Lisa shares her experience of going from one to two children and the tips she's developed in order to survive the struggle!
So, everyone tells you that having one versus two is a struggle. I honestly was going into it like, “Man, I got this.” And with how I felt just prior to having Mia, I was imagining that anything would be better than consistent, uncomfortable contractions 24/7.
When Mia arrived, the first few days seemed perfect. She was the perfect sleeper, Ava was the perfect child, everything was copacetic.
Then reality set in. As time went on, the newborn angel phase wore off and Mia started fighting sleep. Ava realized that our new house guest was actually a permanent addition. And Matt and I had to answer to, not one, but two little voices crying out for us at all hours of the night.
Let me preface this by saying Ava is amazing. She took on the role of big sister perfectly, and we couldn’t have expected better. She is so protective and in love with her little sister. Even in the hospital she demanded to hold Mia, and no one else was allowed to touch her because, “This is my baby sister.”
Not once have we ever been worried that Ava will hurt Mia. But that still doesn’t change the fact that she is a tiny 2-year-old human that wants and needs attention, and a baby takes a lot of that. So, it’s been a difficult adjustment for her altogether.
Needless to say, transitioning from one to two tiny humans is quite a challenge, (props to you twin moms out there, you’re the REAL HEROS!). And let’s be honest, it’s really more than double the work having a second child, (you were right, Mom, there I said it). :p
But as I slowly have been adjusting to having a second baby, the family has also adjusted and created a “new norm.”
There are a few things I started to do in order to create a structured, efficient home and making my life easier, so I could handle it all!
(Also note: I went “back to work” only two weeks postpartum. It wasn’t easy, but I survived and now I’m thriving with the 5 easy steps listed below.)
How to Survive Having Several Children:
1. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
Even if your kids are different ages, you can align their day to mesh with yours. I wake them both at 8, if they haven’t already gotten up. (Yes, if they’re still sleeping I wake them - gasp!)
Children like structure, they don’t want to wonder what’s going to “happen next,” so while our days do differ, a common theme is consistency with their schedule: Wake, Breakfast, Get ready, Hands-On Learning, Morning Snack, Mia’s Morning Nap, Play, Lunch, Play/Read, Nap, Snack, TV Time, Dinner (with NO TV), Play Outside (if able to), Dessert and Last Drink, Get Ready/Read/Bed
Mia falls in line with Ava’s day even if her meals differ. Mia does take a morning nap as well during Ava’s learning time.
This was something that took the most adjustment because with a new child you are in survival mode the first few weeks, but finding that there was no real schedule our house was chaotic and no one was really happy. I sat down one day (after being extremely frustrated from several meltdowns occuring before 10 a.m.) and drafted a daily schedule for both the girls that Matt and I could use as a guideline. I create those structured times to make sure playtime was coinciding with learning. Within 24 hours of implementation, there was balance and order in our house (it was pretty much magic).
2. Prep for the Day Ahead
If you struggle to get going in the mornings, doing simple things like picking clothes the night before and packing up bags beforehand will simplify your life and keep the mornings from being too hectic.
3. Keep the Diaper Bag Stocked
Do this every time you get home! Clean it out, restock it, and put it away! This will ensure you don’t run out of things like diapers, wipes, or snacks when you’re on-the-go.
4. Make Your To-Do List the Night Before
Create a list the night before of what you have to do the following day and where you will do it! (Did you know we offer personalized one-on-one tasking services to help you figure out how to structure your day to maximize efficiency and regain your sanity? Contact us via the Contact button located at the top of this page!)
5. Know You Can’t Control Everything
Realize that not every day will be perfect, and that’s just the way life is! Some days will be a crazy, emotional mess, but reset that night for a fresh start the next morning! Every sunrise is a perfect way to start over.
Remember Mama, you aren’t alone in your struggle. Adding another child (or your first) to your family is difficult, takes an adjustment period, and makes life chaotic at first, but is SO rewarding.
No matter how bad a day seems, remember, you worked so hard to get that bundle of joy here and you deserve a BIG pat on your back for working hard to create the best life for them you possibly can!
Have some thoughts on your experiences of adding to your family? Share your thoughts, struggles, and tips with us by hitting the Contact button located at the top of the page!
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