Recently a sweet friend of mine encouraged me to “share the journey along the way”. Shortly after that conversation, I sat down to write this blog post- partially for her, partially for you readers, but mostly for myself.
I love this blog. I love having these awesome “aha!” moments of mommy hood and sharing them, in hopes it’ll help another mommy out. I wait until I feel like I’ve mastered (or at least have decent experience in 😅) a certain area of raising littles and then write it out here for the world to read! But to be honest, I haven’t had many of those “aha” moments with two under two. Let’s face it-two babies is HARD. Some days I’m feeding one baby in my arms while rocking the other in a bouncer with my foot and I think I’m killing it. Then the next day we sit on the couch for hours watching a Disney movie because I don’t have the energy for much else.
But even in the midst of the chaos, there have been moments that I have little revelations. Little moments where I think “this is what parents really need to hear.” So I’m here to tell you what I needed to know myself.
1. Give Yourself Grace
Don’t feel like you have to have it all together when people see you. You just had a baby. Not long after your first baby, mind you. Your body is still healing. Emotionally, you’re still adjusting. You’re not expected to be the mom wearing makeup, going to the gym, and baking cookies for the holiday party. The time for that will come. For now, focus on getting as much rest as you can. Bond with your new baby and cuddle as much as time will allow.
2. Remind Yourself It’s Just a Phase
This time around, the phrase “it goes by so fast” has so much more meaning. With your first child you hear it repeatedly, but the weight of it doesn’t quite sink in until their first birthday where you’re left wondering where all the time went.
On the days when your toddler is having tantrum after tantrum, the baby won’t let you put him down, and you barely get enough sleep to function, remember that it’s just a phase. Three days from now, your toddler will learn new words to communicate her feelings. The baby will learn to self-soothe. And you might get lucky enough to get an 8-hour stretch of sleep at night too! So much changes in a matter of a few days. Take a deep breath and remember that.
3. Cut Corners Where You Can
Don’t try to do it all. If it’s stressing you out, find a way to make it less stressful. If it’s the dishes, use paper plates for a little while. If you can’t manage to get dinner together while taking care of two kids, buy some frozen meals.
The family will adjust.
What’s more important is your mental health and well-being. If there’s something that can be done to make your life a teensy bit easier, you deserve to do it.
4. Sit Down and Play Tea Party for the 500th Time
When all else fails, drop everything else and sit down to play. What I learned is that when the kids are crying and I can’t figure out what they need, it’s most likely my attention. So put the work down and be present with them for a little while. Not only will it make the crying stop, but forgetting your responsibilities for a short time can actually do you some good.
Time is truly a thief. So embrace those tiny moments (and tiny humans) as much as you can.