I’m only seven weeks into life with two kids, and certainly still adjusting, but we’re starting to find a rhythm to our new normal. Some nights are better than others… and on a not-so-easy night when Jon just wouldn’t go back to sleep at 3 AM, I started typing up the stream-of-conscious notes below; I guess the blogging habit runs deep, even though I don’t post as much these days.
So in no particular order, here are some middle-of-the-night thoughts on life with two kids (I added punctuation but that’s about it) and a few photos too.
Five Things that are Different the Second Time Around
- Call the doctor more, consult the internet less. I used to google a lot and stress about all the conflicting advice. Now I go straight to a single source and get a succinct list of suggestions. No question is too small; I’ve called about diaper rash and congestion, which seem minor, but the details get fuzzy after a couple years and following a few instructions is so much more manageable than sifting through the internet to find what works.
- Out and about sooner. I’m used to a toddler’s schedule, which usually includes an outing every morning. After a few weeks at home, I missed getting out of the house and adult conversation. We started having one-on-one play dates at our house when Jon was 4 weeks old; it was great to pass a few of the (long) hours and catch up with friends. Of course, that also means germs… with Amelia we stuck close to home for most of her first year and she didn’t get a cold until 11 months in, but between preschool and play dates, Jon had his first sniffles at 5 weeks old. Luckily they passed quickly but I’m sure we will be dealing with more sickness in the coming months… it’s just no longer feasible to stay at home forever.
- Hand me downs AKA a Support System. After Amelia was born, I decided to quit my full-time job and stay at home. I didn’t have any friends with kids or family close by, and finding a new group of friends wasn’t high on my priority list during the newborn phase. Eventually I started getting out of the house more and met like-minded friends through the library story time, play dates, and Facebook groups. Now I have a solid group of friends with kids in similar stages, and we get together for play dates and nights out without the kids. Over the past year, our play group doubled in size as more babies were born, and it’s made a huge difference to have a support system of friends in the same boat. And as a bonus – hand me downs! Both clothes and gear are great to pass around, since each stage only lasts a few months anyway.
- Eat play sleep. The first time around, we got into a lot of bad sleep habits and consequently a lot of sleep deprivation until we attempted sleep training at 7 months (I wrote about it here; we used this book as a guide). It helped a lot and eventually Amelia became a great sleeper. But this time, I really wanted to start good habits early so sleep training wouldn’t be necessary or at least not as intense. I follow Taking Cara Babies on Instagram and she offers lots of great tips and advice, so I also bought her online course on Newborn Sleep that comes with videos and a printable handbook. The class gave lots of good tips for the newborn months and I’ll probably invest in the other classes/eBooks if needed. I think my biggest takeaway is getting into an Eat-Play-Sleep routine throughout the day and learning soothing techniques to help baby fall asleep on his own instead of always resorting to nursing as the only way to fall asleep.
- This too shall pass. The days and nights are long, but everything is a phase, for better or worse, and no phase lasts forever. It’s really hard to realize that when you’re in the thick of it, but it helps to know that there are so many fun milestones ahead, and eventually I’ll look back on this time as a blur. I know the hours and days and weeks will pass and I know that eventually I will feel like myself, have time for myself, and sleep all night. Eventually.