Monday, May 2, 2011

Two Under 2: How I Do It

I went from having a 17 month old to having a 17 month old and newborn. At first, I had no idea how I was going to do it. Sweet Pea became super jealous and even violent. Luckily, that was short-lived. He still gets jealous from time to time, but not nearly as bad as he was in the first week of my bringing Lil' Bean home.

I struggled a lot. I couldn't seem to find a schedule that worked for me. Right now, I am basically a single parent. So, I had to find something that worked for both kids and with fitting in my working from home.

I breastfeed, so I found that co-sleeping with Lil' Bean worked best and got me the most sleep. I get maybe one 3 hour stretch. Otherwise, he is up every 1-2 hours at night to eat. He's my lil' hungry boy. He seems to think he owns my bed. Where I used to sleep is now his spot. He won't even nap in the bassinet. Apparently, I wasted my money on a bassinet. It's just there for looks.

Sweet Pea generally doesn't get up until 10am. So, I get up at 9am and get ready for the day. Once Sweet Pea gets up, I change him and we eat breakfast together. Sweet Pea likes eating his meals with me. I make sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with him at the table. Even though he's not really talking, we have our conversations at the table together. Lil' Bean is sleeping during breakfast and lunch. At dinner time, he is next to us in his little rocker.

Lil' Bean is still sleeping a good amount during the day. So, in the morning I spend time playing with Sweet Pea. He really likes his mommy time because he's always been a mommy's boy. After lunch, Lil' Bean is wanting to eat and is ready to spend time being awake. So, we hang out in the living room and watch shows with Sweet Pea. It's a family event I guess you could say.

Once Lil' Bean is done eating, I put him in his swing for a while. Then, I get Sweet Pea ready for his nap. While Sweet Pea naps and Lil' Bean relaxes in his swing or lays beside me, I get some work done. Sometimes Lil' Bean and I will take a nap during this time too. It all depends on how tired I am. I make sure Sweet Pea is up by 4pm and he spends his time after waking up playing while I get dinner prepared. Then we eat dinner and feed Lil' Bean before we start the bedtime routine.

Our bedtime routine is probably the best part of the day for them. They are both really relaxed and know what's coming. Sweet Pea gets his bath first. Then he gets his baby massage and into his pajamas. Then, I sit on the couch with Sweet Pea and Lil' Bean and read them Sweet Pea's baby Bible. That's the only book Sweet Pea will sit down and let me read to him. Then I give Sweet Pea a bottle of water and lay him in his crib and put a dvd in his dvd player for him to fall asleep to. Sweet Pea is in bed at 7:30pm each night.

Once Sweet Pea is in bed, I take a bath with Lil' Bean. This is how I have found easiest to give babies a bath. Sweet Pea always hated the infant tubs, so I didn't even bother to try this time around with Lil' Bean. I like the bonding of bath time with Lil' Bean anyway. I liked it just the same when Sweet Pea was a little baby. After bath time, we go into the bedroom and he gets his baby massage and his pajamas put on as well. Then I swaddle him up and either sing him a lullaby or read him another story. I lay him down in the bed and surround him with pillows. My mom is currently crocheting a baby nest thing for in the bed, so I don't have to worry about him going anywhere once he can roll and whatnot. Lil' Bean is in bed no later than 8:15pm each night.

Once both kids are in bed, I work. I write up my articles for my various articles on oDesk and I work on my blog. I do this while I catch up on my shows. I love American Idol, CSI: Miami, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Bones, Criminal Minds, Colbert Report, and Super Nanny. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday night I tend to work extra late since Sweet Pea is with his dad while we're not living together until after May. Wednesday through Saturday, I generally only work until midnight. I am one of those who can survive on little sleep. I know it's not healthy, but I have to make a living somehow.

After May, when DB can live with me again things will be much easier. This is the schedule I have finally found to work while DB is not here. DB maintains the same or at least similar schedule for when he has Sweet Pea.

I think this schedule and being able to give each child their one on one time with mommy has helped out a lot. When Sweet Pea has his moments where his misbehaves, I utilize the naughty step technique from Super Nanny. He knows how to sit on the step and he knows he did something wrong. He can't apologize yet, but I do give him hugs and kisses after he's sat for his minute.

The other thing I have found to help me are my baths I tend to take once both kids are in bed. If it's been a tough day where both kids have been crabby or Sweet Pea didn't listen much, I take a bath before working. It really helps to calm me down and relax me.

I am not going to lie and make everyone think that it's super easy; it's not. I have my struggles from time to time, but I manage. I know in the end, it will all be worth it. I look at my kids and know that they deserve the world. That is why I work so much and stay up late. They deserve everything I can give them and more. They may have their days where they're crabby. Sweet Pea may not listen all the time. I never yell. It doesn't get me anywhere. I have learned that using a stern voice with Sweet Pea is sometimes okay. It took a lot for me to get to that point. I had a rough upbringing and always wanted my children to feel loved. I had to learn that disciplining with timeouts and a stern voice won't make them feel unloved. I learned that it will help them, not hurt them. I do not, however, believe in spanking or any sort of physical punishment. Timeouts and stern voices is as far as I'll go.

Patience is definitely key in dealing with two under 2. There have been times where they're both crying at the same time. It can definitely get to be frustrating, but I remain calm and patient. I deal with each of their issues one at a time.

Dealing with two under 2 has definitely taught me a lot. I continue to learn new things every day. I love being a mom. I love my boys. I wouldn't trade any of this for the world. However, I am not planning on adding any more babies to the mix for a few years. I do want more, but not right now. For now, it's just my Sweet Pea and Lil' Bean.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

You inspire me in so many ways and I hope that someday I'll be at least half the mom you are!!!!

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