Just because I’m a busy mom of 2 littles, doesn’t mean I should ignore myself. Today let’s talk Real Life: Finding time for me as a mom of 2 littles.
I’ve survived two weeks caring for a 2 year old and a toddler without going crazy or pulling our hair out! WOOHOO! I’m going to call that a parenting win! 🙌
Seriously though, we have been very fortunate! Our new little donut has been fairly easy especially compared to our first born. She eats well, sleeps well and is healthy. That being said, caring for 2 kiddos is definitely harder than caring for one! Surprise surprise…. This means more time taking care of the kiddos and less time for me.
But unlike my first experience with a baby, this time I vowed to not forget about me! Yes having an infant (and a toddler) can be overwhelming and all time consuming, but there is no need to ignore ourselves and our needs as a woman.
As mamas, we give 100% of ourselves to our kids and often feel guilty about caring for ourselves. Trust me I did this with my first born and it’s not healthy. When Poppy was born, I was solely focused on her and her every need. I basically paid zero attention to myself during the first 2 months. And by doing that, I felt more stressed, more emotional and way more on edge.
Not this time.
With baby #2, I’m finding time for things that make ME happy. These small things don’t fix the sleepless nights and difficult days, but they do go a long way to making me feel like more than just a breast-feeding machine.
My plea for all you mommy’s out there reading this is: don’t forget how incredibly amazing you are and the fact that you deserve some self-love too! It can’t all be about the baby(s)! Plus when we as mamas are healthy, happy and feeling more like ourselves, life is a whole lot better ❤️
Finding small pleasures as a mom of 2 littles:
1. Coffee ritual
I love coffee. The taste, the smell, the feeling, the act of drinking it. But with 2 kids, it’s sometimes impossible to actually finish a cup of coffee. My solution has been to carve out a daily 10-15 minute coffee ritual. Normally this is around 5am when both babies and the hubs are asleep or around 7am when baby is in her “spaceship” (the best baby swing) and Poppy is eating breakfast.
My ritual consist of:
- Slowly and mindfully brew a small cup of coffee. (Current favorites: Peace Coffee Tree Hugger blend and/or Water process Decaf)
- Sit down in our living room in front of large windows, out on the deck or at kitchen table
- Complete my 5 minute journal, read the news on my phone or check my email while sipping my coffee
This ritual seems basic but those 10 relaxing minutes are truly invigorating, calming and self nurturing.
2. Morning and bedtime skin care routine
Little sleep and recovery after labor is hard on your entire body, which is why after giving birth I decided to finally start a morning and bedtime skin care routine. For most of my life, all I’ve used on my face is face wash, the occasional moisturizer and SPF lotion in the summer. That has been the extent of my skin care routine.
But now that I’m 30 going on 31 and not getting any younger, I figure it’s time to finally be kinder to my face.
Current routine I’m trying out:
- Retinol moisturizer cream for face/eyes
- SPF face lotion
- Green tea bags for puffy eyes
- Face scrub (twice a week)
(products are all natural, organic & cruelty free)
3. Warm showers
Showers have never felt so good you guys! With Poppy, I remember that taking a shower was one of my biggest daily accomplishments, especially when the hubs went back to work.
This time around, I am making showers a priority by asking for HELP! Since I started pumping a bit earlier, the hubs can help feed baby and watch our toddler while I take a shower. Or if I’m alone, shower time might mean, baby is in the bathroom with me in her carseat or bassinet, while toddler snacks on Cheerios and watches a little Curious George. Whatever it takes to get a relaxing shower in 😁
4. Healthy eating
Since I am breast feeding and hoping to get my old body back at some point, eating healthy is really important to me. Obviously this is easier said than done when 1. I have little time to cook and 2. I basically just craving sugar and carbs!!!
My healthy eating habit so far:
- Eat a protein packed breakfast paired with a green kale smoothie everyday
- Drink a crazy amount of water ALL DAY LONG
- Eating lots of veggies for lunch
- Listen to my body when it’s hungry.
- Snack on fruit, nuts, energy balls, dark chocolate, dried cereal and yogurt
- Eat whatever I want for dinner and dessert in moderation
By ensuring I get my veggie in during the day and not restricting myself, I have felt energetic, satisfied and pretty darn healthy so far.
5. Accepting help from friends
Our friends have been so incredibly amazing! I can’t stress this enough. Between supportive texts, calls, dinner drop-offs, and play dates with our toddler, we feel so insanely supported and loved. I’ve also appreciated every grandparent date and reveled in the excitement of sharing our little angel with others. Accepting help and visitors has made these last 2 weeks so much easier on all of us.
6. Wearing real clothes
As much as none of my clothes fit great right now, I’m trying my hardest to wear real clothes most of the day. It makes me feel like an actual functioning human when I’m not wearing Pjs all day. And I’m not buying new clothes or anything yet, but instead finding both maternity and non-maternity items from my wardrobe that fit my current size and shape. Just because I have 2 little kids, doesn’t mean I can’t look good and feel good. Am I right?!
7. Cuddling with my husband
Spending all day and half of the night with two small kids is exhausting! So by the time 9pm rolls around and both kids are magically alseep, the hubs and I just crash on the couch. Normally he throws on a show and I try to get some work done on the computer.
But lately we have taken this as an opportunity to turn off the devices for a little while and just sit and cuddle. We end up falling asleep about 70% of the time but it’s nice to carve out some time for us and end the day together.
8. Stay aware of hormone changes
I can tell my post postpartum hormones are all over the place. As much as I feel normal most of the time, there are times when I just start tearing up for no real reason, or I get overly sensitive. And although this is totally normal, I’m trying to stay aware of it. When I feel my emotions getting the best of me, I try to take a few breaths and clear my mind for a few minutes.
If the hubs is around, I have him watch the kiddos while I take a little mental break. Or I talk my feeling out with him. That helps a lot too!
9. Happy music
Music always brightens my day. Even on days when I didn’t sleep at all, our toddler woke up several times a night, and she is having a rough day, turning on some happy tunes cheers up our entire household.
I also love turning on really soft relaxing music in the middle of the night when baby and I are both awake. It’s soothing.
10. Tackling SMALL projects or housework
I am not good at relaxing, plain and simple. But at the same time, after having a baby, I need to take it easy. So to feel productive without overdoing it, I’ve been tackling 1-2 small projects everyday. Nothing too strenuous or physical. Just little projects that feel good to finish while baby is napping (and I’m not).
Things like laundry, since we seem to do it constantly. Cleaning out just drawers. Organizing deep freezer. Paying online bills. Researching potential future vacations. Recipe research (probably my favorite thing ever). These are some of the small projects I’ve tackled so far.
11. Low key family dates
One thing breaking up the days and keeping me (and everyone else) happy, have been our family dates. Everyday we try to do at least one fun thing either as a family of 4 or we split up and each take a kid. Little outings like going to the zoo, going out to breakfast, going to the library, walking around a lake, or playing at our local playground has been a fun way to stay active and enjoy quality time together.
Even though it takes twice as much effort to pack up and leave the house with 2 kiddos and there is always the chance of meltdowns, it’s totally worth it. Our toddler has fun, we get to connect as parents, the baby normally sleeps, and we all get to be tourist in our own city during the last few days of summer. Win win for everyone!
Yes I admit, life is nuts with a toddler and an infant, but instead of drowning in stress, I choose to think of myself too! We work too hard as mamas to ignore ourselves and our happiness. And this time around I am determined to love my kids, my and MYSELF too!