By Amanda from Kicky Boots
I have heard it said that love is not divided, but multiplied. (This is supposed to make kids with lots of siblings feel better.) But there are a few things that are not multiplied, as I have found now that I am the mother of two children: energy, patience, and the motivation to mop my floors.
Just when I had figured out how to manage one kid, I discovered I was expecting our second. My eldest daughter is just over two years old and the youngest is now just over two months and while I am far from reaching my original level of sanity, there are a few tricks I’ve found that make life with more than one child manageable:
1. TV. There. I said it. We watch a fair bit of (educational and intellectually stimulating, of course) television ‘round these parts. My two year-old is on the go all day long and the only thing that gives either of us a break is when she takes a breather and watches a show (or twelve).
2. Nap Time. In a perfect world, both children would nap at the same time. However, my two year-old decided a half-year ago that naps were for the weak and she hasn’t taken a daytime rest in ages. Thankfully, newborns tend to sleep a lot and as a routine develops for the little one, I find solace in the fact that I can count on her napping in the afternoon. So, if the house is a disaster all morning, I try not to worry about it since I know I’ll have an hour or two to get things done while the baby sleeps and the big kid zones out with Blues Clues…I mean, while the big kid looks at her Spanish flash cards and creates papier-mache art.
3. Getting Out. Being stuck in the house all day is a recipe for disaster. Even though it’s a pain in the rear to load up two kids and all their accompanying gear, it’s worth it. The fresh air, the quickened passage of time, the activity: all good things.
4. Friends. If it weren’t for the likes of the many fellow moms I am privileged to know, I would be a goner. It’s so nice to get together with them and hear that my kid isn’t the only one going through a biting phase, or refusing to give the potty a try. Finding a group of women with whom you connect is so vital to one’s survival of motherhood, if you ask me.
5. Take a Break. It sometimes (OK, always) feels as though I am meeting everyone else’s needs all day long: baby needs a bottle, big kid pooped herself, hubby wants lunch, dog is whining to get out, baby is fussing to be held, big kid throws a tantrum, hubby wants dinner…what about WHAT I WANT?! I find that taking some time each evening for something fun, and just for me, is so important. I’ll read a book, watch some tv, or go for a walk with a friend. My only rule is: no cleaning allowed. A scummy toilet bowl is better than a raging, bitter, exhausted mother, right? Right.
What helps you stay sane with a house full of kids?
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