Staying Sane :)

(I wrote this a couple of weeks ago but am just getting a chance to "publish" it...)

I will be the first to tell you that having two kids - especially a toddler and a newborn - is SO not easy.  I'm convinced that nnyone who tells you it is is most likely lying!

Anyway, there have been a few things that have helped me stay (mostly) sane and I thought I'd share...

1. Self-Care.  I read on a blog post at Rage Against the Minivan* that the number one way to prevent PPD is "self-care."  So there are a couple of things I've been doing to keep myself a priority.  The biggest one is taking time every night to take a long, hot shower!  If the kids are screaming, I can't hear them! And yes, I started taking showers at night and it as been a wonderful change.  This way I can (another self-care thing) sleep in as late in the morning as my kiddos.  If Evelyn wakes up first, she is fine grunting (she is such a grunter!) and hanging out for 15 minutes while I get dressed, put on make-up, do my hair, get coffee made, and get breakfast on the table before I nurse her.  If Avery wakes up first, she is perfectly content in her crib singing Happy Birthday and Jesus Loves Me until I get her.  Actually, sometimes Avery is fine in there for almost an HOUR!  I also make myelf take a nap with the girls if I can get them both sleeping at the same time.  This is a non-negotiable around here; other household chores can wait. *This is an awesome blog that I just recently discovered... you've got to check it out.

2.  Accepting and Asking For Help.  I've been SO blessed to have my husband home for 2 weeks of paternity leave.  Also, my wonderful mom and mother-in-law have both been able to spend a few days here helping us.  I've gladly accepted lots of meals from friends.  I usually feel guilty asking for help from Matt with things once he gets home from work because I know he's had a busy, long day, too, but I am so over that right now. :)  He was kind enough last night to basically have "Evelyn duty" most of the night, plus do laundry and clean up the kitchen.  I just can't watch two kids all day AND have clean underwear for us, so I'm taking all of the help I can get.  Also yesterday my sister Nealy came over and watched Avery while I ran to Target with Evelyn; she even brought us a yummy lunch and wore Evelyn in the sling for awhile.

3.  Trying to Not Feel Guilty.  When it was just me and Avery, we were busy bodies, always running errands or going on a play-date or to the library/mall/etc every single morning.  As of late, we have been home most days except for the occasional walk.  I do feel bad sometimes that Avery is stuck at home, so I constantly have to remind myself that this is just temporary, that she will be fine, and that it's a good thing for her to learn to be happy playing with her bajillion toys.  (I'm sure I will regret posting this, but Avery actually LIKES cuddling with me while we watch The Bachelorette!  True story!  It has become our Tuesday morning ritual, and for now, I'm not feeling too much guilt over it!)  Also, we are on a two-shows-a-day routine at our house, which means daily visits from both Barney and Mickey. 

4.  Staying Organized.  One new non-negotiable rule I've made for myself is that I must run the dishwasher right after dinner and unload it before I go to bed.  The morning goes so much better if I wake up to an empty verses full dishwasher!  We've also gone to using all paper plates for now, which has helped with the dish load.  Another thing I've started doing is doing one load of laundry a day.  It just seems too daunting to let it pile up, plus we are going through burp cloths and towels like crazy over here, so I just decided I'd do one small load a day to stay on top of things.  The last way I'm trying to stay organized is by having our lunches ready to go at the beginning of the week, and then we just eat that most days for lunch.  Last week I made a Mexican salad type thing with beans, peppers, onions, salsa, cilantro, and avacado all in a tupperware in the fridge, and then just fried up a couple of eggs to go on top when it was lunch time.  This week I made chicken wild rice salad.

5.  Praying and Keeping Perspective.  I try to pray whenever I am nursing Evelyn, when I'm rocking Avery at night, and when the stress starts to creep up!  I also ask Matt to pray for specific things for me.  I really try to ENJOY my sweet little newborn, as well as enjoy all of the new and often funny things about Avery.  I remember that many people would give their right arm to have the chaos of two healthy, beautiful children and one amazing husband.

alan and steph  – (June 19, 2012 at 9:13 AM)  

Love all of these tips Kiley! You're such a great mom!

And you're right - the transition from one kid to two is so hard!

You're doing a great job!

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