It was always my dream and plan to have my kids close in age. I imagined my adorable kids playing together, wearing matching/coordinating clothes, and basically being the best of friends forever. My sister and I are 22 months apart and we’ve been best friends since the day I was born. I love it! And I knew that was what I wanted for my own little family. Fast forward to the present day and here I am with two daughters 19 months apart, living my dream. My oldest, Hazel (20 months), “plays” with my youngest, Iris (1 month), by tossing toys in the bassinet while baby sister sleeps, I dress them in coordinating clothes almost daily, and if all the smothering hugs and kisses Hazel gives her baby sister are any indicators, I think they’re going to love each other and be best friends their entire lives. But what no one told me about this two under two dream of mine is the overwhelming amount of dirty diapers, the fact that I would be on my feet all day long and never get a chance to sit down, or all of the emotions you feel…hello mom guilt. I had several moments in those first few weeks where I asked myself “How am I going to survive taking care of these two girls?” Cody went back to work when Iris was two weeks old and I quickly learned a few tricks that have been huge in my survival as a mom to two under two. Thanks to these tricks, I now have the confidence, strength, and power to take on each day.
- Baby Wearing: When you have two kids under two, you need two hands available at all times. I’d actually prefer four hands at all times, but since I only have two hands, I guess I’ll have to settle. Baby wearing allows me to hold Iris while I prepare meals, wash dishes, and get Hazel dressed for the day. It also allows me to spend quality time playing with Hazel, when Iris wants to be held. I can comfort and soothe Iris while playing with Hazel. It’s a win-win!
- Plan activities: I like to have something planned to do that will keep Hazel entertained, take up a good chunk of time, and allow her to get some energy out. It makes for a happier toddler which makes for a happier mom. Some activities we do are story time at the library, walks around the neighborhood, or one of these 15 sensory tub ideas. I’ll also have a blog post coming up soon with 10 unique and easy outdoor activities for toddlers.
- Get Up & Ready For The Day Before The Kids Wake Up: This can be hard to do with a newborn, but waking up and getting ready for the day before the girls wake up makes a huge difference in my attitude for the rest of the day. It makes me feel more awake, together, confident, and ready for whatever the day/girls have in store for me. If I don’t get ready before the girls wake up, it’s nearly impossible and very exhausting to try to get ready with them (although, sometimes Iris wakes up early so on those days I bring her in with me while I get ready). I’ve mastered my 5 minute makeup routine, use these hair ties at night to make my curls last for days so I don’t have to style my hair everyday, and I never forget my deodorant. I use Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid just once for all-day strong wetness protection. As soon as I walk out my bedroom and into the girls’ rooms, I’m go-go-go until bedtime. We go on walks, run errands, have playdates, and I don’t have time to re-apply my deodorant. Thanks to the long lasting protection from Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid, I can focus on my girls without worrying about how I smell or if my shirt is getting sweat stains. We live where it gets over 100 degrees in the summer, so this is major! It’s super easy to find, too! Click here to get your own at Target!
- Learn To Let Go: When I accepted that I can’t do it all and let go of the stressful feeling of trying to do everything perfectly, I gained so much more confidence in myself. So Iris is over a month old and I still haven’t cleaned my house since she was born? The dirt will still be here tomorrow (or the next day) for me to clean. So I’ve been wearing the same outfit three days in row because I can’t put the energy into picking out a new outfit? Throw on some deodorant and work it, girl.
- Plan Ahead: Anticipating what their wants and needs will be, and planning for it makes a huge difference in how the day goes. If I can stay one step ahead, I don’t get as overwhelmed and frustrated. For example, when the girls wake up from their afternoon naps, I get their pj’s laid out and rooms all ready for bedtime, so that I don’t feel stressed and overwhelmed when doing our bedtime routine. I also fill Iris’ bottles with water ahead of time, so that when she’s hungry, I can just add formula. It helps me to get her bottle made faster which makes her cry less.
- Stay Calm & Patient: If all else fails, I try my best to remain calm and patient. Kids can feel your emotions, so if you can stay calm, it will help to calm them.