Arrival of second baby throws all routine out the window
PUBLISHED: 17:36 25 January 2019
Rookie dad Chris McGuire says the only thing he's trying this January is dealing with TWO children
It’s that time of year, isn’t it?
Change is in the air, which – if I’m honest – isn’t something I enjoy. I am, by temperament a lover of routine. If I could, I’d wake at the same time every morning (7:15am), use the same shower gel (‘Zesty Lemon’), eat the same breakfast (a bacon roll with ketchup), wear the same clothes (or ‘similar’ clothes, fresh each day) and... and... well you get the picture. Essentially, living in The Truman Show would be just fine by me. You may think this makes me extremely dull – but that’s fine. I’m used to people saying that, especially at this time of year; it’s all part of the routine.
As a hater of change, I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions. I feel no desire to launch into (ultimately futile) attempts to revolutionise my life, each and every January. The whole binge and purge cycle is understandable; you over indulge over the holidays then rein it back in during January. I get that, I’m just not interested. If I wanted to start eating nothing but kale smoothies, I would. Equally if I wanted to spend every free moment doing laps of the neighbourhood in fluorescent Lycra I’d do it. Or if I really wanted to reorganise my house to fit in with a tidiness lifestyle philosophy I’d do that too. The truth is I have no desire to do any of these things. Equally I’ve no real wish to listen to people smugly announcing their moral superiority as a result of their fleeting involvement in the latest January fad, but that’s another story. For me, January should be much like February – a non-event of a month to be endured as we wait for the main attractions (I’m talking about the summer).
This year, however, any attempt to get my post-Christmas life to fit into a recognisable routine has failed.
A rather significant event in my little family has taken place. My daughter, our second child, was born earlier this month; meaning any previous pattern has gone to the birds.
Firstly, let me be clear, I’m over-the-moon about her arrival.
But OMG having two children is INFINITY harder than having just one! It simply isn’t double the work, it’s SO much more than that. The arrival of a second child COMPLETELY changed our family dynamic. My two-and-a-half-year old son, has suddenly started vacillating from cherubic states of ecstasy regarding our new arrival, to demonic rages in attempts to recover his former position of top billing in this family show.
I remember how, first time around, those first weeks with a baby seemed exhausting – and they were – but they seem like a walk in the park compared to this. The baby is the easy part! Toddlers, it would seem, don’t ‘get’ the things we all take for granted about babies. They don’t talk in hushed tones around sleeping tots. They don’t see that parents of newborns are knackered and go easy on them. They don’t understand that a baby isn’t just another toy for them to play with.
As a result the neat, well-oiled, routine that we’d fallen into before our daughter’s arrival has dropped off completely, leaving my partner and I in a position of simply ‘winging it’. The no-man’s-land that the arrival of child number two creates is far more revolutionary than any hip January resolution. Those following the life-changing mantras of Joe Wicks, Davina McCall or Marie Kondo, have nothing on me. Seriously, the routine changes these perennial exponents of January change recommend seem quite tame to the Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes we’ve been going through.
I’m sure we’ll find our new normal soon. When everything settles down I think I’ll write a book about my revolutionary new routine – expect jostling for shelf space (between Davina and Marie’s tomes) in shops next January.
Chris McGuire is a writer and stay at home dad. For more go to www.outofdepthdad.com