Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stepping back from the brink with 2 under 2

A month ago I lamented about the fact that having 2 under 2 had been a little rough as of late. I am happy to report that I am feeling so much better! While I still have the "get me out of here!" days, they have become fewer and further between. Three things have greatly influenced this turn around and I'd like to share them with you, in the hopes that they might help someone else.

How I'm Surviving 2 Under 2

Ensuring the baby is getting enough sleep

When she was fresh out of the you-know-where she slept constantly. I think that's pretty typical newborn behavior. But as time went on, she became harder and harder to put down for a nap. I was getting so frustrated with her napstriking and endless fussing before finally falling asleep...maybe.

That's when a friend of mine from The Bump reminded me about these awake time guidelines for babies. These are not scientific; they are simply averages of ideal awake times from a large sampling of Moms and will certainly not work for everyone. But? They have worked like a dream with Aurelia. When she has been awake for about an hour and 15 minutes I ensure she is well fed and changed, then I swaddle her, and put her down for a nap. By fifteen minutes later she is almost always out. Like CLOCKWORK.

Previously, I had been waiting for her to show me she was tired, and by that time it was too late for her to fall asleep easily. This way, I set her down right as she is beginning to get sleepy and she drifts off on her own. I now have so much more time to keep up with things around the house and draw sharks in every color of the rainbow for Carina.

Seriously...every color. She demanded it.

Getting out of the house

Mike (and a few of you, thanks!) suggested we get out of the house more. I'm a bit of a homebody. I don't like to go out, especially with both girls, as it ends up being quite the production. But I told Mike I'd try to at least go for a walk every day. And? I can't believe how much it breaks up the day. I joined a Moms' group and have already gone on a couple of outings. Despite the fact that Carina stepped in dog doo and tried to jump into a river on a number of occasions at our last play date, I had such a good time. Staying at home full time can be a little isolating and even just an hour of chatting with other Moms is so refreshing.

Living in the moment 

This one is corny cliché, but I've found it to quell my anxiety when I feel it building up. It was also a Mike suggestion (can you tell he's a lot more chill than I am?) My babies will never be this small again. It won't be long before they won't let me pick them up instead of not letting me put them down. They won't want to sit in my lap and snuggle close to me forever. I'm doing my best to try to enjoy it while it lasts.

While the above certainly don't ensure everyday bliss, they have really helped me take pleasure in the day to day rather than wishing the days {and current clingy/tantrumy/"MINE!" phases} would go by quickly.

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