Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Life With Two: 6 Months In

Now that we are almost 6 months in (WHERE has the time gone??), I thought it was time for me to give a little update on how life with two kids is going. The short answer is that it's wonderful, and I wouldn't trade my two babies for anything in the entire world! Now for the long answer ;)

Life with two children is definitely not without it's challenges, but the transition really has been easier than I expected it to be. I still think, for me, going from no kids to one was a much more difficult transition than going from one to two. I know this is different for everyone, though, and I think a lot depends on your children's personalities. I also realize that having two kids isn't anything unusual or unique to me. Someone from church who has four kids was teasing me the other day and saying that two kids would feel like a vacation! I'm sure that's true, but two kids is the most I have ever had, so it seems like a lot and a big accomplishment to me. Ha! :)

So far, the hardest parts of having two children are:

-Trying to figure out a schedule that works for all of us!
I am still trying to get Jude on a good nap schedule. He ends up taking 2 naps a day (sometimes 3 if we are out and about in the evenings - he will usually sleep in the car for a while). It's just been hard trying to figure out the best time to get anything done between all the naps I'm trying to work around. There just doesn't seem to be any good time to get out of the house and go to the grocery store, run errands, etc. By the time we wake up, eat breakfast, and all get ready, it's time for Jude's first nap. Then it's lunchtime. Then it's time for Aubrey's nap, and, shortly after that, Jude's afternoon nap. By the time they both wake up, it's late afternoon, and the day is over. Thankfully, this hasn't been a huge problem yet, because Jude is still young enough to nap well in his carseat. A lot of times, he ends up taking his morning nap in his carseat. I think this is a large part of the reason why he has had a hard time napping in his bed. We can't stay home all day everyday, though, so we just kind of have to do the best we can. It's also really difficult to get Jude down for a nap while Aubrey is awake. Still trying to figure that one out.

-Not being able to "sleep when the baby sleeps."
I love sleep. I think I require more sleep than the average person. Haha. When Aubrey was a baby, if we had a rough night, I would just put her in the bed with me the the next morning and we would both sleep LATE. Or I could take a nice nap when she napped. That's just really not always an option when you have more than one child. It seems like Aubrey always wakes up the earliest when Jude has had the worst night. And if the thought even crosses my mind that it might be a good day for me to take a nap, I can pretty much bank on Aubrey or Jude or both not napping well. It's just almost guaranteed. There have really been days when I get up feeling like there is no way I'm going to be able to function and take care of two children as sleepy as I am. I do, though, and I've never fallen asleep and had anything crazy happen. Yet. Haha. (Jude actually sleeps worse now than he did when he was 8 weeks old!)

-Having to divide my time between the two children.
This hasn't been as hard as I was worried it would be, simply because Aubrey really adjusted to having Jude around SO easily. Some days she just is a little more clingy than usual or she's just in a funk, and I can't sit and hold her whenever she wants me to anymore. That's because she usually wants me to hold her while I'm feeding Jude. She has just had to learn that the world doesn't revolve around her, and that sometimes we can't have everything we want immediately. This is a lesson that Jude will learn probably earlier than Aubrey, because this does go both ways. Sometimes I am tending to Aubrey and Jude just has to cry for a little while. Of course, it's hard to hear either one of my babies crying, and I wish that I could do more things at once.

-Leaving the house on time.
This one is pretty much impossible for me. No matter how early I start getting us ready to be somewhere, it's always always a mad dash to get out the door, and I have to just take some deep breaths when I finally do get us all in the car. I think this may have more to do with having a nursing baby than with having two kids. Everything just kind of needs to happen at the last minute. I need to feed Jude right before we walk out the door, but I can't get him dressed until after I feed him (he spits up a lot). Because he spits up, I can't get myself dressed until after I feed him either. Then I have to load him into his seat and make sure Aubrey hasn't undressed herself or taken her shoes and socks off, and gather up all of our stuff... whew! This is why my diaper bag usually has no diapers, wipes, or spare clothes in it. Haha! Sometimes it's all I can do to get us out the door ;)

-Making comparisons.
I actually don't have a hard time not comparing Aubrey and Jude to each other. Of course I do like looking back on the blog and seeing what Aubrey was doing at Jude's age, and things like that, but I don't expect Jude to be just like Aubrey or do things at exactly the same age that she did. I do, however, compare what I did for Aubrey to what I do for Jude and how much time I spent holding her and how many pictures I take of him... stuff like that. Sometimes I feel like I have to make everything completely "fair." I have to hold him just as much as I held her, and I can't do a baby book for Jude because I didn't do one for Aubrey, and I have to do the same amount of blog posts about both of them... you get the idea. I've had to realize that I could drive myself crazy if I tried to make everything exactly the same. Aubrey and Jude are individuals, and they might have different needs at different times. They have different personalities and will probably have different interests. I just have to be the best mother that I can be to both of them and love and encourage their uniqueness. While I would NEVER want to show any favoritism (which I honestly can't imagine - how could you have a favorite child??), I won't always treat them exactly the same, and that's ok. Not only is it ok, but it's necessary, in my opinion.

Now for some of the BEST things about having two children:

-Having this much love for two children.
It really is amazing, and I didn't see how it was possible before Jude was born, but I really do love both of these children with my whole heart. I wondered before Jude was born how I would ever love another child as much as I love Aubrey, but I do. It's just that simple. I think it's such a beautiful thing that I love Aubrey more than I can express and I think she is the cutest, sweetest, most precious child on this earth. Period. AND I also love Jude more than I can express, and I think he's the cutest, sweetest, most precious child on this earth. And the fact that I love them both completely takes nothing away from my love for the other. I don't really understand how that's possible, but I know it's true :)

-Watching them interact with each other.
I know Aubrey and Jude are both still really young, but it's cute to see a sweet little relationship developing between them already. They really love each other. They just look at each other and laugh and laugh sometimes. It's the cutest thing ever. Aubrey is so sweet to Jude. The other day, he was crying, and she looked at me and said, "It makes me sad when him cries, Mommy." Melted. my. heart. It would just thrill me to pieces if they are each others best friends. There is just something so special about sibling relationships. Your siblings should just GET you.

-Feeling like a REAL FAMILY.
I know that we were already a "real family" before Jude was born. David and I were our own family from the day we got married, and we were certainly a family when it was just the three of us, too. But for me, there was just something about having multiple kids that cemented that feeling. It was like I woke up one day and realized that David and I have KIDS. Not a child, but CHILDREN. We aren't just playing house or babysitting, these are our children to raise. They have been entrusted to us. It's an amazing, wonderful thing.

-Knowing that I'm doing what I have been called to do.
This isn't necessarily something that came with having two kids, but just with having children in general. I have always wanted to be a mother, and I really feel like this is what God has called me to do. Being at home with these two kids everyday is not always easy, but I know I am fulfilling my calling, and I also realize what a privileged it is. These two little souls are my mission field right now, and I hope and pray that I point them to Christ daily.

Having children is simultaneously the hardest thing and the most amazing thing that I have ever done. Even on the hard days, there is nowhere I would rather be than right here with Aubrey and Jude! :)


Nathalie said...

I really enjoyed reading this! Thanks for the update on being a mother of two!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

I LOVE this Carrie! It helped me a lot to see what the joys and challenges are to raising two children. Life will be more interesting around here. I worry about not giving new baby the same things that Evie got too but someone told me that new baby will be SO much better off that I am not hovering over him worrying about his every breath and noise. That's probably true! Your children are precious and beautiful and you are a fantastic Mommy.

Amy said...

LOVE THIS!! I want to print it out and read it every day - haha!!
I am worried about SO many things with having two...you really helped ease my mind about a lot of them. Libbi is SO set in her schedule that I do worry how she'll react to having it changed once the baby is here....
Do you think you would compare Jude and Aubrey more if Jude was a girl? I sometimes wonder if it would be easier (and less "competition" between the two) if we didn't have two of the same gender??? just curious what you thought...
Thanks again for writing this - it was such a blessing to read!!

Amy said...

okay, after re-reading my comment, it made it sound like we already have two girls! obviously we don't, but hopefully you got what i meant ;)

Elizabeth said...

I really enjoyed reading this, Carrie! What lucky kids to have you as a mom!

Ashley said...

These kinds of posts help me so much in thinking about what it will be like with two. You do such a good job of describing it! I remember looking up to you since you had Aubrey before Evy was born, and now I look up to you as a mom of TWO. WOW! :)