I’ve officially made it 1 year, 2 weeks, and 3 days into surviving 1 year with 2 kids. It’s been crazy, it’s been awesome, it’s been difficult, it’s been beautiful. It’s been fun, scary, heartbreaking, and wonderful. We did it. We are raising a family of two kids. We’re like… adults, or something.
Parenting a toddler and an infant is no joke. It tests your patience, and makes you question your existence. But somehow, it works. It comes naturally, and it fulfills you.
I’ve learned a lot of things this past year. Because I’m a blogger and I want to share my infinite knowledge and all-knowing wisdom, I am sharing it with you. You need to be thankful, because you cannot find this information anywhere else. I almost titled this “37 Life Lessons I’ve Learned Parenting My Perfect Infant Who Was Exclusively Breastfed (#FreeTheNipple) and Toddler Who Is Reading at a 6th Grade Level Because of My Accepting Parenting Style” — but I decided against it. My shorter title wins, but my expert article will show you that my opinion is how you should parent. You can also fight in the comments about how your parenting two children is better because you feed them an all-organic grain-free diet. But you can’t argue about gluten. That’s just too far.
No, but seriously. This is just my story. I’m putting it out there to reminisce. These are the big life lessons I’ve learned this past year. Take it for what it’s worth. Maybe you’ve felt this way too, or you’re pregnant with your second and nervous about how life will change. (For the record, it’s about to change for the better.) We’re in this together, moms. Our stories are important. But please don’t fight in the comments. Especially about gluten.
After 1 year with two kids, I’ve learned:
Sometimes I think moms of one have it so easy. (Sometimes that isn’t true. We all have our struggles!) Sometimes I get a little jealous of those moms. Oh, those were the days!
That the poor baby will take quite a beating from big sis. You don’t even want to know how many times we’ve said to Kennedy, “be gentle with the baby!” Or how many bumps Caroline has had to endure. Remember how gingerly and carefully everyone treated that first newborn baby? There is now a little (adorable and amazing) monster in your house who doesn’t speak that language. They certainly mean well. Kennedy really does give the most intense hugs!
The helicopter parenting days are over. Greg and were never really “helicopter parents” to begin with. I feel we have been pretty chill. But I do remember googling every single little thing when she was a baby. “how much should a 3 month baby poop” or “breastmilk on clogged tear duct?” (yes, actual things I have googled). This time, I’ve said “Ah, she’s fine” quite a bit. Oftentimes, you really don’t have a choice but to be flexible.
Don’t try to be a superhero. Potty training took Kennedy 7 months. I was an idiot for training her while I was 34 weeks pregnant, thinking that would be done before Caroline arrived. She did it… you know, eventually. Potty training will mess up, and a new baby will mess that ish up. You are not the number one parent ever. Give yourself some grace.
I just went through an identity crisis. I struggled the most I have ever with working and being a mom. I know my job was stressful because of the hours I was away from home, but I felt like I just was so out of touch. I struggled far more than I ever really let anyone know. I was some weird, unhappy person because I couldn’t win at being a working mom. I struggled so much with who I was supposed to be — my identity. I left a job that was a passion for something that lets me do what I love and be a mom. I know that I got the best possible outcome. But the big lesson I learned here is that you grow and change when you become a mom, and when you have more than one child, the sacrifices may become greater. Keeping my family first and fighting for that has let me achieve balance.
I could care less about milestones. You may have read my post, I Want to Remember This, that I wrote when Caroline was a newborn. In a nutshell, I didn’t care about that tiny baby growing up and reaching milestones so I could say “omg she totally said supercalifragalisticexpialadocious!” I just wanted to have that memory of her as a tiny baby etched in my memory. It’s so crazy that was only a few months ago and how much Caroline has grown and changed. Those milestones have already come and gone. I really did enjoy the newborn moments.
Sibling love starts earlier than I expected. The girls really love each other. It’s amazing how Kennedy naturally took her title of big sister, as if she knew all along how to be one. Remember my Letter to the New Big Sister (which, by the way, got featured on The Huffington Post)? Yep, she still rocks. Caroline loves her big sister, too. They are about 2.5 years apart and they play together now!
My heart exponentially grew. I remember thinking, “how in the world can I possibly love another baby as much as I love Kennedy?” You just do. You love harder. It’s unreal.
Parenting two kids. 1 year down. #nailedit