In an effort to connect with more moms I am having some of my mommy friends guest blog over the next few weeks. Some are working moms, some are stay at home moms but they can each offer a different perspective into the world of motherhood.
Angie is my next guest blogger. She is a part-time working mom of two boys under two!
Life With Two Under Two
No one could have prepared me for life with a baby, and so they definitely couldn't have prepared me for life with two. I will tell you this though, life with two babes under two is not quite as difficult as I expected it to be, so that's good, right?
I'm the very lucky mommy of two beautiful baby boys: 18-month-old Ben and 2-month-old Oliver. They are the greatest joys of my life, but they are endless work. My husband and I had just gotten used to life with one baby when we decided we liked it so much that we would give baby no.2 a go. Everyone, of course, chimed in with, "You guys are totally crazy!"
And oh man, were they right.
Now, I know that I'm not the first person to have two kids under two… and in fact, there are people in way crazier situations, but it is definitely tough. Not at all for the weak of heart.
My days with two under two go a little something like this:
I'll start at around 6 am.
6 am: Ben wakes up to come to our bed. He screams, "Dad" from his bed. Dad goes and gets him, brings him to bed, I snuggle with him while he cries for "nana" (milk in Ben lingo), Dad goes to fridge, gets Ben nana, Ben drinks, chants our names for a few minutes and goes to sleep.
Of course, by this time, Oliver has woken up because of Ben's screaming. He cries until I nurse him back to sleep. Thankfully, this doesn't usually take too long. We all snuggle and go back to sleep until about…
8:30 am: Ben wakes up for the day. He grabs one of the books on either of our nightstands (note: we are fully stocked with books for Ben on both night tables), starts to read (as well as a 1 year old can read) and once he's done with that he begins to explore everything else on our nightstands. And by the time he's done, our nightstands are totally clear and our bed is totally cluttered.
9:00 am: The whole family is up. I can't complain too much here. 9 am is a great time to get up with two babes at home.
I proceed to turn on one of Ben's shows. He is currently loving Super Why on PBS. I sit him in his high chair, put Oliver in his rock'n'play, and either Dad or I proceed to make some breakfast for everyone.
From about 9:30 to 12:30 Ben can be found watching his show, eating, playing with toys, climbing all over us/couches/coffee table/Oliver, messing with the dogs' bowls, and sneaking into the bathrooms, while Daddy and I feed the boys/change diapers/walk dogs/clean/work (another note: Dad and I work part time from home and a couple of days a week at the office– again, not complaining).
Around 1 pm both boys start to get cranky. Naptime is usually around the corner, but Ben never goes down without a fight… and almost always needs both of us there to put him to sleep. So, it usually goes like this: I feed Oliver until he's really full so I can put Ben to sleep while Oliver is already napping, but because Ben feels it necessary to scream at us while we rock him, cuddle with him and sing to him, Oliver wakes up to do the same. So, Dad usually tries first with Oliver, but he always ends up bringing him to me so I can nurse him while I cuddle with Ben. It's a juggling act. And once they are both settled and asleep there, it's the best feeling in the world to just cuddle with them (and also to have them sleeping so we can take a moment to breathe, too).
2:30-3 pm: Oliver wakes up intermittently from the beginning of naptime, but around this time, Ben wakes up.
The easy thing with Oliver is that I don't have to be up and down chasing him around…yet. I can just sit down with him, hold him, nurse him, and be still somewhat, but once Ben wakes up, it's a totally different story.
From about 3-9:30-10 pm its just a matter of keeping Ben busy and keeping a 2 month old fed/asleep/clean/safe from the curious little creature that is his big brother.
Here is where it gets really fun. Both of my boys are sympathetic criers. If Ben cries, he wakes Oliver up, who then starts to cry, too. I never know which one to tend to first…and I don't pretend to have any insight just yet on that. I just grab Oliver and head right to Ben to figure out what's up with either or both. If Oliver cries first, Ben will usually go over to Oliver's rock'n'play (the rock'n'play is where you can usually find Oliver throughout the day) and will try to soothe him. He calls him "Baby" or just "B" (short for "baby"). So, you'll hear Ben say, "B, shh. B? B!!!" and before you know it, Ben is climbing on top of his brother trying to cuddle with him so he will stop crying. It's simultaneously the sweetest and most dangerous thing in the world. So, of course, Oliver just cries louder, which bothers Ben so then he starts to cry. Try taking a bathroom break and then walking out to your 1 year old just about smothering your 2 month old. It's super fun.
Between 9:30-10 Ben goes to sleep (again, same ritual as nap time). Oliver is usually awake at this time so we try to entertain him for a while, then feed him and put him to sleep. Around 11:30 Oliver is down for the night.
11:30pm -12 am: Mommy gets to shower… and maybe brush her teeth, but that might be pushing it. On most nights, this is a success. The operative word being "most".
3 am: Oliver wakes up. Food time. (yet again another note: Oliver sleeps in a cosleeper connected to my bed. Just in case you thought I was keeping my tiny baby in bed with me…not just yet).
5 am: Oliver wakes up. Food time again. He's a growing boy. You understand.
6 am: Repeat.
If you found your head spinning while you tried to follow the timeline then you have a pretty good idea of what life is like in our house — just a tiny bit chaotic. And that was just an example of a day at home with the boys. If we're going out, it gets much more complicated. And if Daddy isn't here to help me when I'm going out with the boys, it gets even more complicated than that. And to top this all off, it'll all probably change really soon 'cause that's just what they do… they keep us on our toes.
Am I exhausted? Absolutely. I'm totally sleep-deprived. I'm running on coffee and Jesus at this point. But they are so worth every second of all of this insanity.
It's so rewarding to see both of them in their respective stages; Ben learning to talk and Oliver learning to smile, and both of them discovering everything in their own ways. The future is so exciting; the thought of them playing together and growing up with a built-in buddy. I can't wait.
For all you mommas contemplating baby no.2, here's some hopeful news: it just gets easier. That's right, every single day is a little bit easier than the last.
Some days, when the boys decide to gang up on us (yes, they're already doing that) my hubby and I just look at each other and laugh because of how totally insane our life is. The hard moments pass and even though the exhaustion is very much present and not really passing just yet, we are trying to enjoy this time because we know one day it will pass and we will look back on these days and miss the diapers, miss sleeping like sardines in our bed, miss finding our son eating dog food or toilet paper, miss the sticky little hands and feet. Because as hard as it is, it's so awesome!! The reward is so worth the sacrifice and the craziness it all entails. I love my sleepless, loud, messy, smelly, cramped life. My life is nuts, but my heart is so full.
So, moral of the story is, if you want to add insanity, poop and a lot more love to your life consider going for baby no.2. It's fun! I recommend it to everyone.