22 Thoughts about Life with 2 under 2

I may have one free hand, but it’s rare to have two free hands these days. Thus, the recent absence from my blog. Nevertheless, in the newborn haze, I’ve had many of those “aha,” “good-to-note,” and “I-wish-I-would’ve-known” moments. So, here we go. It’s time to record these observations as a new mommy with 2 under 2. It would be a crying shame to forget all this–for my sake and other new mommies’ sake.

  1. My worries were in vain. I have absolutely NO problem loving this child as much as I love my firstborn.
  2. IMG_20131019_151003_197All that sitting around and baby-holding w/ the firstborn doesn’t happen with the 2nd. It’s sad, but true. There are, however, ways to make it up with the 2nd child. Such as…
  3. Never be too quick to judge any parenting method, which I initially did with co-sleeping. Out of necessity, Adalynn co-slept with me for part of the first month. It was great bonding, and we both slept.
  4. Every baby is different. I know it sounds cliché; but the soothing techniques, eating routines, and sleeping patterns have greatly differed between babies. It’s been humbling.
  5. A newborn’s dirty diaper does not stink–a big bonus when dealing with very stinky diapers from a 21-month-old, who also needs potty-training during my “free” time-ha!
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  6. Humor is my best asset. Especially when everyone but the dog is sitting on the floor, crying.
  7. This is no time for legalism. God loves me unconditionally; he understands hurried prayers and missed devotions amid the chaos.
  8. It’s not a waste of money (especially if you get them used) to have various carriers. I use the Moby at home, the Ergo while we’re out  (easier to put on, but not as cozy as the Moby), and my hubby prefers the Bjorn. I often move at half the speed with a baby attached, but at least I’m moving, right?
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  9. I am so, so sleep deprived. When I am in the position to help one day, I want to go to a newborn mommy’s house, lock her in her bedroom, and force her to sleep while I play with her other  children.
  10. Having a tablet with baby #2 is super convenient. I only need to have one finger free. I can also catch up on Call the Midwife during those early morning feedings.
  11. I struggle with guilt from feeling like I’ve “broken up” with my toddler who used to be my one and only baby. Then, I struggle with guilt for not having that same experience with my newborn. Rationally, I understand that these feelings are normal, and I’m doing my best, but it still doesn’t erase these emotions.
  12. Breastfeeding gets easier. If I can stick it out for the first ten weeks, I’m seeing a lot less stress and a lot more reward. (I know this differs for everyone, though, and I totally understand if the stress is too much.)
  13. While nursing Baby #2, it’s helpful to have a plan for the toddler. For us, it has worked to all sit together and read books while the baby is eating.
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  14. Newborn laundry is excessive. I forgot how much spit-up (in our case–projectile vomiting) a newborn can have. Learning to make our own detergent has become a huge money saver.
  15. Getting a newborn photographer to come to our home (as opposed to going to a studio) is a lot less stressful–by far.
  16. Let the toddler help, even if it sets me back several steps. Also, he will eventually become helpful. I now let Caleb unload all the dishes for me, and I don’t have to bend down while wearing the baby 🙂
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  17. Help the toddler develop autonomy before Baby #2 arrives. For instance, I got a Thomas the Train backpack for Caleb, which he loves. It holds his essentials–like diapers, wipes, a snack, and his trains. I’d also recommend getting a bag with wheels.
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  18. Prep food beforehand. You don’t need a freezer full of complete meals–just having cooked, shredded chicken or pancakes in the freezer is immensely helpful. (*Side note: Avoiding making dairy-laden meals since this could cause the baby to be fussy. I made this mistake, so hubby is getting all those meals.)
  19. Make sure to get in alone time with the toddler. I notice Caleb’s behavior is much better when I’ve dedicated a mere half hour to only him.
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  20. Getting just one dish washed is progress. There can be no more waiting around until I have time to complete an entire task. If I have just two minutes with happy kids, I must take advantage.
  21. Getting out is overrated. Staying in, but getting the kids out, is where I find my solace. Give me 1 hour to clean my house, and I’m a happy woman.
  22. I’ve saved the hardest realization for last: I MUST start getting us ready at least 2 hours ahead of time if I want to arrive anywhere on time these days.

All these lessons may make mommyhood seem overwhelming. Well, it is. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Every morning, as I stumble around after another feeding, I peek at these two precious, sleeping faces. And, no matter how stressed, tired, and achy I am; I know that I am one blessed woman to be their caretaker!

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One comment

  1. You are doing a wonderful job being a momma of 2 under 2. I know it is hard, but you rock. Those beautiful babies are blessed with a momma like you!

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