The daycare and SK years

Chaos

They eat the same foods now but differently. One naps the other doesn't. Bedtime is at different times. Daycare and SK are at different locations and require us to focus on both. We can't give either kid the attention they need. Dogs need yet another kind of attention and we aren't about to neglect them. We can't watch a movie together. There is lunch to be made for SK every day. Diapers need to be changed. The house needs to be toddler-proof in a way that allows the older child to play still. It's impossible to do crafts together - glue and a one year old are not a good fit. We can't read books together. There is no time to cook. No time to do the dishes or laundry.

Our holiday is to go grocery shopping alone.

Going out together is very tough - it's a logistical nightmare. The things a five year old thrives on are either dangerious or at best inappropriate or meaningless to a one year old. The little one doesn't speak yet at 17 months - we don't have time or the opportunity to speak to him because the older kid hijacks every second of attention or if she's not talking to us then she's jumping up and down two feet away from our face and singing a song. How to tell her to stop singing and dancing when we spent years to tell her that singing and dancing are OK? She's not being obnoxious about it. She's just being a five year old.

We both have full time jobs - although, thankfully, flexible jobs. Two kids aren't an issue: two kids with a four year age gap at ages one and five are the issue. It's like taking a cat and a dog for a walk. Good luck. I've read that this is perhaps the most difficult age gap and this is the most challenging time. A four year age gap at 3 and 7 won't be that hard (hopefully). 0 and 4 was rough but nowhere near as rough as it is now. I'm sure it'd be easier if we didn't care as much about what's best for the kids (best is not the same as easiest or quickest) but as it is we're both giving 100% and still feel that the one year old is being short changed on our attention.

The good thing is that the attitude is right. Attitude is hard to change. Other things we'll learn, they learn or time will make easier. Speaking of time, as much as it's tough now, I'm keenly aware that these years will pass and we'll miss this chaos more than anything. Because chaotic as things are, the kids' eyes are bright with joy and enthusiasm and a hug from them has more meaning than what sanity can offer.

Zero to three

Four + zero

The daycare and SK years

Six year old big sister, two year old little brother

Ten years total