“How to Transition to Two Kids and NOT Lose Your Mind” alternatively “Making Life Manageable After that CRAZY Decision to Have TWO kids!” I think you catch my drift. Having a second child might seem like the end of an era but it doesn’t mean the second era can’t be just as great–if not better!
Jake and I were just talking today about how it finally feels like, after SEVEN months, we are in a groove with our TWO children. I mentioned a couple months ago that life with two finally felt manageable (and that was true!) but now I feel like we finally reentering a season that tickles the edge of NORMAL again. A new normal.
Hadley is about as predictable as a baby can be at this point. Emmett it hardcore into the toddler years with potty training, verbal sentences and a state of independence (which is sometimes welcome and sometimes not.)
It’s a state of beginning to plan life in between naps, bedtimes, and going out. Of course it is the dead of winter here in western pa, so going out looks different, but if it was summer I would bet you we’d be out doing 5ks right now!
How did we get here? Why did it take seven months? Is there really life with two kids?
Or you might be saying, Girl, I see you in real life. You do not have it all together!
Well, that’s true. 😀 We definitely don’t have it ALL together! But I’d like to think we have a couple things 😉 …a couple things that I DID NOT KNOW SEVEN MONTHS AGO!
Here it is, for all its worth.
Joint sleeping times. These are a must. I am an introvert to a fault. What I did not realize was how much this played into my time at home as a mother. I need a solid hour to myself daily. It energizes me and gives me what I need as a mom. My children are both now on a routine that lends itself to nap time everyday from about 1 to 3 (Hadley another in the morning) and bedtime from about 7:30-7:30. If you ever wondered where I find time to edit and write, it is there. Don’t call me then! Kidding…..kind of..not actually. We established the start of a routine with both kids early on and it has been a HUGE saver for our transition to two kids. Hadley was a little harder because we didn’t pull the pacifier till this month. Now she sleeps her hard earned 12 hours and we partake in several of them as well.
Your spouse is your team mate for life. I cannot imagine parenting alone. Jake is the cheese to my macaroni and I rely on him so much. We trade off watching the kids so we can both get our side jobs done. We divide bedtime sometimes. I cook, he cleans. I grocery shop, he fixes my car. He dresses the kids on Sunday mornings, I make sure the diaper bag is packed. If your husband is not your team mate, parenting is going to be harder than it needs to be and parenting is already HARD. Get matching jerseys and get to work. You made these kids together, now raise them together. ( I applaud single moms. I really do not know how you ladies do it. You are seriously heroes.)
Get yourself ready before your kids. OK, I am saying this because it is true but because I also need to get better at it. We have literally just started sleeping through the night without any interruptions. Now that sleep is here, I think it is time I do this. If your child is NOT sleeping through the night yet, only some pointers from this will apply to you, because sleep is MOST important.
If you can wake up before the kids, have devotions, a cup of coffee, exercise, etc. JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS AT LEAST, your day can start off so much better and you will feel like you can take on the day. Sometimes though, just getting out of my pajamas and putting my contacts in is all I have time for and this usually happens after breakfast (#sahmtruth). But it makes me feel human and sets my mind up right for the day.
Enjoy the time you have one-on-one. After getting into a solid routine of Hadley’s nap times, I sometimes use her first nap of the day to spend individual time with Emmett. We might bake, do a craft, or just read a book. But that time with him is important. (I don’t spend the entire nap time with him necessarily but part of it. There is still a house to clean and things to be done!) Often Hadley wakes up before Emmett does on the second nap, and I can have some time alone with her. Sometimes it is spent playing with her, but I also will just stick her in the bumbo or high chair while I cook dinner or read while she play. Even though I am not giving her undivided attention it is still just our time together.
Time heals all insanity. I know this is not what everyone wants to hear. We have a love hate relationships with time. We know that if time plays its part, things eventually happen. But we have to wait. Patience. Those first couple weeks after Hadley was born, as great as I felt physically, there was such a lack of normalcy. My time with Emmett was divided. My Netflix nights with Jake had a third party. Grocery shopping became a nightmare. My nursing cover became an extension of my daily wardrobe. But this too passed. All of a sudden I found myself being able to put Emmett to bed again. I found he and I reading books alone during the day. I take Hadley out and no feeding times happen till we’re home again. Jake and I now watch TV uninterrupted after a JOINT bedtime (see above). Time heals all insanity.
I share these as my opinions and things that work for me.
The transition to two kids does NOT need to be the end of the world. I share these tips in hopes that maybe it will help other moms who are braving the unknown of life with two kids. Internally I still feel like such a newbie at this and wonder if I really have much to offer. But I write because I know where we have come from. It felt like the trenches for a while and still often does. But there are days that glimmer and rise above the rest and these tips have helped us get to those days!