This one's for the mom's who in a moment of deep love for your child looked at your 1 year old baby (or younger) and thought "I could have another one right now." For the mom's who were certain they couldn't get pregnant while breastfeeding, but...surprise! For the mom who said "I want my children to be close in age so they can be best friends forever!" For all the mama's of TWO under TWO: this one is FOR YOU.
HONESTLY SPEAKING: I think if I had known how difficult this two under two thing would be, I would not have done it. So I am forever thankful that I didn't know. Because despite how many times a day I curse my husband's name for making me a mother twice in two years because I've spent the entire day changing diapers, cleaning up messes, nursing a baby, and taming my wild child toddler-- I am SO grateful to be the mother of two beautiful & amazing boys. Because I am the mother of two under two, I am able to learn and grow in ways I never imagined...ways that only God knew I could.
"You have your hands full!" *eye roll* I hear this statement at least 17x a day when I have both the boys out of the house with me (which is basically everyday.) "Yes, I do. Thank you for noticing."-says me to the random stranger who feels the need to stop me and say this as I am wrestling my toddler into the shopping cart while searching my diaper bag for a teething toy for my crying infant. I know the intentions of this stranger are all good and well...but sometimes things are just better left unsaid. Am I right?
After having baby #2, I went to other "experienced" mamas for advice on how to run errands, or get things done around the house, or stay sane with two babies, and for the most part the advice I received was: "just do the shopping when your husband gets home", "don't leave the house with both, it's too much work", "hire help"...and this was, for me personally, not the best advice. I am not the type to sit at home all day. I can't, I go stir-crazy. I need to get out...at least twice a day. And the only time I get with my husband is when he gets home from work--I don't want to just pass the kids off and then go to the store. Hiring help; it's just not in the cards for my family right now. And to be honest--I prefer to be the caretaker of my children. Instead of letting this advice bring me down--it lit a fire within me to be a SUPER MOM and take on the world on my own with my two under two and do it all without any help! And by the time by second was 2 months old, I was beat. Not "beat", like "phew this has been a tough couple months." Beat, like: "I'm so exhausted and depressed that I'm not sure how I can go on like this much longer." After feeling this way for a little too long, I decided it was time to make some changes. I made some personal life changes, set more realistic expectations for myself, and what I believe to be the most important: I allowed myself to accept the help of others.
If there is anything I want other moms out there to get out of this segment it's that "IT'S OKAY TO GET HELP." Whatever "help" means for you. For some it's hiring a babysitter to watch the kids while you go get groceries, or letting your mother in law stay over and take night shift so you can get some much needed rest. For others, it may be taking the time to see a therapist, or sometimes knocking on your neighbors door for a stick of butter so you don't have to load both the kids into the car for the third time that day...YOU CAN'T DO THIS ALONE. (*side note: PRAISES to you single moms out there--because I literally don't even know what I would do without my hubs, he is my rock.) If you have a partner in raising your children, let them help. They're just as much their children as they are yours. Share the responsibilities--not only is it good for your sanity, it's also great for your relationship! (Nothing makes my heart skip a beat like seeing my man with our boys!)
Having two under two is no joke. It's hands down THE most difficult experience of my life. But also the most rewarding, fulfilling, and beautiful. There is nothing better in this entire existence than seeing my two boys together, playing and discovering with one another. When they lock eyes and smile at each other from across the room my heart is so full that in that moment I feel like I could die right then and there because it couldn't get any better than that. And then they both have a diaper blowout at the same time and I remember that while these are some of the best moments of my life, they're also honestly the worst too.
This segment "How to with TWO under TWO" will just simply be a compilation of survival techniques that I have learned through my experience as a mom of two under two. I'll delve into everything from grocery shopping, and traveling, to sharing the love between the two, and just staying sane. No, I do not have it all figured out by any means. I still have moments where I envision myself lying on a beach alone reading a book and soaking up the sun without a child in sight and think "that's the life I want to live." I still have the occasional mental breakdown that might lead me to cry uncontrollably because my toddler won't eat the mac and cheese I just "slaved" over. But even though I don't have it figured out all the time...I have learned SO much over these past few months. And it feels selfish not to share what I have learned. Because if my advice can help a mama out there feeling exhausted and depressed and like she can't go on much longer, I want her to know she's not alone.