If managing one child was a challenge, having 2 under 2 can really push you to your limits. Of course, there will be plenty of joyful moments and you will experience an evolved sense of inner peace. However, things still need to be done and having 2 under 2 means double the chores and double the effort. Both your under-2 kids will demand your love and attention, and you will have to walk a tightrope to ensure that no child feels left out. Finding time for yourself and your social and professional commitments can also be a significant challenge. If you have recently joined the league of moms of 2 under 2 and are staring at a mountain of responsibilities, here’s a survival guide that you might find useful.
Make use of your kids’ nap time:
Your baby and the toddler may have different sleep patterns, but there will be times when they are both napping at the same time. You can utilize this time for important household chores and get some me-time as well. If you can track the sleeping patterns of your kids for a few days, then you will get to know when both of them may be napping at the same time. This might generally happen during the afternoon when both of them have been fed.
Prepare for the next day:
At night, when both your under-2 kids have gone to sleep, you can allocate 30-60 minutes to make preparations for the next day. The preparations would include keeping the essentials ready such as diapers, milk bottles, ingredients required for snacks, and other supplies. Doing such things would be difficult during the day when your kids are awake and jostling for your love and attention.
Choose easy-to-prepare, nutritious food:
When tending to the needs of 2 under 2, having a proper diet becomes a challenge. Moms of 2 under 2 need nutritious food since they will be feeding 2 hungry mouths and doing double the work. Since time may be in short supply, you need to choose food that can be prepared quickly like salads and sandwiches. You can also choose food items that can be consumed in their natural form such as fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Get some fresh air:
Staying inside the home all the time can be a nauseating experience for you and your kids. Allocate some time when you can take your kids out to a park or garden, where they can see and explore new things. You can use a car to ferry your kids to a park or use a double stroller if the park is located nearby. Spending time in the open will also be beneficial for your overall health and well-being.
Engage your toddler with things they like:
You may not differentiate between your kids, but it’s natural that your baby will need more care and support, in comparison to the toddler. However, it’s also important to ensure that your toddler does not feel isolated. You can do that by engaging them in activities that they like. For example, some toddlers may have a liking for certain toys whereas others might show an inclination towards puzzles, drawing, reading picture books, etc. When kids are engaged in their favorite activities, they will not feel isolated.
Invest in gadgets and gizmos:
There are plenty of innovative products and tools out there that can make life easier for you in your home. These can simplify several of your daily tasks, effectively reducing your overall burden. By increasing your reliance on these products, you can get more time for your kids and other household chores. You can also use the time for your own interests such as reading a book, watching television, etc.
Ask your spouse to share tasks:
You can ask your spouse to share some of the tasks when they are at home. The baby will need constant care, so you can ask your spouse to take care of the toddler and household chores as well. If your spouse can contribute every day, it will significantly reduce your load. You can create a list that clearly defines the responsibilities of each individual. It will help eliminate confusion, as everyone would know what they are supposed to do. If there are other family members in the house, you can ask them as well to share some of your everyday chores.
Shop in bulk:
One option is to buy online, but it’s always more fun to buy stuff from your favorite store. And being a mom of 2 under 2 should not prevent you from visiting your favorite store. You can keep the baby in a baby wrap and place the toddler in the shopping cart. However, you may not get time to visit the store every week, so ensure that you buy in bulk whenever you get the chance. Your toddler will certainly enjoy their shopping mall experience and you will save on costs when you buy in bulk.
It’s okay to follow a predefined daily schedule, but you need to be ready to deal with new situations and requirements. New things will keep coming up and you need to make adjustments to handle them effectively. By being flexible in your approach, you can steer clear of anxieties and stressful feelings.
Ask for help:
No matter how smart you are or how good your plans are, sometimes, you will need help. When such a situation arises, don’t be shy to ask for help. You can ask your neighbor, a friend, a colleague, a relative, or anyone else you think can help you. Most people would understand the needs of a mom of 2 under 2 and would be glad to assist you.
Moms of 2 under 2 can ensure a smooth ride if they move forward one day at a time. Some planning will be required, but worrying about the future is an entirely different thing and needs to be avoided. There may be hundreds of tasks that need to be done in the coming months, but thinking about all of them today can overwhelm you. You need to focus on the present, which is the only place where you will find real happiness and contentment. The joyful times of having 2 under 2 will soon be over, so stop worrying and make the most of it.