Well, as I’m typing this all out, I officially have a three year old and a one year old!
It’s crazy to think back to where I was this time three years ago: about to have my first baby, and completely unsure of my new role as “mom.”
Turns out that from the moment I held my firstborn in my arms, my heart literally exploded with love. And from there, everything changed.
I felt like I’d never understood the meaning of pure, unconditional love before. And I also cried at every.damn.thing (still do, thanks love hormones).
Two years and one day later when I did it all a second time, my heart expanded even more! To top it off, this kid actually wanted to SLEEP! Thank the Good Lord.
Personally, I think it’s true what they say: with each kid, it’s like you have an even bigger chunk of your heart walking around outside your body.
And while the arms of my children are the most precious jewels I’ll ever wear, transitioning from my role as mom of one to mom of two was incredibly difficult.
It’s taken a lot of prayer (countless), time (specifically: one year+), and effort (relentless), but here are FIVE things I’ve learned in my first year as a mom of two:
- Never skip nap time. I wish I’d listened the first round. Seriously, if you’re a first time mom: nap when the baby naps!!! Just do it. Because once you’re on baby no. 2+, that all goes out the window. Nap time will then be your only sanity, especially if you can coordinate both kids’ nap times. In which case, do take the opportunity to sit and have a cup of coffee. You’ve earned it! Which brings me to my next point…
- Prioritize. Let the dishes go because they can wait; life won’t. Learn to be present, mama. Put away the phone, the to do lists for a designated time each day. Get down on your kiddos’ level and get in their world. It’s cliche, but I promise you, these messy, emotionally draining days will someday be the ones you long for. You’ll never regret not doing that extra chore, but you’ll always regret not giving your kids more of your time.
- Self care. JUST.DO.IT. For me, that means starting my day off reading Scripture, and making the time to do things that make me feel good, like getting my hair done, reading a book, actually doing my makeup. This part looks different for everybody, but the point is to fill your own cup up on a daily basis. Remember- you can’t pour from an empty cup, and those demanding little humans require a lot of us! Filling your cup back up allows you to give them your absolute BEST. Quality is always better than quantity.
- Sneak in some alone time with the hubby. If you’re one of those lucky ladies that gets regular date nights with your man, I envy you. I don’t have family around to help with the kids, so I can literally count on one hand the number of dates my husband and I have had in the last three years. Instead, we’ve settled on strict early bedtimes for the kids so that we can have some adult time watching shows and drinking wine in the evenings. It’s been a lifesaver and allows us to reconnect amidst the chaos.
- Kids are not a distraction from important work; they are the MOST important work. Thanks for the words of truth, Mother Theresa. This is probably the hardest realization I’ve come to since becoming a mom– particularly this past year as I’ve struggled to give my all to two needy little people (three, if you include the husband). I can’t tell you the devastating realization that hit when I realized how often I’ve looked completely through my children and into my iPhone while trying to work. Just… devastating. This has been the hardest concept for me to grasp, because for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted something more. Especially more than being a mom, which is honestly not a desire I’ve always had, but one I’ve deeply grown into. The amount of times I’ve said to my husband, “How can I accomplish goals xyz with these crazy kids constantly clinging to me?!” The chronic grumbling and resentment behind my words. It wasn’t until I learned to be still and listen to the voice of Jesus that I finally realized… there is nothing more important, nothing of greater responsibility in this world, than raising my children. I can have the most amazing career success in all the world, but if I look back on my life with regrets, especially of how I spent this precious time with my children? I would truly have nothing. So yes, I’ve had to set my career goals on the back burner for now. And you know what? For the first since setting out on this journey as a mom of two, I’m truly happy and at peace.
How did you handle the transition from one to two kids?
All my love,