So, How IS life with a Toddler and a Newborn?

So, how IS life with a toddler and a newborn?

It's crazy, I tell you, crazy!!! 

Haha! Okay, maybe not craaazy...just...crazy.

We're going to talk about this in a more organized manner, because it's the only way I've been able to simplify my thoughts on the matter. I'm still feeling the chaos, that I'm sure will still be there five to eighteen years from now, but anyways...

Do I think it's gone well so far? Why?

Yes, I definitely think it's gone very well! I no longer have the hypersensitive preggo brain. I don't get irritated as easily since I'm not pregnant anymore. I was so emotionally driven and easily frustrated during this past pregnancy, but what woman isn't? It helps that we have finally slowed down now. The last month was busy busy busy! We were in survival mode! The first weeks were full of unending attention and plenty to do (for Hannah). We are finally settling into a routine, which we all know is very important for kids. I'm a calmer and happier mom now that the pregnancy is over with. It's sad to admit, but it's true. I was pretty hormonal those last couple of months especially. My poor family.

How is Hannah behaving with the new baby?

She's obsessed! She loves her to pieces! Of course I have to keep my eyes on them when they are together, but Hannah does best when I give her and Charlie really good quality time. I put them on the same level---on the bed together or on the floor together, and Hannah is so sweet and gentle.
Charlie is six weeks old tomorrow and I can comfortably say that I can leave them alone for a few minutes without worrying! It's awesome and so freeing!

Adding this little bit in three months after writing this: Hannah has gotten a little more aggressive with Charlie, but it's not all the time and it's not awful. I have to be more careful whenever Hannah is upset because she might try to take it out on Charlie (which I've heard is common). Other than that, Hannah is still doing well with her little sister! 


Was I scared?

Oh, heck yes! I like to think that I'm an honest mama, so let's be real here. My child is nuts and can be kind of aggressive at times. I kept thinking that this transition was going to be a nightmare. Can you imagine a loud, aggressive toddler with a brand new little baby! Ack! I was bracing myself for the worst but to my surprise, she's been doing pretty well! I can actually set Charlie down for a minute and not worry the entire time!

How was the first week? The first month?

The first week was weird because people always had Hannah. I felt like I had given her up for adoption. It was just weird. When she was finally home with us for a solid 24 hours, she just seemed so big! No one ever told us that your toddler grows twice their size when you have a baby! Ack! It made me realize how quickly these years go by! 

Once we got home from the hospital,  I think I was in a "what do I do now" kind of daze. I felt ready to get back to my normal routine the same day I gave birth to Charlie! I was ready to go home and clean up the messes I knew were still there. I wanted to get outside and exercise. I wanted to get out with friends, but this was supposed to be a time of rest, so I never did any of that. Except maybe clean.

Chris stayed home from work for a long time. God knew that we both needed that time to communicate, laugh, and be purposeful again. See, pregnancy can sometimes throw you and your partner into a "funk". By "funk" I mean, a tiny little rut that seems to throw you in circles, over and over again to the point you get confused as to which way is up. We were definitely in a "funk" by the end of the pregnancy. But thankfully, we're out of it now and fully focused on this new journey with two little princesses! 

It's really been a lot better than I thought it would be, especially once we were getting back to a little bit of a routine.

What did I expect and what did I NOT expect?

I expected Hannah to be very aggressive with Charlie, dangerously so. I thought I'd have to have my eyes on Charlie at all times and that I'd only get work done if I wore her. Instead, Hannah is pretty trustworthy with Charlie. At least more than I thought she'd be. When it comes to getting things done around the house, Charlie plays really well by herself and I can actually set her down for thirty minutes at a time and get work done! 

I thought it was going to be a nightmare and extremely difficult. Everyone and their mothers kept telling me how hard this phase in life would be. Maybe I haven't gotten to the hard part yet? Hm.{Note: three weeks later and it got harder. Oh yea!}
{Note #2: three months later and it got WAY harder. Yep!}

I expected to be sleep deprived for months, but instead, Charlie has been a really good sleeper.

I expected our routine to be completely destroyed and that I'd have to start from scratch, but it hasn't been like that. As soon as Chris went back to work, we pretty much just picked up where we left off.

What have I struggled with?

I was selfishly enjoying not having to nurse so much or wear breastfeeding appropriate clothing. I already get annoyed sometimes with having to slow down and nurse.

Lately the struggle is stirring up the energy and motivation to slow down. Yes, you need energy to slow down, because if you don't you'll fall asleep. 

I thought that ONE kid changed my plans, TWO changes even more! I struggle with wanting to schedule things MY way instead of going by what my girls (clearly) need! I used to go by only Hannah's needs, and now I have to plan according to both a two year old and a newborn. It's a challenge some days.

One big struggle for me is finding time to effectively wind down. It's difficult when you're kids wake up too early and sometimes don't nap and they both don't nap at the same time.

How is having a second child different than the first?

I worry less. Now, a lot of moms will tell you that they worry less with the second, but they may not give you all the details. At least, that happens to me when I'm seeking out advice and encouragement. "What do you mean, worry less?!" I want to give you the details in case you are in the same boat as me or if you are about to have your second little blessing. 

Having a second little baby was not as big of a deal to me. When Hannah was a baby, I wanted to hold her and stare at her all day and all night. It was almost instinct to never put her down. The second time around, I still stare at my baby when she's in my arms or by my side, but I don't pick her up as often and I don't run to her every time she cries. I am grateful that I can put this little newborn down for a few minutes and not have to worry. 

When Hannah was little, if she cried I tried to fix it...every...time. I still do this with Charlie, but not as quickly. I often give her a minute to soothe herself. 

I waited the full four weeks before taking Hannah anywhere. I honestly have no idea how I did that without going crazy. Charlie has already been everywhere more than twice and she's only six weeks old! I'm pretty sure she was at church before two weeks old and out shopping with me before that. 

What is the most difficult thing about this phase?

Getting a routine down and making sure both girls get enough rest. When it seems like we've got a rhythm, something comes up and screws up our routine. If our routine is messed up, then their sleep is messed up. If their sleep is messed up, then we're all just straight grumpy! It's just all a vicious cycle.

What is the best thing about this phase of life?

When you have more than one kid, you automatically start cherishing the one-on-one moments with each one. Now that I have a little baby to take care of, those sweet and sometimes funny moments with Hannah are even more sweet and even more funny. I see how quickly time goes by and how quickly my little girl is growing up. I cherish the moments that I can look at her little eyelashes and gaze at her precious smile! 

It may be a challenging season of life, but everything just seems so much more precious and beautiful right now and I love it! 

God is good!!!

Are you in the same season of life right now? What's your favorite and least favorite parts about being a mom of a toddler and a baby?

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