If you’re thinking of putting yourself in the position where you have back-to-back babies, there are a few facts you will want to get your head around first.
- You will be a fashion spectacle.
There’s an order of operations when parenting back-to-back babies: naps first; food second; personal appearance (and hygiene) a distant, distant third. You will become a disheveled mess of mismatched plaid and stubble. You will go to the grocery store in striped pajama bottoms and a lumberjack shirt and think it’s no big deal. Because you just don’t give a shit anymore. (And everyone needs food. Especially premade, fake healthy quinoa salads and weird premade chickens.) Your laissez-faire attire will leave people whispering in the fruit aisle. “Is that a hipster or just a mom with back-to back babies?” It’s hard to know one from the other. The telltale difference— your mismatched plaid has baby puke on it, and your stubble is hidden. (Unless you grew a weird hormone beard, and if that’s the case, I’m sorry.)
- You’re mouth and feet will act as hands.
Question: Are you a monkey or a mother with back-to-back babies? (Answer: We’re all monkeys; don’t kid yourself.) You will find yourself opening baby gates with your feet and fetching receiving blankets with your teeth. All while carrying a toddler under one arm and cradling a newborn in the other. You will amaze yourself (and your baby-making counterpart) with your dexterity and fine motor prowess. You will contemplate moving to the jungle when you master swinging from the light fixture. You will opt to stay home instead because it’s too much work to go anywhere.
- You will eat baby food.
Goldfish and raisins anyone? That’s what’s for supper at my house. So if you’re coming over, you better have low expectations and high carb snacks in the car for the drive home. And if you actually love me, you’ll bring me an orange or a multivitamin…something with some actual nutrition in it.
- You will be so exhausted you’ll be nauseous…exnausted. Haha.
- You’ll make up words that sound funny in your head, but stupid out loud.
- You’ll do stuff you never imagined you’d do.
Did you ever think you’d be nursing a newborn while simultaneously wiping a toddler’s ass? Well, if you’re planning back-to-back babies, then that is your reality.
- You’ll let go of all your strict parenting standards.
Thought you’d never co-sleep? Swore you’d never bottle feed? Insisted your kid would get zero screen time? HA. Bye-bye ideals, hello survival tactics. You will sleep with anyone in your house if it means a few zzzs. You’ll feed your baby anything FDA approved. And you will personally bless each Bubble Guppy individually in your nightly prayers. (God bless Oona. God bless Nonny. God Bless Mr. Grouper…)
- Your written communication will suck.
ergonomics has yet to figure out a keyboard that allows you to type while holding a newborn and playing dinkies with a toddler therefore you will find yourself writing Facebook messages important documents all in lower case with no punctuation just draw the line at work emails just because cormac mccarthy can get away without punctuating doesn’t mean you can
- You will let stuff go.
And I don’t just mean your waist line and eyebrows. I mean when your toddler decides to take a loaf of bread for a walk leaving slices strewn throughout the main level of your house, you will look the other way. When he fills the toilet with Smurf figurines and presses flush, you’ll pretend you don’t see it. When he puts a bouncy ball in the dryer, you’ll ignore it. Basically, your toddler will experience the glorious, free-range childhood of a kid from the 70s.
- There will be quiet moments.
There will be times when you look up, and your toddler will be happily playing in the Tupperware cupboard while your newborn lies on the kitchen table mesmerized by the lights. The laundry will have miraculously folded itself and the dishes will have somehow put themselves away. (Thank you, Husband.) For a fleeting moment, you’ll think to yourself, Back-to-back babies, pfft, I’ve got this! Bring on a third. (Just joking, please don’t.) I’m a natural. I was BORN for this shit.
And just as you get all cocky and abrasive, your toddler will throw a full-on screeching hissy fit because the green Tupperware lid won’t fit on the clear container. Just then your newborn will start to cry hysterically. You’ll pick him up and coo sweet, motherly things to him. He’ll respond by power puking down your shirt. Thanks for nothin’ newborn.
Scarcely phased, you’ll take a deep breath and coach yourself to just go get a clean shirt. On the way to the laundry room you’ll slip on a piece of bread. Husband will yell, “Who put Smurfs in the toilet again?” And as you slide into your warm lumberjack shirt straight out of the dryer you’ll find yourself asking, “Why does my favourite shirt smell like melted rubber?”