Finding Our Rhythem

In the last 4 weeks since little Stella joined our family my normal has gone out the door! Ava and I had a good routine and she was at the age that it was easy to pick up and go and she loves to go! When Ava was born the first couple weeks and months that we spent home adjusting to our new life included lots of sleeping and snuggling. Don’t get me wrong I have still done lots of snuggling and am loving this new season but boy is it different the second time around! Any of you who have multiple children are probably smiling and nodding your head. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know! 🙂 For me, its been a shock to my “get up and go” personality. Ava got that part of my personality and asks multiple times a day to “go”. Getting two little ones ready, down the stairs from our 2nd story apartment, into our new (to us) cool van, unloaded when we get to our destination and then back home to get up said stairs hasn’t been the easiest endeavour! To be totally honest it kinda scares me! Having said that, I’m totally good with staying home more these days!

I used to get very antsy and start going stir crazy if a day passed that I didn’t get out of the house. Now, if a day passes and I didn’t leave the house but got a load of laundry done, dinner cooked, a shower and the house stayed clean it is a good day! I am loving the memories that we are making by living life a little slower and taking the time to sit on the floor, nurse Stella and do puzzles with Ava. I am blessed! I have 2 sweet little girls that are MY children! I have a husband who works hard and adores his girls and his girls adore him.

Any advice from you Mom’s with multiple children? How do you entertain your toddlers while still meeting the needs of an infant?

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5 Responses to Finding Our Rhythem

  1. Sarah says:

    Hannah, hang in there. You are so strong and have so much support all around you to rely on if you need it! Z-B and I are often go-go-going to storytime at the library or out running errands but I try to find some down time during the week to balance us out a little. When we feel anxious or “cooped up” I know we haven’t been home enough and are missing that special gift of knowing how to just “be” instead of always “do”ing.
    If we can’t make it to the park (which we do often for hours to play, explore and lunch) <-which is totally doable with infants and Charlotte Mason even recommends them napping outdoors being better than indoors.
    or if its raining or cold and we can't get out, I use youtube for nature videos, "Slow & Steady Get Me Ready" as a purposeful play guideline for crafts and such that we can do easily. They don't take much prep and can be done based on age/developmental capacity. We spend a lot of time "observing" even simple things. It doesn't exhaust mom but it prevents mental stagnantion in my ever-curious toddler. We learn how to observe and describe things in detail. This increases vocabulary, teaches observancy and acute sensitivity/receptiveness to having a teachable spirit (which is a learned thing…some kids never learned how to accept teaching and they fight against it often).
    I hope this helps. The main this is to take each day as it comes and just like the Israelites in the desert had to take manna for that day alone, so God's grace is given to you each day as it comes. There is no such thing as perfect environment and in this season you're learning so much about how to put your body under submission to yoru mind! What a gift! When you're tired you know how to supress irritability and generously love your family and when you feel rushed or anxious you've taught yourself how to stop and just enjoy the moment with your Littles. God's loving kindness has given you all you have and He's giving you the tools you need to be sucessful in the tasks He's comissioned you to do. What an honor!

  2. marie tomlinson says:

    I am right there with you Hannah!! I’ve gotten more used to the loading/unloading of two but it’s crazy how much extra time it takes like you said. Plus I always seem to forget to calculate in the proper amount of time if I’m needing to feed Layla before leaving and we’re always late! It’s been a lot on my plate too to figure out how to balance life with always having to do something for one or the other of the kids! I love doing it though! But sometimes at the end of the day you just wonder why it took so long to “only get this or that” done!! Gavin is great about playing with his toys as his imagination is going crazy right now so that helps…it’s nice to have some fun or different things like playdough or coloring to keep them occupied for a bit. I think it helps to just stay positive about it which it sounds like you are! And to not be hard on yourself for going slow, taking a long time or not feeling like you get much accomplished… feeding, changing and taking care of two little people on top of yourself is “something”!! I too am loving staying home and feeling more accomplished at the end of the day when the chores and dinner are done… it seems to just make everything crazy when we go out! This isn’t really advice like you were looking for but I thought it might help to have some sympathy and knowing you’re not alone too!! Miss you and hope to see you soon!

    ~Marie

  3. Christina says:

    Hannah,
    The best advice I was given was to not expect life to be like it was before, but instead to try and find your “new normal”. For us that means staying at home a lot more than we did before Noah was born, and cutting out some outside ministry as well! Including Mia in taking care of Noah makes her feel really big and special….I encourage her to play with her brother and praise her a lot for being gentle, etc. We really try to celebrate and emphasize the fact that she is a “Big Sister!”. Life isn’t as consistent as it was with just Mia, but I have found that Noah takes 2 consistent naps everyday, and the morning nap is a great time to spend one-on-one time with Mia. If I spend that short time with her every morning, it goes a long way! Also, when Noah was still a newborn, Joe took Mia out on several “special times” which of course she loved! Enjoy this time you have at home with the kids…..hope some of this helps!

  4. cassidy says:

    i was truly scared, too! how would i keep paisley happy/quiet/busy/fed while taking care of the baby? i’m not a juggler! it’s hard enough to figure out at home… so i just stayed home do figure it out.

    i relied on family outings after work & on the weekends with andrew to help, even if we didn’t do anything more than the sonic drive-thru and a drive! that was how i survived the transition. i didn’t know anyone in town, either, so i was having some serious outing/friends/family withdrawals! oh, our double stroller provided a huge relief, too. as soon as we got that, it suddenly seemed possible to do things with 2 kids!

    it’ll get easy to pick-up-and-go again really soon. but at first, both the baby and toddler really do NEED a lot and it’s almost more work to pack 2 diaper bags than going out is even worth! and on the other hand, sometimes you do need to make yourself do it to keep sane.

    arlyn’s 7 months old and finally it’s really easy to take them both out by myself. whew.

    didn’t mean to write a dissertation here. haha! but i just wanted to encourage you that it does finally feel as easy as it did with just 1! be patient with yourself and your babies and give yourself a few months to work it out. : )

  5. Joanna Moore says:

    when you have one, you realize how easy it was to get up and go and do all by yourself, and it seems so hard. but then when you have two, you look back and think, wow, it was so easy with one! so, now i just try to enjoy the fact that i “only” have 2 and know that if i ever have 3 or more, these days will seem easy! you will go through phases when certain aspects of life and how you do things will get easier and others will get harder, and vice versa. overall it gets easier though… like 2 steps forward, 1 step back.
    as far as entertaining the older one while meeting the needs of the other, i can only say that whenever the baby is happy alone, spend that time one on one with the older one and they will soak it up and really enjoy having you to herself! which will make it easier to allow you to focus on the baby when she needs you again. at least that’s what has worked for me =)

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