1 Newborn + 1 Toddler = No Party
posted by: Guest Blogger
At the checkout stand recently, a young cashier took notice of my newborn and exclaimed, “Only one month old; you must be having so much fun!”
Honesty is important when speaking with people you will never see again, so I let her know that she has it all wrong – newborns aren’t “fun.” The cashier seemed receptive to this correction though the pregnant woman standing nearby looked pretty freaked out. I could actually feel her eyes burning into the side of my head while she waited for an explanation or a take-back. I offered neither. As mom to two kids under the age of two, I ain’t got time to explain. She’ll find out for herself soon enough.
In the meantime, I’m busy learning just how challenging it can be to juggle two little sleep suckers – both under the age of two.
Plan, Pack, Go
That lack of preparedness that used to fly — leaving the house with a kid in one arm and a nearly empty purse in the other — no longer suffices. Today I rely on super thorough todo lists with reminders like:
- brush teeth
- change shirt
- take shirt off and try again — backward and inside out is neither comfortable nor cool
I also carry fully stocked diaper bags now-a-days. I trust myself to remember nothing and I’m fully aware that anything could happen any time.
Safety Is A Luxury
I sacrificed personal hygiene following the birth of my firstborn. This go round, in addition to failed personal hygiene, I’ve decided there is zero time to employ the abundance of safety measures recommended for child rearing. Safety schmafety. Who has time to abide by age limit recommendations, step carefully over baby gates or fiddle with cabinet locks? In all reality, one of us is bound to trip on a toy car, chug a swig of gasoline, or fall down the stairs sooner than later, right? We’ll consider it a success if all three don’t happen in the same day.
Gift Registries Serve A Purpose… And I’m An Ungrateful Gift Recipient
A gift registry is imperative if you want to avoid being up to your ears in baby blankets. I can’t change a diaper with baby blankets, people!
Ungrateful and lacking sleep.
Effective Parenting Techniques Include Distraction… In Any Form
Distraction techniques are invaluable for parents and children. For that reason, I’ve befriended the mysteriously captivating and annoying YouTube sensation, Blippi. Not only is my son completely enthralled by this corny and, did I mention, annoying human clown, Blippy appeals to me (sexually) when I am practicing my selective listening skills.
Mom Friends Are A Must
As the mom of an increasingly self-sufficient toddler, I was convinced that mom friends were a commodity not a necessity. As the mom of two under two, I realize that mom friends are, in fact, saviors dressed in yoga pants. I may not know your first name, mom friend, but I know the name of your kid, and I know I couldn’t sit through another story time at the library without you.
A Little Poo On The Wall Never Hurt Anyone (Unless Your Toddler Licks It Or Something)
Nearly every nook and cranny in the house can (and probably will) double as a changing table. Now that we have two in diapers plus a new mommy with a wrecked pelvic floor, any clutter-free flat surface is fair game. Whether the flat surface is or is not horizontal is a non-issue. I suspect mom’s were placed on this earth to pick up poo and to problem solve.
Breastfeeding is For the Birds
The rhythm produced by the breast pump is equally catchy when pumping for kid number two. Despite this, breastfeeding still sucks (no pun intended). Whether or not breastfeeding is a newly acquired skill, it’s stressful and anxiety provoking. No amount of lactation boosters — I’ve tried pills, teas, smoothies and strums —have given me the mental freedom needed to simply enjoy being a mom to a newborn. And having a newborn truly is a gift for which I am (or eventually will be) grateful.
True, newborns can be incredibly challenging especially when you already have a toddler on the loose. For the most part, however, having both a 2T and a NB is an undeniably rewarding experience. As long as the diaper bag is fully stocked all the time and never left behind, it is possible to maintain sanity and have a little, dare i say, fun.
Robin is a Colorado native living in Denver with her her husband and son. For the past several months, Robin has been consumed by fear and excitement as she prepares for the arrival of her second child, due at the end of March. Her go-to coping mechanisms are sarcasm, sleep and sweets, in no particular order.