The constant battles, screaming over who has what, and the to-do list that never gets one box checked, makes it’s easy for it all to feel so hard.
The First Child
Take a moment to reflect. Remember when you had your first baby? You used apps like the Wonder Weeks to help you through mental leaps. Google ensured you asked every question that’s important at well visit check-ups. You focused on routines, nutrition, and making sure everything was perfect. You were on top of the momma game and rocking it.
The Second Child
Instantly, your world is turned upside down when that sweet second born child arrives. Your perfect routine that worked with the first child no longer is relevant. The laundry keeps piling up, the work quadruples. (But how? It’s just one more kid, right?)
You feel like you failed.
The transition from one to two kids is really hard! Have you tried to chase two kids with different preferences on the playground? What about when they both get sick at the same time, which do you attend to first?
As I go through the transition from one to two kids, I’ve learned a lot. My children are just about five years apart. I am here to tell you that despite this journey being so hard, there is so much good!
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This is a big one. It is beyond critical to “learn to live with compromise.” As my mentor told me: You need acceptance when you become a parent, especially as you add more kiddos to the mix. You cannot be everywhere at once. Once you come to realize that, it takes the pressure off so that you are able to somehow fly from one end of the playground to the next.
Acceptance also means being kind to yourself. Accept the mounds of laundry — it’s okay! Expect toys and a home that is full of love with toys (and perhaps ouchy building blocks) in the walkway.
It is so easy to fall into comparing your two (or more) kiddos. Remember each child is uniquely made. Despite the children coming from the same parents, each has his or her own ideas, preferences, personalities, and gifts. It truly is a joy observing and appreciating the differences and watching them come together as one.
New Expectations (or None at All)
This is one of the hardest things I need to work through. My original system for my son did not work for two kids. It’s like trying to put that circle block in the square hole.
Although I have created new systems to try to balance two children and the quadrupled responsibilities, I have had to get rid of my expectations that it will go smoothly, or frankly, even work. Instead, I need to embrace the art of trying again, doing it quickly and getting rid of perfection.
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Do not forget to take care of yourself in the midst of juggling all-the-things. Find some peace in the seemingly chaotic new world of going from one to two kids.