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Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Baby Atlas, Motherhood | 4 comments

Our Life with 2 Kids Under 2

From the moment people found out I was pregnant, the comments started. “Whoah! 2 kids under 2? That’s going to be crazy!” or “You’re never going to sleep again.” and “How on earth will you manage all that? 2 kids and 2 dogs? What will you do?”

Today I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on life with 2 kids under 2. You can also find this topic filed under “Life in crazy town.” Andi is 3 weeks old today and Atlas just turned 21 months old last week.

IMG_0122The first thing I want to touch on is that going from 1 child to 2 has not been nearly as traumatic as going from 0-1. At least, for me. When I had Atlas my entire world was rocked and I wasn’t at all prepared for how drastically  my life changed. I wasn’t prepared for the difficult delivery. I wasn’t prepared for the colic and hours upon hours of crying (by both Atlas and me). I wasn’t prepared for how long it would take me to leave the house. The whole experience really shook me to my core. However, with Andi, my perspective, expectations and goals have been totally different. For example, I know this season of life with a newborn is so incredibly short, so I don’t necessarily mind waking up at 3 am to feed my baby girl. In fact, I actually sort of cherish those cuddle sessions in the middle of the night with Andi because trying to cuddle Atlas now is like trying to wrestle a greased pig.( So – yes – I’m one of those moms now.) Also, I don’t expect to leave the house looking ‘put together’ and I certainly don’t anticipate arriving at any event on time for a while, much less with jewelry and make-up on. I am more {mentally} prepared this go around for those occasions where I get everybody ready to go and right before we walk out the door, Andi has a blowout diaper, requiring 2 of our 4 family members to change clothes. This is just the season of life I’m in right now and it is so messy and so crazy, but so sweet and so beautiful and sometimes it is even kind of fun.

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I should also state that Andi is proving to be an easier baby than Atlas was (at least so far), which is making the transition smoother. I think part of it is that I’m more relaxed. Her cry doesn’t rattle me like Atlas’ cry used to. I expect her to cry. But she also just doesn’t cry as much as he did. He cried during every bath and diaper change. He cried every time we set him down in his swing. He cried every time he was in the stroller for longer than 10 minutes. He cried in his carseat. She rarely cries. I realize she could ‘wake up’ any day now and start expressing her opinions, just like her brother, but for now I’m enjoying her go-with-the-flow personality to the fullest. I rarely left the house with Atlas when he was a newborn because he fussed so much and I was so scared and anxious, but Andi has already been to the zoo with our family, out to dinner, out to lunch and to the mall with me. She is the perfect shopping partner right now! 🙂

Baby Andi

The hardest part of this transition from 1 child to 2 has been watching Atlas try to adjust. The first week we brought Andi home from the hospital was difficult. I knew it would be tough on Atlas, but I wasn’t fully prepared for just how hard it was on him. He wouldn’t sit by me if I was holding Andi. He wouldn’t kiss me or hug me. He threw several things at Andi. He hit her every chance he got. He just acted so angry and it was heartbreaking for me to watch. It was also frustrating because I was still recovering from labor, so I couldn’t play with him like he was used to, but yet I was still the one who had to discipline him for hitting his new baby sister. I just felt like the bad guy and it sucked. Luckily, he’s doing better with each week that passes and he’s even given Andi a few kisses. Since I’m feeling better, I’m able to play with him more and I’m making a daily effort to take time away from Andi and devote undivided attention to him.

My FirstbornAtlas currently loves all trucks, so if I can take him out to look for any motorized vehicle his day is pretty much made. We made a special stop at a fire station the other day and I scored major mom points with him. Slowly but surely I’m falling back into his good graces.

IMG_0108The other difficult thing that has come with adding Andi  to our crew has been relinquishing control. Control of the house. Control of our meals. Control of Atlas. Turns out I’m kind of a control freak (I think we learned this after I had Atlas) and I prefer to handle most things myself – especially around my house and with my children. However, with 2 kids under 2 I just have to accept help. I can’t make dinner, do all the laundry, feed Atlas his dinner, nurse Andi, do the dishes, give both kids their bath, etc. I have to let Dave and my mom help with some things and while I’m so grateful for their help (I would sink right now without it), I definitely struggle with wanting to do it ALL myself. That just isn’t realistic at this time though.

It is definitely hard to juggle meeting the needs of both children (I’m pretty sure I could spend 6 hours a day just feeding both of them all their meals and snacks) and my mom has been here to help, so I’m not quite sure how things will fall into place when she leaves us and I’m on my own, but I know we will find our groove. Life with 2 kids under 2 certainly brings a new set of challenges. I assume my house won’t be tidied up every day now. I assume we will eat a lot of quick dinners that might not be the fanciest or healthiest, at least for a few weeks. I assume there will be times when 1 kid has to cry because their sibling’s needs must be met first. I assume there will be a few days where I call Dave and beg him to come home early from work to save me. But when I stop and think about the situation we are currently in, I realize we are in the midst of so many blessings. When I’m trying to change double the diapers and manage double the meltdowns and do double quadruple the laundry (who knew a 7 pound human could fill a laundry basket so fast), I realize I’m just managing blessings. God has blessed us beyond what we deserve with 2 healthy children. In a strange way, the diapers, laundry and meltdowns are just reminders of how much God loves me. Sure, to some it may look like a burden and some days it does feel overwhelming, but the crazy workload is just a sign of the crazy blessings.

IMG_0090So, it is definitely crazy town around these parts. At the moment I smell like spit up and this post is fueled by a {cold} cup of coffee, but life with 2 kids under 2 is marvelous. Sure, it is crazy and sleep is rare, but it is nothing short of wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. You’re such a talented writer, Ashley! You had me in tears & giggles 🙂 Andi is adorable & she/Atlas are lucky to have you as their mama!

    So…….life is gonna change quite a bit for us, eh? Haha. I actually think I’m more scared of this transition than when I had L. L sounds a lot like Andi, she was so easy, so I didn’t have a super tough transition into motherhood (just my experience), but I’m pretty sure this is going to rock all of our world’s by adding a 2nd next month. Hah!
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    • I’ll be praying your next one is as easy going as Lily! BUT just remember – even if your next one throws you some curveballs, it goes by quick (you already know that) and they outgrow the fussiness related to colic, acid reflux, etc! It definitely makes for a tougher go of it, but IF that was to be the case with you, you would be more prepared simply because you’re already a mom! You’ll do great with another baby in the mix. And I just know you’ll have another little angel baby, like Lily! Excited for you, friend! 🙂

  2. Since I have no grandchildren, I am enjoying watching you and your children. They would be my great great niece and nephew! These days might be hectic; but they will always be remembered fondly. I never had 2 under 2; but I really do remember 2 under 3 and how much I loved them. Just keep the hugs and kisses going and you will be fine. Here’s a kiss from this old lady for both of them and hugs for you.

    • Thank you so much, Sheryl! I hope our babies get to meet you one day. 🙂

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