Friday, March 2, 2012

My advice for 2 under 2....

I posted last week about my schedule with the little men...
I wanted to get it down on the blog before all hell breaks loose Jude arrives...
I also got asked what advice I have for tackling 2 under 2...
Figured I would get that on the blog too before it becomes 3 under 3
::I am hoping the same advice and lessons still apply::
So here goes....

I not so fondly remember when I was about 25 weeks pregnant with Luke...
I was at Gymboree class with Vincent...
I noticed when I pulled in the car beside me had 1 forward facing car seat and one rear...
I was so excited because I knew there was a mom inside who had 2 little ones...
::mommy friend potential::
She had both her kids with her so I knew who she was right away...
The classes are small so I knew we would chat...
But what she said to me I will never forget....
She asked how far apart mine would be and I smiled and said "16 months"
The look on her face was priceless...she said hers were 27 months apart....
Following that she said "It's horrible...I want to pull my hair out EVERYDAY!"
She no joke went on to say how tough it was and how much work it was...
Needless to say...I steered clear of her from that day on...

Well ladies...I am NOT going to tell you anything like that....
I think that is just down right rude...
If someone tells me they are expecting close together I don't scare them...
Because let's face it....you are already a little nervous of it...

It is a lot of work...but it is a lot of work regardless of 1, 2 or 3 kids...
Any mom has days where she is stressed to the max....
::and wants a glass bottle of wine::
It is just a juggling act when you throw another in the mix....
So fret not ladies...
{I would not be having another if it were as hellish as that mom made it out to be}

Vincent and Luke are 16 months apart {Jude and Luke will be 19}

Throw out all expectations...
This was VERY HARD for me...
In my eyes I had the whole mom thing down with Vincent...
I could handle him and all the tasks of being a SAHM {I even nannied 3 kids when he was a babe}
Therefore I knew I could handle it ALL....
But when Luke came I fast realized that I needed help...
and guess what...I was far too proud in my mommy pants to ask for it...
{BIG MISTAKE}
I wanted to do everything myself {I am still this way lol} but I just did not want help...
It backfired BAD...It turned into more stress than anything...
I wasn't sleeping and pretty much wasn't functioning all because I wanted to do it all...
Once I let those expectations go, things were much easier...
The kitchen does not have to be perfect...The laundry can wait...
I really got into the groove of things and enjoyed Luke more once I chilled out...
So please take help those first weeks {months} while your settling in to 2 under 2
Handling two sets of needs at once...
I was so used to running to Vincent's every need...
but with having 2 it was not always possible...
I think it actually has helped because now one of the other has to wait...
Mommy only has 2 arms guys....
Just try your best to handle their needs, if the older one has to wait...don't feel bad! 
I found it just makes for each of them to be a little more independent!
Which is nice as they become toddlers!

Jealousy?....
I was very nervous about this one...I had no idea how the two would mesh...
From day one we let Vincent help with Luke...
Whether it be getting wipes, diapers you name it...
He loved helping and I think it helped form the bond they have now...
I included him in everything we did..
He takes the big bro gig VERY serious now...

Feeling Guilty...
I have had these moments a lot...
{and looking back it wasn't worth the stress}
Have I spent enough time with Luke or has it all been about Vincent...::vice versa::
It is impossible to have the same attention focused as you did when you only had one...
And let's face it, they do not need that much attention...
I would no joke hover over Vincent 247 haha...
With Luke I have not been able to...and guess what he is fine!:)
He is thriving and hitting every single milestone on time
{actually a good chunk ahead of Vincent}

Tired Much?...
It will be very tiring, just like it was when you had your first born...
Give yourself a break and take your time...
Things will all fall into place...
A schedule will slowly form...
The kids will all live even if you are not at full mental capacity haha...
Another time when it is great to ask for help, vent to a friend hire a sitter...
Friends are amazing, especially ones who have been in your shoes...
They will let you know there is light at the end of the tunnel...
BECAUSE...THERE IS....
Each day is a day closer to our kids growing older and not relying 100% on us! 
Ps if all else fails strap them in the car and hit up your fave coffee drive through...
Chances are they will pass out and you will have some "me" time!

Sleep Schedules:
We tried our best to make sure Vincent was sleeping as best he could before Luke arrived...
THANK GOD we did because Luke was a HORRIBLE sleeper...
But at least I only had to deal with him and not both at night! Whew!

Luke was in our room until he was 7/8 months old...
During that time we transitioned Vincent out of the nursery and into a big boy bed and room..
We then moved Luke to the nursery...
Next step will be Vincent & Luke sharing a big boy room...
We will transition them while Jude stays in our room...
eeeeeek!

Get out of the house...
This was huge for me...
I never thought it would be possible to get out more than I did with just Vincent...
But I must say we have...
SHOCKING RIGHT!?
I was so anal about traveling when it was just Vincent....
But when Luke was about 2 months old we decided to travel with Jordan for work...
Terrifying as it was...it was AMAZING...
Since then we have hit the ground running with traveling 
{it helps because Jordan travels for work and we can come}
But we also did a family vacation driving through 10 states...it was shockingly pleasant...
So get out there....and don't let the fear of 2 babes stop you from creating memories!
We also bought a double jogger {that also is a stroller, and bike carrier}
It's also just nice for a jog, walk or run around the neighborhood!
Or invite your friends to your place...host playdates...try to keep active{for your sanity haha}

Keep Communication Open...
Sometimes you may feel like your the one doing all the work...
I remember with Vincent I felt like I was ALWAYS the one changing diapers...
So one day I told Jordan how I felt...
He had no idea since I would just always change the diapers...
I wouldn't ask for help so he figured I didn't mind {when inside I was annoyed}
But once again, I didn't ask so he was clueless lol
Now I have no problems speaking up and asking...
Husbands want to help, they love their kids but I think because we are the mama bears
:and a tad over protective:
They have trouble figuring out what we want/need them to do!

PS Jordan and I love to giggle about how crazy and nuts our life is with kids...
I love having someone to share in all the ups and downs of the craziness!

Small Random Advice:
When doing the grocery: Park by the cart return!:)
It is so much easier to have the cart right there to throw the kiddos in and get them situated!

Feed your babe wherever... With Vincent I would go into a quiet place...
But when Luke came I didn't have that luxury, so I fed in whatever room Vincent was in!
It helped me keep an eye on Vincent and also to keep us all together in the same room...
I would just give Vincent a book, toy or snack to entertain him

1 on 1 time...
Vincent and I get a lot of time alone when Luke naps...
I save special messier activities for this time {baking, markers}
I also like to take one or the other to run errands...its nice to spend alone time separate!

Just walk away...
Sometimes when they are both being hellish I will just put them in the toyroom
and walk away....
Sometimes I just need 5 minutes to decompress!
PS, they love playing together...BONUS!

Mommy & Daddy Time...
This is great for the sanity...
Jordan and I plan "alone" trips to have alone time
::we rarely do date nights for this reason::
It also gives you something to focus on during the rough days...
I would no joke think "only 27 more days til we take our trip"
It's great to focus on just us and recharge for these cuties....

It may not always be perfect...
But seriously when is having kids all rainbows and butterflies!?!?
Just go with the flow!
Enjoy the little moments they share...
The bond these little men have is INSANE...
I cannot wait to watch them grow and share life moments with each other...
And when your ready...add more to the mix....
bahaha

COME ON JUDE! 

I am sure I have MISSED a ton of things...
but this is all I can come up with {lack of brain lately}
If you have any advice on handling 2 or more leave comments:)
If you have questions on something I skipped, please ask {hopefully I have an answer lol}

Thanks so much also for all your sweet thoughts lately as were nearing Jude's arrival...
I must say this pregnancy has been the best with ALL your support!
I couldn't ask for better blog friends!!!
xoxo

24 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this! Hubs is ready for another and I'm trying to wrap my brain around it. Did you have them both in cribs? Did the baby wake the older one up?

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  2. This post totally made me tear up. Mostly because regardless of how busy/crazy it is, you all have what I pray for. I would LOVE 3 kids close in age and still pray that we will get our dream. I know that everything is in His time and that He sees the big picture, but my brother and I re 8 years apart and just not that close (as close as we can be but we're always at different stages of life - always). I am working on trusting that it will all work out, but I love that you realize how blessed you are even with the hard work. Your love for those boys is so obvious, and they are lucky to have you all as parents. So refreshing compared to the moms that complain incessently without any sign of gratitude for the gifts they've been given. Ok, enough rambling, but your post really got me today :)

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  3. Can't wait to hear how the transition into sharing a room goes! Dylan and Will are sharing a room once baby girl arrives as well and I'm nervous already. :) Good luck!

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  4. Thanks....needed to read this.

    SO, since I am a little like- I NEED to DO IT ALL. And not ask or take help (unless it's my own mama) What did you finally accept help on and from who?

    I'm so particular about how my baby (soon to be babies) are cared for- I trust very few (even some close family). - Presley now 14 months has never stayed the night with anyone else....(we do date nights, but trips just aren't in our budget right now) So I know this time I'm going to have to be better about accepting help. But I'm not sure in what areas to accept it. I am obviously thinking in the area of Presley- and letting my focus be on my recovery and the new baby....but then again - I want to handle it and be in CONTROL of it all.

    I know it won't be the same for everyone...but whatever details in this area you got for me...send it my way!

    WAITING for you tell us JUDE is here! Seriously...thinking about it :-)

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  5. What a great post Allie!! I have met so many gals similar to your Gymboree play group. Scare the living everything out of me:0 Then I meet others just like you who say 1 or 5 you're going to be busy. Why not keep adding more? HA!! This is so encouraging to read such realistic advice. Thanks!

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  6. Girl I am taking notes! Nolan and this baby will be 21 1/2 months apart so I need all the tips I can get. I always park close to the cart return LOL...I picked up on that real quick! Can't wait for Jude to arrive :) And I'll still be bugging you for tips!

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  7. Mine are 13 1/2 months apart and recently found out #3 is on their way! It is hard, and some days and some moments, you do feel like you want to pull your hair out. But honestly, I wouldn't change it! (They are currently 27 and almost 14 months.) We do it all alone. I live far from family and friends and the in-laws are not involved in our lives in this dynamic. I only get out by myself on Sat. mornings to go grocery shopping and we're about 40 mins. from the nearest town. It's hard, but I'm greatful to be able to stay home with them.

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  8. Ready or not this will be my life in just a matter of days! Thanks for posting :) Come on Jude, Come on Noah!!!

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  9. Wow I can't even imagine 2 under 2 or 3 under 3, I have my hands full with 1!!! But it sounds like you have a great system in place. I'm thinking we may try to have ours be about 3 years apart, mainly because I have no desire to go through pregnancy/delivery again anytime soon and because daycare is so darn expensive!

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  10. Such a great post. I have a seventh month old and am expecting baby number two. They will be 15 months apart. I'm terrified but ive loved every moment of motherhood so far I'll just be doubly blessed! With moments of pure craziness lol

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  11. Such a great post. I have a seventh month old and am expecting baby number two. They will be 15 months apart. I'm terrified but ive loved every moment of motherhood so far I'll just be doubly blessed! With moments of pure craziness lol

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  12. I just stopped over to check on you. You gave up Facebook for lent?! *sob* How will I know when you have your baby? How can I shamelessly beg you to let me skype your birth? How can I find out if you HAD YOUR BABY IN AN ELEVATOR?!

    Bahaha!!

    Kelli

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  13. I have a 6 month old and I "jokingly" tease my husband about baby #2 ALL. THE. TIME. This post just reminded me to be in the moment for where we are right now and enjoy every moment of Jack. A sibling will come when it is time. My older sisters are 21 months apart and my little brother and I are 20 months apart (3 years between my older sister and I.. parents took a little break) and I LOVE how close we all are able to be because the small age gaps. Your boys are going to be best friends, what a blessing! I'm a new follower (new blogger) and I enjoy reading about your family :) Praying your newest addition comes safe and sound into the world (and soon!)
    www.lifeafter-whatsnext.blogspot.com

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  14. Can't wait for Jude's arrival! It's killing me that you gave up FB for Lent! Arrgghh. Oh and btw, you hit this blog post right on the head. All of this is awesome advice...especially the part about asking for help! In horrible at asking my husband for help because I feel like I'm failing at my job of SAHM. But I need to learn to let go of my pride a little and let him help. My sanity needs it, lol.

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  15. I am living proof that you can do this. Remember I had a 6 year old, a two year old and a set of newborn twins. And I survived and so did Jennifer, T. J., Alex and Jordan. In fact, I think they all turned out pretty darn well. You can do it, just remember, ask for help!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love to all.

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  16. My first two are 14 months apart and the third is 19 months from the second. I LOVE it and wouldn't have it any other way!

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  17. I loved this post and I think that it rang true. My boys are 15 months apart and it is totally nuts... but getting better. I think that the first 6 months were hell on earth. But now that they're able to play together, rough and tumble style, it's a lot better for everyone. but if anyone asks me, I tell them that if I knew then what I know now, I would have waited another 6 months to get pregnant. Having two babies is really hard.

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  18. Speaking from also being a mother of babies 16 months apart in age, this is fantastic advice. I look forward to reading your 3 under 3 version ;)

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  19. Can't wait to hear how the transition into sharing a room goes! Good luck!

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  20. This was the first post I read on your blog, aside from the Wedded Bliss Link up that I am joining this week.

    It was lovely :-)

    My two are going to be 22 months apart. I hear mostly good things from passerbyers noticing my belly.... things like 'oh it's so great they'll be close in age' blah blah blah... but sometimes I do worry what it will do to my marriage. I loved reading your perspective and tips :-)

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  21. I just found this on Pinterest and I am SO glad I did! I've always wanted my kids close together and people have always told me I was crazy. Luckily my husband shares my desire for my kids to be close in age. We have a 15 month old and we're due in August with another! We already have our oldest daughter into a toddler bed (she's a climber and was escaping). We found out last week we're being blessed with another little girl and I'm so excited they can be best friends! I'm the oldest of 3 and 5 years are between me and my sibling. My hubs is the youngest of 3 and 6 years are between them. We both wanted our kids close so they were going thru the same things at the same time and they could be there to help one another (hello crazy teenage years!).

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  22. I had three under three (at 12 months and 15 months apart) and I absolutely LOVE it! Right now they are all at 3, 2, and 1 (we are close to birthday season though), and they all sleep in the same bed most nights (a twin-size), and they play pretty well together too. We've definitely had ups and downs, but I adore having them so close together, I think it's so much easier...at least from what I hear from my other Mommy friends. Thank you for posting this, I passed it along to my facebook friends!

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