Your big day is almost here! Congratulations on soon becoming a member of the 2-under-2 club! Let me tell you: It’s quite a club. Pardon me? What is the 2-under-2-club, you ask? Why, Kate, it means that you have two babies both under the age of 2 years old. Is it daunting, you ask? No. Not at all. Well, a little. OK, yes it is. But if anyone can handle it, YOU can!
Being a prize-winning member of the 2-under-2 club is a pure breeze if you simply follow a few tried-and-true rules. Please indulge me with sharing some tips. What’s that, Kate? Will the Queen approve of these tips, you ask? I’m thinking no. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
Forget about getting a toy for the older sibling to ease the transition from only child to older sibling. Your first born needs to know that you expect him to help you at a moment’s notice! That means fetching diapers, grabbing burp cloths and picking up pacifiers off the floor when Mommy asks for it. The most optimal way to do this is to create a baby boot camp of sorts a few months before baby No. 2 arrives. (Yes, I did this with my daughter, and she is, to this day, my greatest helper.) Use the baby doll to "teach" little Prince George how to be gentle with a baby, quiet with a baby, and yes, how to change that baby doll’s diaper should duty call.
2. Ditch your fabulous duchess dresses.
Manual labor requires stretchy pants, comfy tops and sneakers.
(This is painful, I know. And if I had the wardrobe you had, I’d seriously scream at this suggestion.) But once you have baby No. 2 (and your first baby is still under the age of 2), know that you officially leap into manual labor mode. You. Are. Working. Every. Day. Manual labor requires stretchy pants, comfy tops and (gasp!) sneakers for speed, energy, bending, twisting and resistance. Please warn the Queen that you might be making a few appearances here and there in never-before-seen wardrobe for royals.
3. Stock up on (and drink) coffee.
I suggest sending your husband to the market to right away. I realize the English prefer tea, but trust me on this one. You will NEED coffee. NEED. IT. Which leads me to my next suggestion …
4. Banish breastfeeding from your to-do list.
Is it controversial to skip breastfeeding? Some say yes. Will bottle feeding make you a bad mother? NO. To quell any potential uprising or disdainful chatter within the monarchy, perhaps you should initiate a national movement supporting mums who choose to opt out of breastfeeding for the pure sake of making your new 2-under-2 status a bit more easier on yourself. Breastfeeding can be difficult, and (I imagine) it can become un-peaceful and complicated to do effectively when you have a 2-year-old tugging on your leg at the same time. (Although, I wouldn’t know. I opted out of nursing both times.) Take a proactive leap for British womanhood and banish any and all feelings of possible disappointment, pain, frustration and potential feelings of inadequacy that breastfeeding is sometimes known to perpetuate. Your country depends on you. (All that said, if nursing was something you enjoyed, and came relatively easy, then by all means do it.)
5. Get grandma to crash on your couch.
I'm guessing the Queen wouldn’t mind coming over to pitch in for a few days? My mother-in-law was fabulous about sending food to our house during the first weeks. Maybe ask your mother-in-law to help with that? A few extra hands here and there in the early days helped me find my rhythm and groove between balancing two babies (because yes, you suddenly realize that you have TWO babies to take care of). Maybe she can occupy little George with some games?