One of the most requested topics I regularly receive from readers is how we managed two kids under two years old. It’s taken me forever to write this post because truthfully I have no idea how we did it. It was such a blur. Our
first year with two kids 14 months apart was our hardest and most exhausting year
ever, especially with Thomas’ eyes. It was a year filled with coffee, tears, wine, lessons learned and lots of snuggles. Parenting is hard. And to be honest, we are still in the trenches. Although we no longer feel like we’re drowning in spit up,
blowouts and doctor’s appointments, the survival mode and challenges are different now (hello toddler sass, tantrums, nightmares, etc.!). But you know what? I would do it again and again a million times over. And I wouldn’t trade our age gap for anything.
So at your request, I thought I’d share the top 5 things I’ve learned that helped us survive (and continue to survive) two insane little people who have endless energy.
Disclaimer: Even though I’ve been doing this mommy thing for a little over three years now, I
still have no clue what I’m doing most days so take ALL this with a grain of salt! Seriously.
5 Tips for Surviving Two Under Two
1. Surrender expectations and learn to let stuff go. It took me awhile to give myself grace but once I did our world changed for the better. For me, that means being fine with serving cereal for dinner…several nights in a row, handing the iPad over to decompress in another room, leaving dishes in the sink overnight and allowing the stacks of laundry to pile up on the dining room table. It also sometimes means sometimes missing daycare events due to work travel, bringing store bought cookies to the bake sale, forgetting water play day clothes and not attending every classmate’s birthday party. I had to learn the hard way that I just can’t do it all. And that is OK.
2. Find your mom tribe. I honestly couldn’t imagine going through mommyhood without my best mom friends, especially the more seasoned ones who have “been there, done that” and always know the best remedy for diaper rash, the trick to hiding vegetables in meals, potty training advice and more, like way more. I’ve leaned on them during my toughest parenting days and celebrated the victories together too. But what is most fulfilling is having their kids grow up together with mine. Over countless kid & parent play dates I have watched friendships grow not only between our children but our husbands too. And there is nothing cooler than that! Find a community that will lift you up, let you vent and encourage you when the days are hard.
3. Get outside. Fresh air work wonders for me when I’m feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, have run out of patience or can’t stand to hear one more episode of Caillou. Even when we’re not in the mood to go outside or the task of getting the kids out of the door seems daunting, we power through. And 99% of the time we are thankful we did. This can be a walk down the street, a trip to the playground or even just opening the backdoor and letting the kids go wild with water balloons while relaxing for 3 minutes in a lawn chair.
4. Splurge on a nice concealer. Seriously, you’ve earned it. If you don’t already use it, you need to buy this magical NARS concealer (color: vanilla). It’s creamy, smooth and can cover even the darkest under eye circles.
5. Be Nice To Your Husband & Put Your Marriage First. I saved my #1 tip for last — another lesson learned the hard way. There will be plenty of grumpy mornings when you’re both running off just a few hours of sleep for days on end. Having even a three minute uninterrupted adult conversation over two screaming toddlers is near to impossible. Spending quality time alone together seems like a distant memory and at times it may even feel like you’ve forgotten about one another. If you don’t have family nearby, find a great babysitter. And use her often. Carve out date nights and even overnight trips. I know it’s not inexpensive and the cost adds up quickly, but it’s your marriage — invest in it because it’s worth it.
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