For a six month season, we claimed the title of parenting two, under two. It’s fun to say, but it is a challenge.
Two under two feels like having two babies. It is such a physical task. It means I am outnumbered 90% of the time. The lack of sleep with the newborn collides head-on with the whining phase of the toddler. They’re both completely normal things to expect from children; there’s no blaming them. But as the adult in charge, some days it feels like you’re being pummeled to within an inch of what you can withstand.
As Evie celebrated her second birthday and Tommy hit the six-month mark, I can’t fully explain how much it felt like we had survived a battle. Daily Evie is becoming more independent. Her vocabulary is expanding at an almost exponential rate, she eats independently, and enjoys playing with her toys for short periods alone. This is absolutely ground-breaking compared to six months ago!
Tommy is nursing less often, will be sitting up soon, and generally contributes the best smiles in the world to our family. We love him for those smiles. Last week on a whim, we moved him up to the nursery where Evelyn has been sleeping for the past few months. Now that they’re in the same room, we do our bedtime routine (bath, books, bed), then tuck them both in. They jabber with each other as they doze off. Then I walk down the stairs to a couple blissful hours “off-duty.”
As winter is finally giving up, I am starting to feel like myself. Six months into this mama-of-two jig, and the thoughts in my head are less angry, my hair has stopped falling out, my jeans fit again, and I don’t feel this panic of desperation to run away from responsibility. It is still difficult to find time for everything. But my goals have helped me to return to equilibrium. I’m reading my Bible and our home feels settled, so gradually I am making time to cook, read, write, and work. I’m still waiting to tackle exercising until Zach’s busy season is over, but at least we can get outdoors to walk now. Those things make me feel like I can breathe again. They’re habits I want to have in the midst of being a mother, so I figure I should start teaching my kids how to act since these are things they will consistently see me doing.
So, if you’re a mama faced with two-under-two (or wow, three-under-three!) I see you. It IS hard. It IS a good work. It IS worth it. It WILL get better. Do you want to hear the very best thing? It just started happening in the last couple weeks…
They’re playing together. They’re loving and curious and fascinated with each other. They make each other giggle and generally want to be side by side. They play better and longer together than apart. I can picture them on the playground, always with their buddy.