That being said, having two kids under the age of two is a whole lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I always said with Adeline that being a mom was the hardest thing I've ever done. Being a mom of two is even harder. I feel like my life is absolutely chaotic and out of control, but at the same time I love every minute.
First of all, I think being a mom of an almost two-year-old is difficult in itself. For example....
(This is on every wall of the playroom.)
Then when you add in a newborn it makes life even that more difficult. I do twice as much laundry, we do twice the baths, go through twice the diapers, and worry twice as much.
Leaving the house with two kids takes an act of congress. I have to begin preparing to leave about 20 minutes before we actually walk out the door. I don't mean that I start getting myself ready and dressed, and the girls ready and dressed 20 minutes before, that's a whole 2 hours before "leaving the house" begins. I mean that I start loading the car, locking doors, putting on shoes, filling up cups, strapping in car seats about 20 minutes before. Before kids all it took was putting on my shoes and grabbing my purse as I walked out the door. I've never had to factor in time for "leaving the house" before now.
Showering and getting myself ready is a whole new ball game too. If I'm here without Jon, that now has to be done before anyone wakes up. I do not yet trust Adeline around Annabel if I can't watch her every move. So mommy's "getting ready" process has turned into what I compare to a "pit change" in a Nascar event. Meaning, how fast can I shower, get dressed, apply make-up, and fix hair so that I can sleep as late as possible but still be fully ready before the girls wake up? I have dreams of being one of those really cute, put-together moms that dresses so fashionably and always looks amazing, but those dreams are just not reality right now. I do as little as possible to look presentable right now, because my sleep is important to me, and we all know kids are unpredictable. Sometimes I'm half-way through my 30-minute routine and someone is awake and needing some attention, so there's no time for attention to detail when it comes to Mommy's appearance.
I went grocery shopping with both girls the other day. That was fun. My girls actually did really well, but it wore me out. Adeline had to sit in the cart part of the buggy since Annabel was in her car seat. Therefore, I ran out of room for groceries rather quickly and poor little Adeline was quite cramped. I imagine this would be a lot easier if your oldest was about 4 or 5 and could walk nicely beside you. Maybe next time I should wear the ergo baby carrier and Adeline can sit in her normal spot.
Planning your life around one child's schedule was hard enough, but doing that around two makes it almost impossible to leave the house. Annabel is just having to be more flexible than Adeline was at this age. She naps on the go a lot in her carrier or car seat since Adeline still goes to several activities throughout the week. Bedtime routines start around 7 and don't end until around 9. I don't want to wish away Annabel's life, but I'm ready for them to be able to take a bath together.
I used to keep my house a lot cleaner than it is right now. You've all seen my cleaning schedule. I dust, clean bathrooms, vacuum and mop weekly. Well, I used to. Now I just try to stay on top of laundry and keep toys picked up. The hardcore cleaning comes when I can squeeze it in. I feel like I've accomplished something if we're all clean and wearing clean clothes. The house can wait.
So all of that is extremely hard, but the hardest thing for me is dividing my attention. I probably think & worry about it way too much, but this one really stresses me out. I don't have siblings. I was always the center of attention and never once knew what it was like to share my parents' love or time with anyone else. I really struggle with this because I want my girls to know that same kind of love and devotion, but I feel like it's impossible with more than one child. I whole-heartedly love both my girls equally. It's amazing how you can be capable of that, but it is absolutely a reality. I just struggle with how I'm going to make sure my girls always know this. I know it's difficult right now because Adeline isn't old enough to understand. It just breaks my heart when she wants me to "sit, sit, color, Mommy, play, Mommy" and I have to tell her no because I need to feed/change/rock Annabel. It also breaks my heart when Annabel has to be rocked to sleep in the swing rather than me doing it because Adeline needs some mommy time. I know it will get easier and I'll figure it out as I go, but this is the hardest thing for me right now.
These three fill my life with sheer joy. I am so thankful to have them all. My heart overflows with love and happiness. Being a parent is so hard, but it is absolutely amazing.
Thank you, God, for this gift! And thank you for loving my family even more than I do.