Friday, June 12, 2015
Two Under Two
You may find this hard to believe, but there are currently two small children sleeping at the same time in my house. They are both hard-fought naps, but it actually happens most days that there is some overlap and I get a moment to think for just me. It's a bit amazing to me that things go as well as they do, as often as they do, but I also work a lot at figuring out how to structure our days. There has been a massive learning curve at this whole 'two kids under two' thing. So far, this is what I've picked up.
1. Don't overschedule. The days that leave me feeling the most drained are the ones where I thought, 'Just get out there! August needs to be tired out, and you haven't seen many adults these days,' made two playdates and left the groceries to be shopped for that afternoon. Those days don't end well. My sweet spot is making morning plans for August, being home by noon for lunch and nap time, and perhaps having friends over or going to one person's house in the afternoon. Which brings me to...
2. Massive play dates at people's houses just don't work for me. Several moms (of other toddlers, of more than one kid, my own mom) have noted that August and Bash just like to be on the move. August is one independent kid who is constantly on the go when we're at someone's house, and I honestly can't follow him around, sidestepping ten other kids in the process, while simultaneously nursing Bash. We meet up with larger groups at a playground or park, so it doesn't matter if August is running around like a maniac while yelling; he's not echoing in someone's living room with 8 other kids at the same time. It gives me space to breathe.
3. My downtime is precious. I love hanging out with both boys all day (well, most days), but they take pretty much all of my good energy. There is a bit in reserve for JP, but I'm finally getting more comfortable with not giving my small amount of remaining energy to people and experiences who don't require it. It feels so much better than spreading myself thin.
4. Don't say no to hand me downs. A friend recently gave us an entire wardrobe's worth of 3T stuff for August, and it's saved me from so much shopping!
5. Routines are awesome. They keep our days flowing, and lets each kid know what's coming up without too much variation. The best part about our routine, though, is deviating from it once in a while. Last Friday night, we met up with my cousin and his lovely wife for a picnic dinner. The catch? It was way after both boys are usually in bed; generally they're both down by 8ish, and that night, we didn't get home until 10. August loved that he was out so late, listening to live music, and Bash was surprisingly well-behaved. Plus, we got some grown-up conversation! A win for everyone.
6. Just get through the day. I swore up and down that, after two months of August only napping while riding in the car, that I would never be suckered into that with Bash. Guess what I did yesterday? Drove around for an hour while Bash napped in the back and August ate french fries. After an hour of infant fussing, though, it was the only thing I knew would make him sleep. Whatever. He slept and I drank a milkshake while touring nearby construction sites with the toddler. We got through.