It may have been some time since I was last on here but believe me, I have been busy. I keep up with a very active 22 month old and a 6 week old. Life has changed so much just in the last couple months and it continues to change every week. We have not established a schedule yet for our daughter, but then again she is only 6 weeks. For those reading this blog, you know how I am a stickler for a schedule, so in the next month or so, I intend on making sure we find one that fits us three. (I don't include my husband in that statement because he isn't here during the day alot and he adapts to whatever works for all of us) But let me just let everyone know what I have learned in the last 6 weeks.
Sleep when your baby sleeps in impossible with a toddler. I always loved it when people would say sleep when the baby sleeps because it is true and it was for my first kid. But when you have a toddler, sleeping when the baby sleeps is near impossible. He takes one nap a day. So if she isn't napping during that time, well then forget it. Luckily for me, I work hard to make sure they do. My solution: because I have a great toddler who sleeps and will stay in his room and play because of our training with him and my schedule, he is so easy. So, once she is ready to eat around nap time, I send him to his room for a nap. He plays a little while I feed her and get her to settle. Most of the time by the time he is finally resting, so is she. Thats when I close my eyes. So far, that works for me.
Take advantage of the time she is sleeping. I go about my day as I did before her, when she does sleep. I spend quality time with my toddler, I clean or I do something for me. She isn't being held constantly like my first kid, but I no longer have just one responsibility. She sleeps through the TV, my toddler screaming and everything. Once he goes down for a nap, I hold her and let her sleep on me, but for the most part, when she was sleeping a lot in the beginning, I used that time to be with my toddler so he knew he was still important. As a result, he doesnt't feel less important or pushed aside. He feels the same and loves on his sister in the mean time. I am quite proud how I have balanced these two kids.
Housework gets neglected, but who cares. I have to say that my housework right now is slacking, but in exchange I am getting some wonderful quality time with my kids who are growing and growing to love each other and know they are both important to me. Do the housework when you can. If you have energy, do something different once a day while they nap. Or if you are up early, do a chore here and there. But the most important thing is this: you will not remember a clean house, you will remember the time you spent with your kids.
Wake up early. Now for those of you who know me, you know this is foreign words coming out of my mouth. I hate the morning. I hate feeling like I am up before everyone else...until about 3 weeks ago. I realized that its QUIET! Quiet? Yeah, thats what I never hear these days. Thats what I find myself longing for these days. When my daughter gets up around 6:30 or 7:00 am, I feed her and then put her down. There is no point in me going back to bed really, because the boy will be up at any time, so I find myself doing other things...like blogging. Or having breakfast first! Say what?! Yeah, eating first. The other day I went and sat outside and just took in the fresh air and the silence. Embrace the early mornings, get ahead of your day, do a chore or two while everyone else is asleep and you will find that you will feel better and more accomplished!
Enjoy the time you get with your husband. It may not be much, but embrace it when you have it and take whatever quality time you can get even if it is only 5 minutes. I remeber the days when it was just us two. We went on dates all the time, could stay out late and have no issues and sleep in. Then we had one kid. He went down at 7, so we still had time together. These days, once our first goes down, #2 is still awake and ready to go. The time my husband and I have has slowly dwindled. Now once I get her on a schedule and as she grows, we will have a little more consistent routine where both kids will be going down together, thus giving my husband and I more time together, but until then, embrace it. Remeber that he is important too and he needs to know you need him and you want to take care of him just as much as the kids. I don't want my husband to think he is second best. And he isn't. He knows that, but he has to remind me that 5 minutes of quality time is worth the world to him because we will always be ok. Together, we make a great pair and balancing us as partners and parents, is one reason we are perfect for each other.
In saying that, he needs to know I find him attractive still and I want him to find me attractive. So even if I have had a long day and the kids cried all day, as soon as he calls to say he is on his way home, I go freshen up. I put the baby in the swing, I turn on Mickey for the boy and I put makeup on, or I do my hair or I put on those tight yoga pants that he likes so much. The point is, keep your spark going and your fire burning by remembering that there is always time to flirt, to look good and to date your husband. Find a babysitter once a month and go out. I am still just as in to my husband as I was 5 years ago, because I find ways to show him I love him and keep us spontanious. When the kids are both sleeping in the early evening, I spend time with my husband, even if its just to say how was your day.
Sleep is not nearly as important as you think even if you feel you really need it. Enjoy the late nights with your baby. They go by way too fast, they really are precious, quiet moments and in light of recent horrible events in our nation, you can never hold your kid too much, even if it means you are losing sleep.
And lastly, life goes on. Life is hard at times. We have bad days. But it is never as bad as it seems. A new day is around the corner, they grow fast and soon you will miss the days when they wanted to play with you. I know that one day my boy will grow up and playing with mom will no longer be cool. So I will take the tantrum with the playtime, because someday I know I will wish he would play with me even if a tantrum will ensue. Our baby girl will grow way too fast too and someday I will wish she would lay on me and cry because that will be the day she no longer wants to hug me or kiss me because thats not cool either. We have stressful days, but nothing is bigger than God. He will give me strength when I am weak, energy when I am tired and encouragement when I am down. I don't always feel like I have a handle on these kids and this house. And sometimes I feel like this was a FAIL day. But I know that I am good at a lot and I have a mighty God and a wonderful husband who will remind me of that. And at the end of the day, there is no where else I'd rather be. I dreamt of being a stay at home mom since I was little. I have wanted to be a mom longer than any other job I can think of. This is for me, this is my life and even when I feel tired and run down, this is my passion.
One last note before I get my day going...my husband has been incredible people! he helps out, he rocks her to sleep, he puts our boy to bed and bathes him. He helps with dinner and he brings me flowers randomly to say I love you and great job with these kids. Part of why its easy for me to talk about making our marriage work in the midst of being parents is because he makes it worth it. I won't gush too much, but people...I got lucky!
Until next time, which will probably be after the holidays, I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Years and for everyone with two or more small kids in my same situation, hang in there, have fun and I am glad that there are people out there like you who go through this with me so I know I am not alone. Its nice to have "coworkers".