From baby gear to your mental state, there will be lots of new changes and an extra bum to clean with two under two. This is my round up of survival and staying sane with two under two. Volume 1 of this series is going to cover the least talked about topic when it comes to motherhood… your mental state.
If you are pregnant, come back and read this once baby is here. When I read these articles during my second pregnancy I skipped over a lot that I didn’t think applied to me. It did. It does. It’s an adjustment, completely different one than with baby number one.
Your Mental State Must Haves
- Patience: Practice this now. Newborns are easy, at least in comparison to any child over the age of 12 months. Specifically, mine are 18 months apart and wheewww! Toddlers are in a league of their own. Practice keeping your emotions in check, it will really come in handy while all of those postpartum hormones are going crazy.
- Grace: You cannot do it all, perfectly, all of the time. Give yourself grace, daily! Some days I’m lucky if I’ve eaten more than a protein bar while worrying about my weight, and if Eli is getting enough to eat. At the same time, Cameron has had a popsicle for breakfast because she woke up on the wrong side of the bed. G R A C E. I am not perfect but my kids are SO loved and taken care of. I am SO loved and taken care of. It gets better…SO MUCH BETTER.
- Take Care Of Your Body: On nights when I wanted to crawl in bed and cry, I would take a long hot shower. Take care of yourself. Wash your hair even if you can barely move your arms. Shave your legs even if it’s the middle of winter. Wash your face, brush your teeth, get a mani/pedi, whatever “self care” means to you, DO IT even if you are tired. It will make a difference. Eat healthy, but if you want some queso, by all means dive in. Extra caramel on your frappe? Whatever floats your boat, you deserve it! Drink water (after your coffee) and REST! The dishes can sit there another day.
- Let Go Of Guilt: This is touchy. Nobody talks about it, which is annoying. The few times I did see someone open up, I thought it wouldn’t apply to me. But it does. Do not hold onto guilt. It will eat you up. Guilt about taking #1’s attention/childhood/ whatever away. Guilt about playing a second movie so you can feed the baby. Guilt about putting the toddler to bed 30 minutes early. Guilt about not getting the toddler out of bed when they first wake up. Guilt about letting your newborn fuss while you change your toddlers diaper. SO MUCH GUILT. But guess what, it’s not real. Read point number two again.
- Get dressed: Even if you have no plans to leave the house, get dressed. Nothing fancy, just get out of pajamas. I don’t know why but that always makes me feel better. Maybe because it’s something you can control…
- Embrace the change: It’s less about adjusting to a newborn and more about adjusting with your toddler. Learning how to pack a diaper bag with enough to take care of two. Learning how to judge who needs you the most when they both cry. Learning about the constants. Constant diapers, mouths to feed, entertaining, rocking, holding, kissing, loving… it is constant. Your heart just might explode!
- Lastly, grieve: This may sound morbid, but the second your baby was born a season of life passed away. You are now onto a season with two kids. You may think (I did) that we will never be able to go out to eat again or to the grocery store as a family. BUT WE DO! It seems like such a culture shock at first. Like, how on earth will I ever manage? But you do, and you can and you will.
The first weeks after baby number two are an adjustment. If I can do it, anyone can. I am the worst with big changes, I absolutely love my routines! But guess what, two months later and I cannot imagine our life without baby Eli. We kept everything the same and he just melted right into our life.
Stay Tuned for
Two Under Two Must Haves Vol. 2: Routines