Trying to make it look like you are not drowning every second of the day as a mom is totally harder than it looks. It can be compared to trying to pull off a wash and go style, or a natural makeup look, like, way more work than you would ever think goes into making something look natural. A few people have complimented me (like on an especially good day) and my ability to keep two children alive for almost three years for one and a ripe 7 months for the two of them simultaneously so I feel that gives me authority to give advice. Kidding, sort of. Here's my half assed advice on surviving summer with two, maybe a little diddy will be helpful here.
I never pictured that I would even have it together enough to ever leave the house with them both and no we do it multiple times a week in a relatively effective fashion. Bonus: we are typically on time if not early places.
More specifically, high value toys or snacks that can be used to peel your oldest child away from whatever fun activity they would like to keep doing when it is way passed time to leave. Think "rice crispy treat with sprinkles" or "themed fruit snacks." Save the "big guns" for emergencies, offer ICE CREAM. WE ALL DO IT PEOPLE.
Play places with gates that lock, strollers, outdoor play yard, exersaucer, high chair, BABY CARRIER, it is best to have one child contained in a specific area at any given time, especially if both children are mobile! Just spend the money on ALL of the baby gear of all varieties to maintain your sanity (sell it later). I have a carrier and TWO strollers in my car at all times because, life comes at you fast, your containment play can change on route to your destination.
Sunscreen BEFORE you get to the fun place, you don't want to chase a toddler while the swimming pool is dangling like a carrot in front on them! TRUST! Pack all the snacks because toddlers who loved gold fish yesterday wouldn't be caught dead eating them today! Also, keep a well stocked diaper bag, go check out my packing list for our diaper bag, I always restock when we get home so we are good to go whenever at least with the bare minimum of supplies.
Take your time.
I know its normal to feel anxiety when your kid decided to have a blow out of barf on you right when you are ready to walk out the door but that's life honey buns, your friends and destination can and will wait. Take your time, handle everything appropriately and make sure you have everything y0u need before walking out the door, nothing like forgetting your kids water and paying $7 for a bottled one at the zoo. 🙃
Just say no.
Don't take your kids into a situation you are not ready to handle with both. Some things are two extreme for us still, I know they will just end in tears flowing from multiple family members. The best part of saying no is that your kids has literally no clue what they are missing? So, don't beat yourself up, kay?
Choose your tribe.
DO NOT HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO WILL JUDGE YOU! Chose a tribe at your level and stage of motherhood, the ones who will give you the nod a wink, who will say "oh just glad it isn't my kid this time" with just the amount of empathy and sarcasm you need because NEXT time Lord it will be there kid and you will feel their pain! Smile and nod to that momma peeling her kid of the ground or breastfeeding without a cover because her toddler is using it as a cape, I FEEL YOU! I SEE YOU! Life is too short to act like you are out here momming harder or better than someone else. Share your secrets!
Having a second kid is like going from 1 kid to 100 kids. You are so much more tired, so much more anxious, and its so much more amazing. We are all hot messes I'm just here to help you hide it as well I do...some days.
So much baby gear so little time! I have researched and researched and asked for advice and bought and sold and switched out baby gear. Here are the five things that I would say helped me through this first 2 months with two under 3! If you would have asked me last time around I know for a fact I would have had different answers I just don't think I every got around to writing that blog! Ok, here we go. Five faves from a second time momma.
I have had a love affair with this pump since my first time nursing. It is powerful, portable (enough), and super simple to use. There are tons of accessories you can get for it to make your life even easier. I has a pretty standard price point for a pump I would say in the $200 range. But, you may be able to get it covered by your insurance, see my blog about that here. I even used it to pump on a road trip with the battery adaptor when we thought it was a good idea to take a 9 month old on a 18 hour car trip. That I do not recommend.
Double the poops double the stink. I had pretty much given up on my diaper genie before my second was born because I was so freakin sick of buying those special bags. How freakin’ annoying! Then I discovered this adapter which is amazing, you can use their 7 layer bags, or ANY bag, yes any bag!!! No more of pressing that last diaper in just to have the bag go flying into the bottom of the pail! Because we’re friends you can use the code SHAUNA30 for 30% off of your order. Boom!
We rotated through all of the brands of swaddles that we had on hand in the first few nights being home with the new baby. This one did the trick and it's super easy to use, no snaps or zippers, you can practically do it with your eyes closed in the middle of the night...
This has been the preferred seat for relaxing and napping for both of my girls. I think that it is at just the right angle and snuggly enough to comfort them, it also has a vibration option. Super simple, easy to clean, light weight to take from room to room. It is also important that it keeps the baby high enough off of the ground so that the dog can't reach her.
I can not say enough about this sling! I am just really wishing I would have used a ring sling the first time around. I have no idea how I would have survived these first two months without it, I think I probably would have never left the house at all! With my oldest I was a little intimidated by baby carriers to be honest I am so glad that I got over that fear, I think you kind of have to wear your second to survive.
I hope this is helpful for you mommas! Of course I could go on and on about baby gear, just feel free to ask!
Shauna Hyler, mommy of two beautiful girls! Working, blogging, and adventuring with the hubby and my sweet girls.