I am almost three months into the transition to being a mom of two kids. I have two under three. There are many, many times I think and wonder to myself and out loud, “What were we thinking having them this close apart?” But, most often, I’m glad that Rhys and Evelyn are closer in age (by four months) than me and my little sister.
I will be completely honest. I have absolutely loved these past three months. I have learned so much about myself and my little children. But, I have also had an extremely difficult time transitioning as well. Part of it has to do with missing my family and the support I got in Utah. Another part was suffering some postpartum depression. But, the biggest was the stress and anxiety with Evelyn’s bowel movement issues.
However, I would never take back these three months. I don’t regret them. They have changed me, and I hope for the better.
What lessons did you learn when you transitioned from one to two kids? Click To Tweet
Evelyn is NOT Rhys
Rhys was a textbook baby. He nursed and he immediately put himself into 3 hour eat-play-sleep routine. He was pretty consistent with it too. And by two months old, he was only waking up once in the middle of the night. He was already scooting by this time. I’ve had to learn that Evelyn is not Rhys. She is her own self–has her own personality. She as her own strengths and her own weaknesses. She may still be waking up 2-3 times a night, but she has already rolled over from tummy to back and is the most smiley, content baby on the planet (if she doesn’t have a poo or a lot of gas she’s working on). I’ve had to learn that I needed to stop comparing Evelyn to Rhys and expecting her to be like he was. Of course, as I do her monthly updates, I still read Rhys’s, because it is fun to see where they are the same and different. But, I try my hardest not to worry too much about their differences.
Rhys still needs special one-on-one time
I am the oldest. I was only four months older than Rhys when my sister was born. Apparently, according to my mom, I was very jealous of her and would bully her most of our young lives. Although I only remember a few instances, I regret that behavior to my sister–it only became the foundation to years of fighting. I don’t want that for Rhys and Evelyn. I can see that Rhys sometimes gets frustrated and jealous of all the attention Evelyn gets, especially when she was a newborn. Whenever we would feed her or try rocking her to sleep, he would beg us and pull on us to go play with him in his room. He also regressed in how well he went to bed at night. So, the past few months, we have tried to give him special time to himself when Evelyn is sleeping. Justin will also take him on special Daddy-son outings.
Sleep is just as important now as it was during pregnancy
Taking care of a toddler and a newborn is exhausting. Especially when the toddler is as active as Rhys. About 70% of the time, after both Rhys and Evelyn are asleep in the afternoon, I take advantage and sleep as well. Yes, I could be doing chores, reading, blogging, or doing freelancing and earning money, but if I’m not well rested, all hell breaks loose. But, can I just say how VERY GRATEFUL I am that both my kids take an afternoon nap at the same time and for at least two hours!!!!Sleep is just as important after two kids as it is during pregnancy!!!! Click To Tweet
Tag-team parenting is a necessity
If Evelyn isn’t napping when Justin is on his way home from work, then I wait to make dinner. One of us will play with the kids while the other cooks in the kitchen. Sometimes if one of us is running errands, we’ll take one kid with us. We put the kids down to bed at the same time (to avoid jealousy from Rhys of Evelyn getting to stay up and to give us more “us-time”), so we take turns who put which kid down. At night, we also tag-team. With the amount of times Evelyn wakes up, we take turns feeding her bottles. I’m grateful that sometimes I can sleep instead of feeding her in the middle of the night since I’m not nursing her. Also, since we live in a 700 square foot apartment, when Evelyn wakes up crying, one of us will hurry and make a bottle while the other sushes her and changes her diaper to keep the noise at a minimum as to not wake up Rhys. Church is also difficult sometimes. Justin is in charge of Rhys if he gets too rowdy, and I take care and feed Evelyn in the mother’s room when needed.
Husband/Wife time is important
Justin and I went 9 months (if not more) without going on an intentional date without the kids. So, for Valentine’s Day, even though I was nervous about it, I found a babysitter to take care of both kids and took Justin on a date. We try our best to spend some quality time together after the kids go to bed. If that means just doing spouse scripture reading and cuddling while we watch TV, then so be it. We also talk through GoogleChat during the work day all the time.When you have two kids, you grab any opportunity for special spouse time! Click To Tweet
Your oldest instantaneously grows up
Rhys is little over 2.5 years old. But, he seems so mature now, both physically and mentally. Rhys is of average weight, but the first time I picked him up after holding Evelyn for the first time, I was absolutely surprised with how heavy he felt! How could I have picked him up so easily while I was pregnant!? Haha! But then again, 38 pounds is a lot heavier than 7 pounds! Rhys has also been a very good helper and big brother. He kisses Evie and gives her pacy to her when she cries. He brings me diapers and wipes for her. He helps clean up more and more. Sometimes, I’ll take a catnap with Evelyn in the morning and Rhys will quietly play on the Wii-U by himself. I trust him–he’s a good boy.
Giving yourself grace is a necessity
I am a blogger. I am a freelance writer. I am a runner. I am a bibliophile. I am a Type A who can’t function well when the house is a mess. I work in my church’s youth ministry and teach them every Sunday. I was completely overwhelmed the first few weeks, even after my mom left. Many days, I felt like I got absolutely nothing done. I fell behind in blogging. I fell behind in freelancing. Housework fell behind. I hardly cooked. Reading was almost nonexistent. I wasn’t getting ready for the day, nor dressing Rhys. Then, once I started getting the hang of taking care of two and once Evelyn started getting the hang of being awake and content, I was constantly on my computer trying to catch up. There was no balance. I have to give myself grace. If housework doesn’t get done, I can clean when the kids are asleep. If we don’t get dressed for the day, that is ok, as long as it doesn’t happen every day. If I don’t post three times a week, my readers will survive. If I don’t get a lot of freelancing done, or miss a deadline, my family will survive financially. More and more recently, I’ve been putting my electronics down and enjoying my kids more. That is what is important. That is the MOST important thing.When you transition to two kids, giving yourself GRACE is a necessity! Click To Tweet
Self-care is just as important now as it was during pregnancy
I get stressed easily. I get overwhelmed easily. So, I make a consious effort to care for myself. I work out almost every day. Last week, I worked out every day of the week. Sometimes I worked out right when I woke up, sometimes it was after the kids’ nap time in the late afternoon. Sometimes it was after dinner in Rhys’s room while the kids played. Sometimes I didn’t get dressed until I worked out. But, I still did it. And, my body is starting to feel the difference. I would spoil myself with a Pepsi and peanut M&Ms, but this month, I am giving them up to care more for my body. I shower and take time to actually get dressed and put makeup and jewelry on. I keep on blogging–it was my absolute favorite hobby. A few times, when I have been so stressed, I would just go on a drive after Justin got home from work. I can’t properly care for my two little kids if I don’t care for myself.
Love for both of your kids expands exponentially
I knew I would love Evelyn just as much as I love Rhys. But, what I didn’t know was how much more I would love each of them because of each other. Seeing Rhys as a big brother and taking care of Evelyn makes my heart burst. Seeing Evelyn watch and follow her brother all the time makes my heart melt. I can’t wait to watch them continue to grow and develop a loving relationship. I can’t imagine life without them both.How is it possible for your heart to continue to grow with two kids?!?! Click To Tweet