Catchy title amiright?! 😉
I was planning on making a long list of things that I’ve learned in these past two weeks of having two kids, but then I realized I probably don’t have that much advice to offer since I’m still really new at this two kids parenting gig. So instead, here are the two things that I’ve learned since welcoming baby Elliott into our family two weeks ago.
Accept help, and ask for help.
When people ask what they can do to help you, tell them! If someone offers to bring you dinner or watch your toddler, accept! This is no time to be the hero, the super mom who has both kids bathed, dressed in coordinating outfits, and fed a wholesome, organic breakfast all by 9am. This is the time to make sure both kids are kept alive and to make sure you get to shower at least twice a week.
Just completing the bare minimum of tasks is going to seem like a huge accomplishment, so let others worry about making dinner and cleaning your house so you can focus on what’s really important – snuggling your newborn and teaching your oldest how to be a good sibling.
Along these same lines, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your friends and family likely want to help but don’t want to intrude or seem overbearing, and would probably love some direction from you. I never asked for help after having Reagan, and I was exhausted, cranky, and had a really difficult recovery. This time, Jared and I talked about exactly what I was going to need from him, and who we would ask to do everything else for us. My recovery has been so much easier because I am physically and mentally rested, and everyone who has visited has known exactly what I needed from them.
When you go to the grocery store, ask someone to help take the groceries to your car. When you have a doctors appointment, ask someone to watch your kids for you. When family comes to visit, ask them to clean your house and fold your laundry. There is NO shame in asking for help, and your close ones will appreciate knowing how they can make your life easier.
Being with your children and spouse is the most important thing right now.
Everything else can wait. I go absolutely crazy when my house is messy (which is why I asked for help cleaning it) but in the grand scheme of things that is so far down on the priority list.
Elliott had her two week appointment and she’s already 1 pound over her birth weight and in the 97th% for height. She is now wearing 3 month onesies and I’m starting to panic because I feel like she’s already leaving the newborn stage and I haven’t had enough newborn snuggles yet. I would so much rather spend my days snuggling her and watching Reagan be a big sister than by doing dishes. The dishes can wait, but these girls are going to grow whether I like it or not.
Watching Reagan become a big sister has been the greatest thing in the world. She is absolutely amazing with Elliott and gives her hugs and kisses constantly. There is zero sibling jealousy and she just wants to help us take care of her. Every morning they both lay down on the floor and Reagan talks jibberish while Elliott stares at her totally entranced. THIS is what is important. This is what needs to be remembered. This is where I need to be.
The newborn stage can be hard on parents, and I’ve found myself snappy or irritable with Jared over things that normally wouldn’t bother me. Having a forgiving attitude and being together as a family to learn how to be parents together is so important. He needs support as much as you do, and being on the same team will make everything easier on the both of you.
The bottom line here (and the point I really want to get across) is that taking care of yourself and your family is the number one priority. Things are going to be hectic, you are going to be tired, and your house is going to be a mess. Once you accept all of that and come to terms with the fact that things aren’t going to go perfectly, you can focus on being a family and taking care of each other.
I can’t believe we’ve been at this for almost three weeks already! It seems like forever ago that I was pregnant but it seems like just yesterday that we brought baby girl home from the hospital. It’s all going by so fast and it has been absolutely wonderful. I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped us make this transition a positive and loving experience!