When we had our first daughter, not much changed for us. We were finally parents and totally stoked! There was an adjustment period, but we quickly learned our roles. Our daughter was sleeping through the night by 9 weeks (that was awesome) and she was overall pretty easy. She put herself on a schedule/routine, she knew exactly when naptime was and if I put her down a minute later, the world ended. lol There were very exact and specific times to eat and sleep, and she and I both knew that. She only slept in her crib, in her room. She is a creature of habit.
6 months ago, we became parents to a 2nd little girl and it feels like our world was turned upside down. She is a true joy and I can't believe we waited so long for her! She is the opposite of her sister, mellow and quiet. BUT with that opposite also comes high maintenance (I thought my first one was high maintenance, boy I was wrong!), whiny and clingy. She's a total mama's girl, which is super sweet, but super exhausting at nights. She also has no set schedule. Everytime I think we're getting somewhere, she changes everything. One week she's sleeping through the night, the next she wakes up 2x a night... It's been very difficult. I never change anything, she just loves change. hahaha I keep trying to set her on a routine, because I LOVE routine/schedules, but this little one has been super difficult.
I know that having kids is hard and people take it differently. But having a 2nd one has been super hard on us and I am still trying to recover. Exhaustion doesn't begin to describe what I feel. But with that comes joy, and as I sit here sipping a much needed large cup of coffee, I look at my oldest sitting next to me watchign my every move (she's my shadow) and I look on the floor to see my sweet baby playing on her playmat. I am blessed and I will take the sleepless nights and unpredictable baby. :)
So I was thinking, after having 2 kids, here are 15 things I've learned:
1. The couch has become my best friend. I used to only nap/sleep on my bed. I LOVE my bed and pillow and couldn't imagine sleeping anywhere else. YEAH, now I will sleep where I can, and my couch has become a great nap spot. :)
2. I used to nap for as long as my oldest napped, but when baby came along, it was very hard to do. I stay busy, but I still require a nap b/c I am not sleeping well at night. I have learned the wonderful power of power naps. My body got used to 20 minutes and now I will wake up automatically after a 20 minute nap. I'd love to sleep more, but that helps me get through the day.
3. Coffee is a MUST!
4. I am a homebody. My oldest daughter is not. SO I try to get her out of the house sometimes to let her burn some energy.
5. Sometimes, TV can be a wonderful babysitter so you can get a minute to clean or just take a breather. lol I never thought I'd say that, but I'm being honest. lol
6. I need to take time to spend with each girl individually. My oldest is much happier/ well behaved if she has alone time with mommy.
7. Calling daddy at work and asking him to pick something up for dinner b/c you're too tired to cook or b/c the baby is fussy and won't let you put her down has become a "norm" here. Though I figured out that cooking earlier in the day during naptime is wisest!
8. Making our own baby food is cost effective and not as hard as I thought.
9. Leaving the kids with daddy to go grocery shopping is SO much better than taking them with me. I am thankful to have the choice, and most of the time I will get groceries at night so I can go alone and have my "mommy alone" time. :)
10. Sometimes when we're at the store, I do resort to bribery to get my toddler to obey. :) Yeah yeah, maybe that makes me a "bad" mom, but when your infant is screaming and you're trying to get your errands done, it works. lol
11. kids are unpredictable. I've learned to go with the flow even though I HATE change. And I just try to laugh more with them and have fun.
12. Kids are learning about life by watching us. They are learning to become people, and learning how to behave. It's our job to teach them what kinds of persons they'll be. It's scary. But I've realized that my daughter copies a lot of my behavior and I've had to change a lot. It's also challenging to think that what we do with them and say to them will mold them into little people.
13. I pray for my girls and pray that I can be a good role model.
14. Spending time reading the Bible daily helps mommy be closer to God, which usually means a much happier mommy. I need to remember to glorify God in all I do, from raising my children, to being a wife...
15. Give my kids lots of hugs and kisses and tell them I love them often. I always tell my daughter "mommy needs a big hug and kiss".. Yesterday she tapped my leg and said "mommy, I need a big hug and kiss" It was SO sweet. :)