The first three months of having 2 kids were definitively the hardest for me. The transition is filled with many ups and downs and the downs something were rough. I had many moments where I questioned how was I going to pull it off and other moments were I felt like I was totally rocking being a mom of two. As time went by things started getting a lot easier and now having 2 kids has become part of my life.
Close to 4 months babies start interacting a lot more and responding to the people around them. This is when it got easier to do things around the house, like cook and clean, because Cookie (my oldest) could entertain Jelly (my youngest). I even managed to keep the house relatively clean.
However, when we were close to 5 months Jelly became more attached to me, meaning she wouldn’t really spend too much time alone. She would either enjoy having my toddler entertainer or totally hate it and would want to be held. I started to babywear her a lot more often and sometimes for many hours a day. It was the only way I was able to get things done.
By now we were able to go out more and since the baby napped in the carrier it made things easier. Overall, I feel that it was after 3-4 months that things started getting a lot easier. We had sort of a routine and everyone knew what to expect from each other. The baby was nursing about every 2 hours so I knew what to expect and when to leave the house.
I started feeling so confident in my skills that when my baby was 5 months I went to Costa Rica. Having the baby there was easy because I had help from my parents but having my 3 year old away from her father turned out to be a nightmare and I ended up coming back sooner than I expected.
At 6 months there was a huge change in our dynamics: my baby was now crawling and able to keep herself entertained. This was amazing. I was able to get stuff done around the house, write blog posts, cook and clean. It wasn’t always easy but it was a lot easier than it had been before.
By the time the baby was 7 months she was crawling all over the house and loving it. It made trying to sweep a little harder so I got a cordless vacuum but overall life got so much easier. Around this time I started going out a lot more and although I didn’t drive far because the baby would cry in the car seat, we kept ourselves busy by walking to places.
My girls started interacting so much more and I could see the beginning of a close friendship, along with some fights in between but all kids fight, right? 😉
My biggest challenges in during this time were:
Putting my 3 year old down for a nap: she doesn’t go to nap by herself and I couldn’t leave my baby alone long enough to get Cookie to sleep, which meant my kid has almost given up on naps. This also meant she would act a little crazy some evenings. I wish I could have kept her nap schedule but I didn’t know how.
Cooking: There are always times in the week I can cook but cooking daily has become a challenge. It really depends on my baby’s mood and how she’s doing playing by herself so there are many nights that my husband ends up bringing dinner. We have eaten take-out more than ever during this time. Also, my instant pot has been a life saver because I can dump meat and veggies in it and have a meal ready in 20 mins (if you’re looking for quick and easy instant pot recipes, join Instant Pot recipes for busy parents on Facebook).
Having a clean house: Although I was able to clean more it also seems that Cookie was leaving bigger messes behind because I wasn’t able to clean up with her after she was done playing and toys would accumulate everywhere. My house was clean enough but it feels like there’s a mess everywhere. My goal is to try and pick up all the toys every night but sometimes I’m too tired to get that done.
Overall I’ve found that handling a baby the second time around was a lot easier. Her needs are easily met and she is very predictable. I have found more challenges with my 3 year old: being able to keep her busy, managing her tantrums when I’m holding a sleeping baby, coming up with fun this to do. Unfortunately, Cookie now watches TV almost daily and although she doesn’t watch it for many hours I end up using it to keep her busy when I have to nurse the baby or put her to sleep.
Having a crawling baby has made things much easier and I think it’s a great milestone to reach. Once Jelly was crawling, our oldest was able to keep her busy and I was also able to use our baby toys to keep her entertained. I even placed them in different parts of our play mat so she would crawl to each toy.
Although there will always be hard days, I feel that the good days are a lot more than the bad ones…and as always, when I feel down I remind myself that there’s always tomorrow and have a cup of coffee.
How have you adjusted to having 2 kids? Leave a tip for future moms of two reading this!