In the months leading up to having AJ, this freaked me out the most. There were days I could barely handle SJ, and throwing a newborn into the mix would give me anxiety. Everything I did, I would think about what I would do different when AJ came: nap time, shopping, cooking supper, just playing with SJ. I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Now that AJ is here, I’ve had a few rough days, but I have surprised myself and not to brag, but I’m kinda rocking this 2 under 2 thing. Well, most days. I’ve still had a small melt down here and there. A big part of me being able to figure out what works best for us was being able to have DJ home the first 2 weeks.We did lots of outings to go grocery shopping, to Target, Menards, lunch, and doctor appointments, it all gave me an idea of what to expect when I go out on my own with the girls. But there are 3 things that have helped me keep my sanity.
1. Baby Wearing
Straight life saver right here! I wore SJ whenever I went grocery shopping and occasionally around the house when she was fussy and I needed to get things done. But with a crazy toddler, wearing AJ has become a complete necessity. I of course wear her when we go grocery shopping and around the house, but the time I wear her the most is when playing with SJ outside. AJ stays asleep and my hands are free to push SJ in the swing, play with her in the sandbox, and help her down the slide. And with AJ being so small, I can still hold SJ on my hip while baby wearing. I personally love my wrap from Happy Baby! It only took me a couple tries while watching their tutorial to get it wrapped, now it’s second nature to put it on. I also mentioned this wrap on my post about which items I couldn’t live without during SJ’s first year.
2. Keeping a Schedule
Some kids do better without a schedule, but mine definitely do not! Figuring out what routine worked best for us and sticking to it helps immensely, not only me, but it helps SJ too. This is what our usual schedule looks like.
6:30/7- Wake up, SJ gets a sippy of milk, she cuddles with me while watching cartoons and I nurse AJ
7:30- Attempt to get SJ to eat breakfast, but she usually ends up eating half my oatmeal
8/8:30- Get ready, or just play, depending what is going on that day
9:00/9:30- leave to do errands/go outside/SJ does an inside activity while I nurse AJ to sleep then do a little housework
11:00-Make sure to be home from errands and start getting lunch ready
11:30- SJ eats lunch (meaning she feeds the dogs whatever I made her for lunch)
12:00- Get SJ ready for nap time, she watches a movie with a sippy of milk and I put AJ down for a nap
12:30- Rock and read books with SJ for nap time
1-3- Work/do housework/pump. SJ usually naps 2-3 hours. AJ sometimes will take a solid nap, other times I have to get her back to sleep a couple times.
3:30/4- DJ gets home and one of us will make supper while the other watches the girls. DJ usually takes SJ outside to do some work while I get supper ready.
5:00/5:30- Eat supper
6:30- Bathtime then SJ will settle down with a movie
7:30-SJ goes to bed
8:00- I nurse AJ and swaddle her for bed time
Now don’t be deceived, our day usually doesn’t go quite this well, but is how it is generally structured. There are also days, like when someone has a doctor appointment, that the entire schedule gets thrown off. Also, 2 days a week DJ’s mom takes SJ so I can work, and this summer (so his parents can enjoy their summer a little more) I am having a sitter come to watch the girls 2 days a week so I can work.
3. Just RELAX
I was getting too caught up in trying to keep everything perfect and I ended up having a day where I was starting to worry about Postpartum Depression (please, if you have any suspicion that you may be suffering from PPD, talk to your spouse, friend, doctor, someone that can help you). Luckily in my case, I just needed to relax a little. Enjoy the small moments, plan ahead a little more, ask for help, and know that a sink of dirty dishes does not mean I am a terrible mom. It’s easier said than done, and I am still working on it, but I am getting there and realized I have to just go with the flow some days.
As hard as some days might be, I am truly living my dream. An amazing husband who helps me whenever I need it (and when I don’t think I need it), two gorgeous girls that make me feel a love I didn’t know was possible, a beautiful home, amazing family, a God that loves me more than I could ever understand, and my dream jobs – stay at home mom, wife, photographer, and blogger. That’s what I need to remember on those days when I think I’m crazy for having 2 under 2.
*Photos by Jenine Proffitt Photography