To the Mama with (or about to have) two kids under two years old,
I wish I had I wish I could come bring you lunch, sit on your living room floor, and play with your toddler while you rock your baby or just go take a nap. But I’m just here in the trenches with you, just a year in, calling out from the other side of the Internet and hoping you can be encouraged to see Christ in this season.
After a year of getting to watch these two littles grow together, getting to just be siblings… I can tell you with confidence that it is such a sweet and fun time. It’s absolutely not easy, but I love it. If you’re going to have two little ones soon, here is my sage wisdom… 😉
1. Memorize 2 Corinthians 12:9. Repeat it to yourself every day.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2. Do one thing today that will help you tomorrow.
Spending an extra ten minutes when you have them free one day can save you a major headache later. Double a recipe to put in the freezer, prep tomorrow’s breakfast before bed, or fill your diaper bag with all the essentials so you have one less thing to worry about while getting out the door.
3. Own a baby carrier. Or 5.
An adjustable ring sling and an Ergo Carrier are my top two favorites for outings. Being hands-free to cuddle a baby and hold hands with my toddler in the parking lot is the only sane way I can get anything done. I always keep my Ergo in the car and the ring sling in my diaper bag. You can read about my ring sling here!
4. Establish a Routine.
Whatever that looks like for you, and for the ages of your kids, just work toward it. I am not a Type-A, super-organized personality. I’m pretty laid back about most things, but even I have found that a daily routine cuts down on a lot of stress. I know what windows of time I can run an errand, or do the dishes, or take a nap. The first few months after Samuel was born, the only semblance of a routine we had was that while Rosie took her afternoon nap, Samuel took a long snooze in his swing. That way, I at least knew I had a couple hours of quiet to look forward to in our day. As he has grown older and all our needs have changed, we have a more set schedule for our day. For us, that still means afternoon naps happen at the same time. Otherwise, my brain oozes out my ears.
5. Begin as you mean to go.
This simply means to establish habits and routines with both of your littles that you can stick to without losing your mind- ones that you won’t have to break later. Okay, I know I just said I let Samuel nap in his swing, haha… It was a habit we had to break, but it wasn’t difficult. He was used to napping at the same time every day, so we began laying him down in his crib while he was awake-but-drowsy. This is an example of one of our “habits” we started when he was about 4 months old. This made our nap schedule way, way easier and much less stressful. Yes, he cried for a few minutes (less than 10 or I’d go get him), but now he goes down to sleep like a champ.
6. Leave the house.
Even if you hop in the car and just hit up the Starbucks drive-thru (no shame!), or take a short walk outside your front door, getting outside always helps me refresh my perspective. Going places with two babies is hard. I know. But it’s worth it. Especially while living in a little apartment, where we pretty much live our whole lives in one big room, getting out of here for a bit really helps break up our day- and makes for good afternoon naps. 😉 If we can’t get outside one day, turning on some music and just being ridiculously silly with my kids helps lift everyone’s spirits.
7. Let people help you.
We wouldn’t have been able to survive Samuel’s first couple months without my Mom’s help. Even later on, if someone offers to bring lunch, to babysit while you nap, or to fold your underwear… just let them. When we are out and about, people are almost always willing to help us. They’ll hold the door open, get a basket for us, or take my cart back to the store after I’ve unloaded my groceries. I am not above asking a random stranger for that last one. 😉 Usually this is when I get a lot of the “You’ve sure got your hands full!” comments, but you know, they’re right. Haha. And I appreciate their help!
8. Do what you can while you can.
Especially during the first few months of having two babies, before we settled into a routine, I just realized I had to take my day one task at a time. Sometimes that meant chores had to wait, and sometimes that meant I cleaned the kitchen instead of napping while the babies were down. Finding ways to multitask has helped as well. I have found if I run my dishwasher and washing machine before I go to bed and unload them first thing in the morning, everything might not get perfectly put away all the time, but we will at least have some clean clothes and dishes to choose from. And it makes me feel like I’m being productive in my sleep. 🙂
9. Read your Bible.
Make time. Even 5 minutes. If all you have time for is one verse, read it over and over again until it’s stuck in your head and rooted in your heart. See #1 for an example. 😉 Without a heart and mind set on Jesus, all these things we want to accomplish as mothers simply won’t happen. Jesus himself told us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
10. Make friends in the same boat.
Find a MOPS group in your area or introduce yourself to the Mom at the library… Don’t be afraid to feel awkward. The awkwardness will pass! I am so thankful for my dear friend Kayla. (Shout out!) We met in a birthing class when we were both pregnant with our first babies. I hardly knew her, but she let me borrow her Dave Ramsey books, made us Valentine’s/anniversary cupcakes and brought them to our apartment, and from there we just kept hanging out. 😉 Now we each have two kids around the same ages, and it is always encouraging to hang out with someone who understands the same weird struggles. Ya know, like, ending bath time completely waterlogged and harried while your newly-clean-and-lavender-scented, butt-naked toddler streaks happily through the house while there’s company over. Normal life things. 😉
So, there you have it. There may be days where you feel forever glued to the house, where the diaper balls scattered around the living room outnumber the hours of sleep you had the night before, or you wonder if you’ll ever wear real pants or make-up ever again. Just know, I am with you.
Are you in this boat, or will be soon? Or maybe you’re on the other side and you have more insight for us! Comment, email me, find me on Instagram, whatever! I’d love to meet you and hear from you. ❤