September 2, 2019

Transitioning from 1-2 kids

 It’s a one woman show 7:00am-6:00pm over here. All. The. Time. Even on holidays. And my opening act? All 10 of my toes working as hard as they ever have picking up burp cloths, binkie clips, and occasionally the iPhone.

Parenting Two Gig
And to be straight forward about this business of parenting two gig? (yes! I meant to say business for a reason which I’ll explain more later)… has never worked me as hard in my life physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s also the most rewarding and sweetest time.   

As I mentioned earlier in Emma’s birth story here, it’s a dream come true to be a mom of two! And although it feels so good!!! (I mean Emma’s chunky baby cheeks are just about my favorite thing on earth ever.) It takes a tremendous amount of flexibility and patients you might never even known existed within you. But it does. 

The unknown of mixing a newborn and toddler every day has been my biggest challenge as a planner, organizer, and to-do list enthuse at heart. Basically, Monica Geller’s unknown BFF. So, below are four things I’ve learned that keep things afloat in addition to the topics we were interested in hearing more about:

||  1 - Routine  ||

Since Abby stopped napping VERY shortly after Emma was born, I had to get equally creative and organized once Steve went back to work.  Thanks to it being summer, we’re able to go visit a park everyday Monday-Friday. It’s just become part of our day and I LOVE it, as does Abby. Even though I’m on my feet and constantly dividing my attention between both girls in the heat, it makes Abby happy. I never thought of a playground as being a babysitter, but these last few weeks with no activities or naps M-F? Miss Playground deserves a raise. 

Also, doing a “craft” or quiet project in the afternoon gets Abby calm, and focused. Sometimes she’ll craft for an hour (wonder where she gets that from?) #guilty

||  2 - Personal Time  || 

You know you’ve officially become “a busy mom,” while pumping gas into your car you lean against it and finally feel relaxed. So for me it’s getting quiet time (aka personal time) late at night as T.V. has never been my thing and that’s ok! I prefer to edit photos, craft, or write a blog post…. just something creative. These activities truly relax AND energizes my soul. Find what works for you and go for it! Even on a small scale like 20 minutes a day has kept me feeling happy and balanced.
||  3 - You're in Business  ||

Ok, here’s where I get back to the whole “running a business” in your household thing. If you’re a stay-at-home-mom like myself, we have a business to run which breaks down to the home and our family. We are in charge. The CEO and one else can truly understand what makes it all run, but you. So welcoming Emma into our lives made me realized I can’t do it all. No one can. They may say they can…. or try to show it, but I bet. I truly bet they have help in some form!! Grocery delivery, supportive and involved family watching one or both of their kids consistently, extra money for baby sisters, classes the toddler can take, a maid, chef. You get the idea….

They have someone or something helping them keep their business going. So, two weeks ago I broke down and realized I needed to outsource my company.  I hired a cleaning service to come over and get our house back into shape last week for the first time ever. Loreal has nothing on “Making me feel like a natural women,” than the cleaning service did. It changed everything. I must have tried for 3 weeks to clean the bathrooms with everyone either out of the house, feed, or happy, and it just never happened. Pass off whatever you can in your “business” to help you run it efficiently. At least for now to keep things moving. This idea has changed motherhood for me. So …. maybe that’s spaghetti for dinner instead of the Pinterest inspired meal your family would have loved. It’s only a season and a little extra fiber I hear, has never hurt anyone.  : ) 

||  4 - Bedtime Routine  ||

This topic needs to honestly be in a completely separate blog post all together. So for a quick summary, Steve and I would each take one girl and usually switch about 2-3x while putting both girls down at the same time. This starts with me feeding Emma, while Steve gets the bath ready for Abby and then we swap.  I then bathe Abby and he rocks Emma in the gilder. Again, I need to go more in depth with this one for another blog post. 

It took a few weeks, though what really helped was consistently sending the message to Emma (the new kid on the block) that it’s bedtime. We do this by swaddling her, putting her in own crib, then turning out the lights and cranking up the sound machine. During the day, we don’t do all this for her on purpose to let Emma understand the difference between night and day. 

If anything I hope these ideas help remind you that you're not alone. It takes time to adjust and learn a new skill like anything else in life and learning how to handle two littles ones can be a constant learning curve for awhile. Be kind to yourself. Speak up and don't be afraid to "run your own business." 

Warmly, Steph

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