The Juggle is Real
I'm going to start this off by apologizing in advance for the cheesy title, but I HAD to!
You might be thinking "juggling two, HA, try juggling three...or four...or five" and I TOTALLY get it. You moms of multiples and 2+ children are rockstars in my book. My grandmother had 8 children and I just think of how scared I would be with that many soldiers from a munchkin army running around. I have visions of barricading myself into the closet and my husband sliding dinner (wine through a funnel) under the door because I would refuse to deal with the munchkin army running my house if I were to have even ONE more. Kudos to all you mamas! Seriously. I know you can't see me, but I'm totally doing that Hunger Games hand thing with my hands right now because I stand in solidarity with you!
As soon as I found out I was pregnant with Kingsley I was flooded with emotions. I'll admit the feeling that stuck out the most was the fear of not being able to give her all of me. How would I love another kid as much as I love Noah. It seemed impossible, but Noah (wise beyond his years) always said it best, "mom, your heart is going to grow." And boy was he right! These kids make life so full. I love being their mom. I am still learning to divide my time between two very different children and age groups.
There are plenty of resources out there that give you advice on routines, organizing and time management for juggling two kids so I won't dive too much into that aspect of things, and let's be really real, I struggle there too! Currently going on day 5 of not washing my hair (I'm beyond dry shampoo at this point), so clearly, my time management skills are stellar. BUT I will fill you guys in on our most successful method of making Noah (9) feel special since his little sister (1) sucks up most of our time by nature of her being so young. Since Kingsley has been born, between breastfeeding, diaper changes, naps, crazy out-of-this-world clinginess and all the other baby stuff that seems to take up all 24 hours in a day, Noah has been so patient and such a champ on taking a backseat. It ate away at me that I couldn't just get up and go somewhere with him unless the baby was attached to me. We didn't have the one on one time we were used to from 8 years of Noah being an only child. I know it eventually took a toll on him even if he didn't say anything. It took some time and getting into a routine, but we came up with a fun idea for Noah to look forward to every week where he could get his GUARANTEED 1 on 1 time with us. No Kingsley, no breastfeeding, no having to leave because baby sis is crying. Just Noah.
We started a weekly tradition. Every Sunday afternoon/evening my husband, Nathan, and I trade off taking Noah on a "date night." On my Sunday's, we've gone to the movies, to get ice cream, shoe shopping (light-up shoes are still a thing? ugh.), etc. Nathan's most recent outing with him was Top Golf. Sometimes we get a sitter (shoutout to the grandmas!) and the three of us do something sans baby. This obviously isn't our only time with Noah, but it is something that is special and only for him. It's something that he gets to look forward to every week.
Yesterday was Sunday, which means it was my turn for a date with Noah. We went to the Broncos vs Raiders game. I'm a Broncos fan and Noah is a Raiders fan. I know, I know, I really don't know why I let the enemy live in my house. I struggle with that too. He accepted the loss with humility, so I guess he can live with us until we meet on the football field again later this year. We'll reevaluate then.
Here are a few photos from our Sunday date:
I find that carving out a little bit of time to focus solely on one child, however it suits your schedule, is a great way to make each child feel special. You don't even have to go out of the house or spend money.
Free one-on-one options:
- Go on a walk
- Hit up the library
- Craft project with items around the house
- Homework (this might seem weird, but this is the perfect opportunity to bond and have your little one to open up to you about their day at school)
- Cook dinner together (not free, but you're going to have dinner anyway)
- Look for shapes in the clouds (we like to put an air mattress in the bed of our truck for this)
- Go for a bike ride
- Winter option: build a snowman or go sledding
Leave me a comment and let me know what you do to get one on one time if you're a parent of 2 or more! I know we're in for a long, but adventurous ride with these two and would love to hear what makes your household happy!
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