROYAL BABY TO HAVE A NAME' or 'PRINCESS WILL GIVE BIRTH TO A BABY, SAY BOOKIES'.
And of course great news for Kate, who will have a lovely newborn baby to look after.
As well as a young toddler.
I wonder whether she thought this through.
To help prepare Kate for becoming a mother of 'two under two,' (because she definitely reads my blog) I thought I would give her the heads up on a few things.
Do not bother trying to get anything done ever.
While it is tricky to get stuff done with one baby, with two it is practically impossible. I have lost entire days trying to get things done and achieved nothing. You think, "I know; I'll write a list, get organised, tick things off as I go along." Easy, right? Wrong. Five days later you realise you haven't even managed to finish writing the bloody list. So I suggest doing what you can when you can.
Better still just use this list:
Look after the children.
Anything achieved alongside this list is automatically a bonus.
Do not try to get anywhere on time.
With two babies on the go, everything takes ages. 'Popping out' becomes a distant memory.
I remember a time when nipping out for milk simply meant taking clothes out of the wardrobe, putting them on, grabbing my bag and leaving the house. Now it can take hours as I desperately attempt to scrub baby snot from my clothes with baby wipes, clean bums, clean teeth, change nappies, feed baby, break up fights, chase toddler, dress toddler, dress baby, leave house, forget bag, return to house, leave house, forget baby, return to house, get baby, leave house and then when I finally get to shop, I have forgotten what the hell I went for.
Don't buy a double buggy.
You will use it once, realise it is really heavy and annoying and sell it on Ebay.
Someone always wants something from you.
A banana, a biscuit, a drink, a dummy, a poo, a wee, a wipe, dinner, lunch, breakfast, a snack, toys, clothes. Take me outside, take me home, take me to the toilet, take me to the park? Story, piggyback, Play Doh, song.
Your life becomes an endless cycle of getting stuff for small people. Some days you'll want to quit. Other days you'll want to scream. But you still get them the stuff. Because at the end of the day, it is far easier than being asked for the stuff, over and over again, ALL DAY LONG.
Surely, it must be impossible to love another human being as much as you love your firstborn? There could never be a baby as cute, or as funny, or as beautiful. Then baby two arrives and they are just as cute, just as funny and just as beautiful. And before you know it, you can't imagine life without them.
Get an extra pair of eyes to put in the back of your head because, at one point, your children will try to kill each other.
Not intentionally, of course. But toddlers seem to be under the impression that 'dangerous' means fun. For example; "It will be so funny to whack my sister over the head with a mug." And "I wonder what will happen if I stick this pencil right up my sister's nose."
Buy two of everything.
They always want what the other one has. Toddler could pick up a dead frog and Baby would still drop whatever she was doing and decide she desperately wants that dead frog more than anything in the world. You can tell them to share until you are blue in the face. But apparently 'share' is toddler speak for 'snatch'. I would also suggest that all the children's cups and bowls are the same colour. We have a single blue bowl that is currently making my life hell.
Having two children close in age can be exhausting and frustrating.
It is rare that a day goes by where I haven't silently sworn about something. But mostly, it is pretty amazing. And there is a great comfort in knowing that no matter what, they will always have each other.
When they are not trying to kill each other, they are best friends...at least until they both want the blue bowl.
So how do you survive with two children under two?
Coffee, wine and shed loads of blue bowls.
Unless you are a princess – then you just need servants – lots of servants.
Do you agree? What advice would you give someone (or Kate) expecting a second baby?
This article was republished with the kind permission of the very brilliant blogger Emily-Jane Clark. You can read more from Emily-Jane Clark on Stolen Sleep.com or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
More on Parentdish: Second child syndrome