Life with Two

>> Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The most requested post at the moment is about how we're adjusting to life with two kids. I had long wondered what it would be like as well. Now, keep in mind that we have only been at this gig for six weeks. I wish I could say we're doing well, but that would be a lie.

The truth is: It's much harder than we ever thought it would be.

As I've told some of my real-life friends: It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. We're so stinking happy . . . and yet so woefully kicked on our butts because it's been so long since we've done the newborn thing. It feels like starting over with the babe, just harder because we are also entering new territory with our big girl.

Instead of focusing on specific issues we're facing, though, I thought I'd turn this post into an opportunity to sort out my thoughts. Like I said, we've only been parents of two for six weeks and we're definitely in a colicky, screaming-all-the-time, can't-put-baby-down-or-she'll-spit phase. Before I write much on the topic, I want to take steps to improve the issues we're having.

Specifically . . .

#1: We need a routine. Eloise's birthday hit at a great time because Stephen has been home all summer. But it's also an awful time because we're not in any sort of routine. We're feeling crazy without any structure. Obviously young babies aren't on any sort of routine . . . but that doesn't mean the rest of the household has to be nuts.

At the same time, it's summer. There are fun experiences and things we're wanting to do. I think if we could just get a loosely consistent (is that a thing?) wakeup time, lunch time, dinner time, and bedtime down -- that would be progress.

#2: We need to declutter -- more. Yes, we did the great purge in the spring. Somewhere along the way, things have gotten messy again. (How does that happen? Seriously!) We're accumulated a lot of baby stuff over the years, and I'm finding all the gear more overwhelming than helpful. I also have SO. MANY. CLOTHES. from being a million different sizes and shapes pre-baby, during TTC, during when I mostly stopped exercising TTC, and then during pregnancy + postpartum.

Get ready for more organization posts.

#3: We need to establish some house rules. I mean, they've always existed, but we need to sit down, write them out, and talk about them. Adding a baby to our lives definitely highlighted some lazy preschooler parenting on our end. Like bribing too often or using the iPad as a crutch versus really dealing with specific behaviors or habits. This is totally on us.

#4: We need to get out. Stephen and I both have carved out a little time to exercise each day. Otherwise, it's time in the trenches. We're not filling our cups, so to speak, to give us the patience to deal with stress. One of my goals is to pump a bottle so I can go see a movie in the theater. I know that might sound ridiculous . . . but I think it would really help my sanity!

#5: We need to create a support network. We don't have family members in the area. So, we're basically alone on the daily. We do get some weekend visits for occasional dinners out, but that won't help once school is back in session and Stephen's coaching again. Even if it's just a mom-group where I can go and spend time venting or even some occasional babysitting or something for Ada -- we need to do more to build a support network because our circumstances aren't going to change. We need to start embracing it.

#6: I need to spend some time thinking. About my work arrangements and our budget, mostly. I was in an amazing writing groove the last several years. The way it feels now? I can't brush my hair let alone write a well researched article. I am committed to working from home and love my employers. However, I need to set some realistic expectations. Silly me thought I'd be fine to return to my old speed in August. Not so sure about that, and it's been worrying me. (Though, I keep reminding myself that Ada start school this year -- so there WILL be time.)

So, those are the things I need to work on. I'll report back on life with two hopefully after we've gotten into a better groove. We're truly thrilled to have this opportunity to be parents again. I hope I'm not diminishing that. I am just really frustrated because I feel like I could be doing so much better as a mom.

Change is always bumpy at first, right?

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