Life with two is a game changer! But, chances are if you are reading this you already know that from personal experience or you’ve been warned. Because when people share their opinion of transitioning from one to two most don’t really focus on the positives and tell you how your heart will grow more, that you will love having KIDS (plural), and that it is very sweet and fun all over again. It is crazy, I won’t lie, but I want to focus on making this transition a positive thing and not scare you away from your future. Adding a second child to your family is really beautiful. Everyone’s hearts will grow bigger and love one another in a new way, along with getting to love on a new tiny baby too. Watching my husband with his newborn son is just something my heart wasn’t prepared for. I love watching him nurture him when he is fussy or just talking to him about the things he wants to teach him later on. Watching my daughter become a big sister has been one of the most rewarding moments in my life. I feel like I successfully prepared her for this role and it is so beautiful watching them together day in a day out. She gets upset and runs to the baby any time he cries and puts his paci in his mouth, pats his head, and gives him endless amount of kisses. Maybe we are lucky, but she has done so well with the transition!
I was very lucky to have my mama here for two weeks, that my husband was on a really easy rotation for the month of December, and that he had a week off after New Years. That really was the perfect combination for me to recover, adjust, and transition to this new life. When I was pregnant, I thought this would be so much harder. I felt so terrible about 3/4 of my pregnancy, so I had little hope that I’d be able to swing it all. I’ve surprised myself actually. So far it has been easier to take care of a toddler and newborn rather than be pregnant and take care of a toddler. I may be sleepy, but hey I have my body back and there is always coffee. I’ve found somewhat of a balance for the stage we are in now and it is working for us. I think we have all adjusted and have become more relaxed with one another. I am so proud of how far my little family has come in just two months. We’ve had crazy moments where we did not know what to do or we asked ourself “are we crazy for trying to go to dinner in this state?” But, this transition has been such a blessing. This new life is something like I never would have imagined. SO much love, so much good change, and lots of moments where you feel like superwoman. When you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed it is hard, but the moment you sit down and see two sleeping babies completely at peace it makes it all worth it. Watching the baby smile in his sleep reassures me that I am doing something right and I am giving him what he needs. Each night when my daughter asks for three extra hugs and kisses I know she loves me even more even though there is less time for her. Our hearts are capable of a lot of things and I truly believe that God only gives you what you can handle. He also gives you the tools and the guidance to help you through it too. On that note, I thought I’d round up a few tips that couldn’t have made this time more manageable. Now that Joel is back to work and on a difficult rotation for the next couple of months, we’ve really tried to stick to our regimen so we can all stay sane and happy!
Things that help:
1. Make lists and keep a magnetic list on your fridge to write things you need to buy from grocery or things you need to do!
2. Set timers! i have this fear that i am going to take a nap with the baby and wake up at it be 3 o’clock and didn’t show up to pick up scarlett in carpool! or, if i am out and about and i get distracted with the baby and lose track of time, then i will not be late. thanks to the iPhone i can set it for the days she is only at school.
3. Pre cut fruit and veggies for the week. i cannot even tell you how much time this saves when i am in a hurry and both kids are asking/needing something. strawberries aren’t a quick handover and i need to wash and cut before i give it to scarlett. i cut and wash all the fruit for the week and store it in a glass pyrex in the fridge so i can just scoop out her favorites for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack time!
4. Prepare meals ahead of time and cook them on the weekend. We’ve really tried to prepare a big meal on Sunday that we can eat off of for 2-3 days. Right now, neither of us care if we eat the same thing 3 days in a row. We celebrate small victories like…hey, both kids are fed and bathed because all we had to do was heat up a meal! that’s a glorious feeling! I also make a container of pimento cheese, chicken salad, or pasta salad for the week so I can have something for me to eat. I try to keep these 3 in a rotation because they are healthier options that are super quick, especially if I need to take it to go!
5. Plan.Plan.Plan as much as you can! We have a dry erase daily magnet sticker set on our fridge and we write everything we need to do or accomplish for the week on there. We both have chores and keep those reminders on there of who does what. This alleviates confusion for each spouse and motivates both of us to actually stick to a routine that will help EVERYONE in the family. Dishes cleaned and put away (Joel’s job)? Great, now I can successfully feed and prepare meals for our children the next day. Laundry folded and put away (my job)? Great, Joel isn’t pitching a fit for having to wear the same scrubs 2 days in a row.
6. Update your emergency bag for the car. There have a been a couple of times already that I’ve needed to dig into my canvas bag that has snacks, diapers, wipes, pull ups, undies, disinfectant wipes, kleenex, and paper towels. I learned really quick to constantly keep that bag updated and stocked! Public meltdowns and fussiness are a mama’s worst nightmare, but they happen all of the time, so this makes that situation a ALOT easier!
~And what we have found to be very helpful for our daughter is to include her on everything with the baby. If we are changing his diaper, she loves to go get a diaper and wipes for us! When I am nursing him, I usually try to have a snack for her handy so she doesn’t feel so left out. Plus, I know the minute I sit down she will ask for a snack either way so this
What are your tips in keeping your life put together while having two little ones? I’d love to know any other tips I may not have thought of yet!