I was asked to write a guest post about my New Years parenting resolution, take feedback and advice from readers and then report back two weeks later with an update of how it was going. You can read it here or see the original post with the advice comments on Babyhuddle.
My parenting resolution: To relax!
I never really make New Years resolutions and I haven't really this year, I just know what I need to do to enjoy being a mummy of TWO! Since having Logan it really has surprised me how difficult it is just to do the small things, making breakfast, putting the kettle on, even going to the toilet! I simply can't trust Connor not to try and lift Logan out of his chair or not to try and feed him something whilst I leave the room even for a second! (He is only trying to help, he just doesn't understand.) This means that every moment of the day needs to be pre-determined.
I like to keep the house tidy, as I tidy as I can at least, and whilst I was still pregnant I was able to potter about during the day and get my jobs done at times when Connor was amusing himself playing or napping, however now Logan is here I can't seem to get anything done! I tried to prepare myself for the exhaustion that I knew came with a newborn baby, breast feeding on demand is hard work, I'd experienced it with Connor, but it has honestly surprised me how much having two under two takes it out of you! (Not that I would swap either of them for the world, they're both absolutely perfect.)
How am I going to achieve my goal? I need to realise that having two babies, I know Connor can walk and so is technically a toddler, is a big job, especially whilst I'm still feeding Logan myself, everything has doubled, two feeds, two bums to change, two baths etc... all over night, and no matter how much i tried to tell myself what it would be like and to prepare myself for what was about to happen I dont think anything could of! I need to concentrate on getting us into a routine I can cope with before I start setting myself extra tasks that I am going to get angry with myself for not achieving when I simply just don't have the time, or the energy for that matter! I also think that accepting the help that is offered to me will really help, we have a really big family and plenty of people would love to take or watch one, or both of the boys for me while I get things done or even just take a break! I need to start taking advantage of offers that friends and family make me, they want to help!
So this is where my resolution, that's really more of a challenge, comes into it... I need to relax, that doesn't mean I'll be so chilled out that the boys will be going without, the relaxing will be in my head! I think the only way I can be a happy mum of two, at the same time as keeping part of my sanity, is to realise that the house might not be tidy, there might be clothes in the washing basket and pots in the sink, and yes, the lounge is covered in toys (I have a one year old!) but that's ok because me and my boys are having fun and enjoying each other, and whilst that's happening housework can wait another hour or two!
So that's my plan, to enjoy my children, they're growing up too fast and I don't intend on missing a moment of it!
First of all I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who had advice for me on how I can become less stressed at the state of the house and just enjoy the babies, it was very much appreciated and it's nice to know I'm not alone and others have been through the same experience, one of the main things I have taken from out of this is hearing that it does get easier!
A piece of advice offered to me was to get into a good routine, this is a hard one for as my other half, and I when I go back to work, work shifts, our days/hours of work change each week, this also means that when the boys will stay with my mum will change each week too. I have tried to incorporate some sort of routine into our days, especially when it comes to meal times and bath time, this links into another piece of advice, timing nap times together. This has been quite successful for me and a massive help! Even if I only get the boys asleep at the same time once each day it gives me just a little bit of downtime, either to catch up with a few small jobs I have fallen behind on or just to take some time out for myself, even if I do nothing at all.
When my partner is in I have enlisted him into helping with bath and bedtime, and when he's not in my sister often comes to help after she finishes school, she will watch the boys so I can make tea, run baths and prepare the boys' fresh clothes ready for bed. Having extra help and the busy times during the day just gives me a little boost in my confidence and I am now happy to take on bathing two boys solo knowing that the help is there if I need it.
When it comes to ignoring the housework, this is definitely the biggest challenge, I find it hard to relax in a room where things, especially small toys, are strewn across the floor and the place is just messy in general. But taking the advice of the "out of sight, out of mind method" did help, I have moved all they toys, and there is a lot of them, up to the far end of the lounge, behind the sofa, they are still easily accessible for Connor but out of my way, now I tend to just give the place a quick general tidy when he has fallen asleep, that way I am not constantly picking things up throughout the day, giving me more time to play with him.
Being a younger mum does mean that not many of my friends have children so talking to other mums is a hard one for me, however I have enrolled Connor into a weekly parent and toddler group and have started meeting other mums of children the same age and finding we do have things in common, it's also nice to socialise a bit more and just get out of the house.
The last piece of advice I have taken on board, probably more than any other is, to look to the future! Hopefully as the boys grow up so close in age they will have a really close bond, and seeing them so happy together will be worth all the stress now. Although it is tough now the fact that a lot of milestones will be reached around the same time with both of them will make things easier in the long run giving me more time to enjoy them growing up.
I have taken as much advice as I can and have made a real effort to incorporate it into our lives, and although it has only been two weeks I really feel it has helped me have time to relax a lot more and let go of the things that don't really matter and just live each day as it comes and enjoy being a mummy to my two, very special little boys, under two!