This week, we have conquered this whole growing family/ 2 children under the age of 2 bit-- check it out:
On Saturday, we made it to a wedding, all bathed and dressed, and 20 minutes early, with feedings timed perfectly-- and it was an hour away.
On Monday, I did a full out trip to the grocery store with both boys... I wore Jack and pushed Max :)
On Tuesday, the three of us spent the morning at the Atlanta Aquarium with our friends Lisa and Haven
On Wednesday, I took both boys out to dinner to say goodbye to our dear friend Michelle without Chad
On Thursday, we went out to breakfast with Chad and then went to a play date
On Friday, we ran errands all morning- the kind the caused me to get the boys in and out of the car 6 times! And I partook in my first girls night out since Jack's arrival, sans kids (which is actually hard on a mom- hard on the heart and it takes a lot of planning on the front end even if you are leaving them with their dad!)
Now please tell me this at least puts me in the running for mom of the year, or super mom, or something! I'm exhausted!
Now for what I've learned... all from experience:
#1. Sleep is important! Thank you Moms on Call and their swaddle for drastically changing our nights around here. Now I am physically able to do more than just "get by" and wait until my next sleep time- hence our week :) But if you're low on sleep, don't go! You won't have enough steam or enough patience to make it through the outing
#2. Dress for the occasion- think through nursing in public and a youngster pulling on your clothes. Think about bending down and holding both children at one time. Will everything be covered? Will any lumps or pregnancy rolls show? Can you access everything you might need?
#3. Be prepared to sweat. It's hard work.
#4. Think through your day- what might you need? Maybe some extra snacks or if you have a spitter like me, then extra burps clothes, bibs, and clothes. Sunscreen and hand sanitizer too. But get the travel size of everything- so you can carry it. And make sure it's all in ONE bag only.
#5. Let people who offer to help, help! Someone will see you coming and hold the door. Don't feel embarrassed, just be thankful! And let the Publix people carry your groceries out even if you used to do it by yourself. A Stranger might offer to hold something for you, let them. And since you are providing cute kids for everyone to see, don't feel like a nuisance. Instead note that your kids are brightening their day!
#6. Give yourself plenty of time. You canNOT get out the door quickly. You canNOT get in the car quickly. You will load and unload kids one by one. Plan for it. And then add 20 minutes.
#7. Make sure you have a way to contain the kids as needed: park by the cart return, get the cart first, then unload kiddies into it. Or wear the baby so you have free hands for the toddler- this is especially important in parking lots. Always take your stroller in your car just in case... I counted on a stroller being available in Kohl's and ended up exhausted without any of the things I went in for! And double strollers are most definitely worth the $$! Someone is going to "need" you, and you must have somewhere to put the other one, that's safe and secure, when that happens.
#8. Don't view pulling in your driveway as the finish line- you've still got miles to go, unloading everyone and getting them settled and unloading your stuff.
#9. Don't fill up your day- plan for down time. And when the kiddies are taking that down time, then you take it too- you don't have to nap, but at least read, or sit, or find more stuff for your pinterest boards. Or you will go insane and act like a crazy person.
#10. Anytime you can, help as sister out! If her hands look full, offer to help. If the door is closing on her while she holds 2 babies, jump out of your seat to run and help! Don't fret being awkward or invasive, offer to help anyway!