Two under two is no joke! When my youngest was born, I wasn’t expecting some of the challenges that came with parenting two in diapers. Finding a new rhythm was overwhelming. Keeping up with household responsibilities while meeting the needs of my two littles at the same time was all but impossible.
Guilt set in that my oldest daughter didn’t have my full attention any more. Will she feel neglected? Will she learn to resent her little sister for turning her world upside down?
Sometimes I felt pretty isolated. Getting out of the house seemed like more work than it was worth.
I well remember the days of sleepless nights and never-ending diaper changes.
Maybe you relate. You feel overwhelmed at the fact that your to-do list seems to only have items added, not crossed off.
You feel like the pile of dishes in the sink is haunting you, and the mountain of laundry that needs to be folded is multiplying by the minute.
Sometimes you feel guilty that you now have to share your affections with your precious first-born, who is used to having Mommy all to herself.
But I promise that this season will end all too quickly. One day, you will look back on these sleepless times with fond memories, just like I do. And when you do, you will – dare I say it – MISS them! Until then, here are four tips that I pray will help you get through some of the long days.
1-Let go of perfection, and worry about what matters most in each moment. Mopping can wait one more day. Laundry will never stop needing to be washed and folded. There will always be chores that need to be finished. But the times spent playing tea party will lessen over the years. The hours where both of your littles fit on your lap together will pass quickly. Spend your time on what matters most!
2-Look at each memory as an investment. When you spend less time rushing around and more time enjoying your moments in each stage with your littles, you will be reminded of why you do what you do. Your children will learn that life is about “being,” not just “doing.”
When one little is down for a nap, ignore the to-do list for a moment and be intentional in some one on one time with your other little. Even for just a few minutes.
When your oldest is screaming for attention right when dinner needs to get started, stop what you’re doing. Whisper that you need a special helper to get everything ready for when Daddy comes home. Redirect her behavior, while also teaching life skills.
When your oldest runs up to give your youngest a quick kiss on the head, relish on the memories you are watching unfold. You are seeing your two littles becoming besties before your very eyes.
3-Get out every day. I know I said earlier how hard it is to get out of the house with two littles, but do it! Even if all you can afford is ten minutes playing in the back yard, just get out. Maybe you can take a walk. Maybe make a quick trip to the grocery store. You can meet a friend at Chick-fil-a for your oldest to run off some energy. Just. get. out!
Getting outside will get you some much needed fresh air and Vitamin D. And the change of scenery will be good for everyone.
Most days, sitting on the front porch while my toddler played in the yard and my infant sat in her bouncy seat was exactly the boost I needed. It was refreshing and gave me a renewed sense of stamina. It was something I looked forward to because it broke up the monotony of the day. And now my kids LOVE to be outside. #addedbonus
4- Know that these days pass quickly. I’ve heard it said, “The days are long but the years are short.” And oh, how true that is! One day, you will miss the grass-stained jeans that need to be washed. You will miss the days where both kids fit on your lap. And you will miss the sweet little hand-holds that can only wrap around two of your fingers.
Your oldest will not resent you for bringing another sibling into the world. She will thank you for giving her a built-in best friend.
Your family will not go without any clothes if you wait another day on the laundry. They will have a mommy who models for them what is most important in life.
You might not have all the time in the world right now for extra things and commitments. But the things you are committed to are the BEST things! The return on your investments will affect the trust and relationships with your kids today, tomorrow and for generations to come.
On the days when you’re about done in, remember this season won’t last forever. It will soon be over; normalcy will one day return.
So do yourself a favor. Ignore the dishes. Walk by the laundry. Make simple meals. Remember to enjoy these days at home. Cuddle more than you think you should. Laugh at the crazy things your kids come up with. Tuck each memory away in your heart. Most of all, just BE there, fully there and present in every moment.