As always, these books were inspired by the same thing that inspires all the beautiful things in my life – my children.
At ages 4 and 3, we’re seeing Penelope and Oliver bloom. The seeds of parenting over the years are growing alongside their individual seeds of personality, and seeing it come together and bloom is beautiful.
One seed that is particularly gratifying to see grow, is their understanding and practice of gratitude.
A ritual that my family adopted a few years ago, was to say a prayer to the universe every night, right before dinner. We sit down, and go around the table each stating three things we’re grateful for that day. For a while, my husband and I were the only ones who could verbalize this, as our little babies smiled and cooed at us. As they grew, we rephrased the question to “What made you happy today?” to help them understand, and in the process receiving the most wonderful answers ranging all the way from pizza, to our dog, to the water park.
A few weeks ago, we all sat around the table ready to have dinner, and without prompt, my daughter started the gratitude round.
“I am grateful for my family”.
My throat tightened as I held back the tears of joy, of pride. My sweet Oliver followed up with “I am grateful for TV” which made us all smile and laugh, and I felt just as proud of his statement, because what I was witnessing was a habit that was now so much a part of them, and that they got it. They got it!
It was impossible not be inspired by that moment, and these Plant a Seed books are my way to continue sharing this practice with my children, with you, and taking it one step further and sharing them with mother nature.
Planting Seeds; literally and metaphorically.
Every page has space for you to write what you’re grateful for, what you’re calling in. Your wishes for yourself, your loved ones, the world, and on the corner of every page, a seed that you can plant with that wish/intention and see it grow.
When speaking to my husband about it, we spoke about how beautiful it would be see pots that showed the positivity you put out to the world, and with that, Positiviy Pots sets that can be purchased with the books too.
The seed is on the corner of the page so that you can just cut and plant that, and weeks, months, years later, you can go back and re read your words and the beautiful things you have put out to the world.
If you would like a custom Plant a Seed book with a particular type of seed, please email email@example.com, I would be so happy to make it for you!
It’s been a smoky couple of days in the city. The smoke from the forest fires in the province that neighbors us has blown over, and I’m sad for the circumstances, but trying to find the silver lining.
At a new moon circle I attended last week, the ceremony started off with the burning of sage. I’m learning that smoke, or smudging, has been used by many cultures throughout history to cleanse one’s aura and clear one’s space.
Ironically, our city has been filled with smoke for the past couple of days, and I’m trying to view it as a cleanse. A cleanse of our souls and our aura, and when the smoke passes, everything will be clearer and we’ll appreciate more just how beautiful the air is when it’s clean, and how lucky we are to be able to enjoy it. A beautiful and important lesson that life is giving us.
Yesterday afternoon, the smoke was not as intense, and we spent it in our backyard.
Our little backyard oasis; how much I love it. It’s not very big. We have a pergola in the middle of it that takes up quite a bit of the footprint, there is a mixture of grass and stone surfaces, and a deck that needs to be redone; still, there is something special about that space. From the color of the grass in the afternoons, to the angle of the sun as it sets, to the way it feels like it’s in the middle of the country in it’s privacy.
I picked flowers, and roughly braided a flower crown that we all took turns to wear. The flowers were yellow, my favorite color, and they very much complimented the sun that we were finally been able to enjoy after a few days.
Later in the day, our day was very different, it was hard.
My Penelope, overtired from an active day in which she skipped her nap – a transition she’s going through right now – had a long and tearful (from my side too) meltdown. She cried and screamed for things she wanted, and when she had them, screamed because she didn’t. I sat by her side when she needed me, and left when she asked me to. After what felt like a really long time, she calmed down, and while still whimpering, asked for her milk and colcha (blankie in spanish).
We were laying on her bed, her little body cuddled into mine, and after a few minutes of silence, she turned her face towards mine and whispered in my ear- “I love you so much”.
It was her way of saying “I’m sorry”, and I was sorry too. My eyes teared up, I told her I loved her so much, and then she told me about bears and caves, and how dinosaurs lay eggs that hatch into giant T-Rexes.
The smoke had passed.
And still, at one point that day, while sitting on my lap, with my arms wrapped around each of them, they shared a bowl of raisins. We cuddled, we laughed, and did nothing more than sit there with each other. If you know me, you know that moments like those fill my heart in ways I cannot explain.
Edmonton is a great city. A perfect mixture of urban and country, and the river valley is hard to beat! Depending on whether you’re a city or a country person, Edmonton really has the best of both worlds.
Then I had children, got to know the city so much more, and now I REALLY love Edmonton as a city.
Whether it’s to find resources to make the early postpartum days easier, or finding things to do with the kids (that doesn’t require breaking the bank), Edmonton has so much to offer to parents of young children, and it really is such a great city to raise your kids in.
With a limited “going out budget” while on maternity leave, or on a single income as a stay-at-home parent, there is so much you can do with kids in Edmonton, and it’s affordable and available to all families.
As I reminisce on my years at home with the kids, all I am left with is feeling grateful for the wonderful time I spent with them, and for being able to raise them in such a great city.
And so below I share my list on how I had the best Stay-at-home Motherhood / Maternity Leave Days in Edmonton (but a lot could apply to your city too!)
Set your intention to have the MOST AWESOME stay-at-home parenthood/ maternity leave. I’ve said this before in my “Two under Two” post, and I really believe it. Attitude is everything. Whether you’re at home with your child(ren) for a year, two, three…etc, set your intention to have the fullest, most fun, and awesome days, and you WILL!
Join a Mommy Group. When Penelope was 6 months old, I joined a mommy group through Mommy Connections, a program that does exactly that: connect moms with other moms and programs in your community. I met a wonderful group of mamas, and I still see them today… 2+ years later! Having a mommy community is so wonderful for support, play dates, or for text messaging back and forth on the hard mama days. Definitely a must for a happier maternity leave or stay-at-home motherhood.
Go to Mommy & Baby Yoga Classes. I was so happy to have found this Mommy and Baby Yoga Class run by Hapie Yoga & Fitness and did the program with both my kids. It was such a great way to make some time to relax, to work on strengthening my core and pelvic strength after baby (which is something we don’t make enough time for, but should!), and an awesome way to meet new mama and babies. I love that this was part of our postpartum experience and definitely recommend it! New sessions starting January 16th!
Go to La Leche League Meetings. I started going to La Leche League meetings after my second was born, and as a breastfeeding mother (twice), these meetings were invaluable when it came to education, community and support with my breastfeeding journey. For more information on when and where their next meeting is in the city, visit their wesbite https://www.lllc.ca/find-group-alberta
Follow Box Social Events.One of the best things I learnt about while on maternity leave, especially with an energetic toddler and a baby, is Box Social Events. They organize kid friendly events all over the city, their events are ah-mazing, and most of them at no cost to the public! The kids and I have enjoyed so many great ones this summer and it’s definitely a huge part to why my stay-at-home mom days were so awesome.
Visit the outdoor playgrounds around the city. It’s very easy to get in the habit of visiting the same outdoor playground often, and so I gave myself a challenge to try and visit as many outdoor playgrounds in the city with the kids. And there are some great ones! Fun and budget friendly, plus outdoor time for the kids; all around win! A list of great outdoor play grounds by Just Another Edmonton Mommy here.
Visit the Edmonton Riverboat. Perhaps I’m biased because we got married there, but the Edmonton Riverboat experience is truly beautiful. A gorgeous view of downtown Edmonton and the River Valley, and the newly renovated boat is gorgeous!
Visit the Edmonton Public Library often. We love the Edmonton Public Library and have attended so many of their Baby and Toddler activities, and the kids love it! EPL provides a “Welcome Baby” package when you get your baby his or her first library card. You receive a bag, a book, and helpful information about the programs that the library offers children and parents, perfect for new mamas! And for any bilingual mamas like me, EPL is a great resource. More info on early literacy for bilingual babies here.
Visit the Edmonton High Level Bridge Streetcar. I’ve lived in Edmonton for 10 years, and only visited the Street Car after having kids because it seemed like it would be something fun to do- and it was! Round trip fare is $6 per adult, and children under 5 ride for FREE! A great way to explore your city, learn about it’s history, and the kids loved it. Check out their website for more info.
Learn through play at home. We have loved following Live it All In for inspiration on activities you can do at home with the kids using materials you already have, or that are easy to get. The kids not only have fun, they learn in the process too. One of our favorites ones for letter matching here .
Go to the Pub…with your kids. Because sometimes, it’s nice not to have to go to a “kid friendly restaurant” every time you want to have a family dinner out. Edmomton has a great list of kid friendly pubs in Edmonton here , and it was actually through that post that I found her blog! We have enjoyed some lovely family lunches/dinners in some of these pubs, and, if someone judges you for drinking a beer while holding a baby, tell them it helps with milk production, ha!
Go on family bike rides. Edmonton is a great city when it comes to bike trails, and though we may not be able to bike all year round, the beauty of the trails make up for it when we are able to go on them. Edmonton has so many bike/multi use trails around city and it’s such a fun, healthy and inexpensive activity to do with the kids. A map of Edmonton bike trails here.
Spend afternoons picnicking in your backyard. I found so much beauty in having simple afternoons like this one with the kids in our backyard. As moms, we put a lot of pressure ourselves to feel like we have to have a full itinerary for our children e v e r y d a y – and we just don’t. Some of the best afternoons the kids and I have had, have been picnicking in our backyard, and having the most special times doing nothing special.
Explore your city and find the most unexpected places. One of our most memorable moments from this summer was discovering Cotton Tail Corner , a clothing optional beachnear Edmonton. We went on a hike, stumbled upon it and made an afternoon of it. Goes to show there is always something new to find in your city, you just need to go and explore!
Explore the city with Edmonton Transit Service.Exploring the city using Public transit is often. The day is more intentional, not as hurried, and it makes for a day full of adventure – like a day we had this past winter, read more here – ALSO, children under 12 years old travel for FREE!
Take pictures in front of the murals in your city. During the walks the children and I would take, we found so many cool murals, and so we made it a thing to find more. Outdoor family time, exploring your city AND Instagram worthy shots – hashtag win!
Make a nature theme mobile. Using materials you can find outside, make a nature theme mobile with the kids. How to here.
Relax, Read and find Inspiration. Pick up a copy of YEG Inspired magazine at various locations around the city, and find wonderful local inspiration and resources for parents.
Break the rules. As a stay at home parent, it’s very easy to burnout when there is so much pressure to do everything perfectly and “by the rules”. So don’t. Give yourself a break, and break the rules. Have breakfast for lunch one day. Have a pj’s and movie day with the kids. Do whatever feels right for that day, when you need it.
Follow Alberta Mamas.If you’re a parent in Alberta, you need to follow Alberta Mamas. A great resource of information for parents across the province. Whether you want camping tips, ways to encourage your kids to read , or want to know how host a clothing swap (a must for all mamas!), Alberta Mamas has you covered!
My list could go on forever, and I’ve probably missed a few things, but I end with one last one.
ENJOY. The days may be long sometimes, but the years are short. The years with my babies have really flown by, and though I feel I’ve lived every moment intentionally, I already miss the time we spent together. So, slow down. Enjoy your babies, watch them play and laugh. Give them that extra hug and cuddle, and enjoy the days together.
A few months ago, my Penelope, my two and a half year old daughter, started nursing again. She stopped breastfeeding on her own shortly before her bother was born, but recently, what started as little curious requests for suckles and kisses, turned into her sitting on my lap, in cradle position, breastfeeding again.
Perhaps she was craving that closeness, or maybe it was simple toddler curiosity, especially as she sees her brother nurse often. Regardless of the why, my girl, the one who very often needs very little from me, was asking me to nurse. I could have easily said “There is no more milk” or “This is for your brother” – and I very well may still say that – but not today. I allowed her to need me, and if I was able to honor a request she had, I was absolutely going to.
When I was pregnant with Oliver, I often wondered what tandem nursing would be like. I imagined holding both my children in my arms, sharing the warmth, comfort and closeness of breastfeeding with them simultaneously. Experiencing that now, when I didn’t expect I would, has been wonderful.
Nursing a toddler, in my experience, is very different than nursing a baby – but maybe not in the way I would have thought. Penelope is a little fire cracker; constantly on the go, full of energy, but then she stops and asks for “leche” (usually when her brother is nursing too) and her little body melts into mine. For a few minutes, she finds a calm and stillness in me, one that I otherwise don’t see very often anymore, and it’s precious. It’s pretty special.
Some days she doesn’t ask to nurse, others she asks more often, but the feed that almost never fails, is before bed time. After stories, I position my children on my lap, and at the same time, nurse them before they go to bed. They smile at each other, they laugh, their little legs intertwined in such a way that allows them to both comfortably fit on my lap, and for about 5 minutes, the three of us just are. As they simultaneously breastfeed, I look down and see the two little humans I carried in my womb. They are completely connected, the closest to how it would have been had they shared a womb, and at their center – me. To experience that, I know I am lucky… even if it’s just for a little while.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t experience conflicting feelings about all this.
Penelope asking to nurse again after months of being weaned, seemed like a regression, which in definition, it was – a return to a former state. Regression, however, is a word that has such a negative connotation, that part of me began to wonder (and care) what people would say or think. I still did what felt right and intuitive, to me; I just didn’t share it with many people.
The stigmas associated with breastfeeding “timelines”, the criticism, and the pressure from the world on what one must, or must not do, are there. As much as I would like to say I didn’t care, I did. I was afraid of being judged. Fortunately, the confidence in what I was doing returned, and I felt good about it, but also a little hypocritical.
I was comfortable sharing images of me breastfeeding my 10 month old, and yet, I hadn’t shared any images of me tandem nursing my babies.
So today, I share this.
I am tandem breastfeeding my baby and toddler, and though it wasn’t something I was expecting, it has become an experience I am completely loving, and one I will cherish forever. I am their mother, I am doing my job, and I there is no shame in that.
* La Leche League and BACE (Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton) are two amazing breastfeeding groups in Edmonton that I highly recommend whether you’re looking for more information, education or support when it comes to breastfeeding. In the past few months, the meetings and events I attended made a huge difference in my confidence towards my tandem breastfeeding journey.
I have told my children’s birth stories before; to family, to friends, but I finally sit down and write them.
Today, I am 9 months postpartum for the second time, the same amount of time I carried each of my children in my womb, and in honor of that, I share their birth stories.
I begin with Penelope’s, my first born.
The technician at our 20 week ultrasound asked me and my husband if we wanted to know the sex of our baby. We didn’t, but I already knew. I have never been one to really think about the meaning of dreams, but when it comes to my children, they have been true. I met Penelope in my dreams years ago, and when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I was having a daughter. Picking names was easy. We had a boy name, just in case, but in my heart, our search was done once we had her name.
Penelope, “Weaver” in Greek, and Eve, “Life” in Hebrew; she was, and still is, our little weaver of life.
The same way I knew I was having a daughter, I also knew I wanted a home birth. It was important to me, I trusted I could do it, and it was just something I wanted. We found the most wonderful midwife, bought all our supplies for our planned home birth, rented a birth pool, read books, did prenatal yoga and classes; we did what we were supposed to do as expecting parents. My confidence as a first time mom-to-be was high, and I felt strong and prepared. The weeks passed, and so did our “due date”, but we knew we were close, and just patiently waited.
I was 40+3 weeks pregnant, winding down from another day passed. It was 9:30 pm, and just as I was feeling this was another day gone with no baby, I felt my first little contraction. I smiled. There was a note pad next to me, and I started writing down how often I was getting these period like cramps. I did that quietly for the next two hours, and only then, looked at my husband and said “I think I’m in labor”, ha! We tried to go to bed, and the excitement that labor was imminent didn’t allow me much sleep, but I made it through the night. My husband woke up later in the morning, made me an egg and avocado sandwich for breakfast, which I remember clearly, as I ended up flushing that down the toiler later, ha. We waited a few more hours before we called our midwife, my family arrived to keep us company, went for a walk, and a little after noon, my midwife arrived. When she checked me, I was about 7/8cm dilated! I was so excited, like “YES! I’ve got this, we’re almost there!”.
We called our birth photographer, my husband set up the birth pool, my midwife was getting all her equipment ready, the second midwife was on her way, my family in the living room downstairs, patiently waiting for this baby to be born; everyone had a job. At this point, my contractions were getting stronger, and I was bouncing on my toes as my coping technique. It was working well, but when they told me the pool was ready, I got in right away. My goodness; that was B L I S S. The warm water was so comforting and my contractions stopped for a wonderful break that I so desperately needed. Once the contractions started again though, they came on strong. One of them broke my water, as I felt a pop in between my legs, but the fluid was clear, which was a good sign; my baby was happy.
In the months leading up to labor, I had visualized how I saw the whole thing happening. I always saw myself giving birth during the day. At that moment, I was in the birth pool, the afternoon light was beautiful; it’s what I had been visualizing for months and it was happening. I was starting to get the urge to push, the end is near, but I still wasn’t fully dilated, and I had cervical lip. I got out of the pool, my midwife guided me through some movements that could better position Penelope’s head since that cervical lip was in the way, and I followed along.
At this point, my confidence from earlier in the day was starting to shift. I had progressed relatively quickly for the first part, but the last few centimeters were taking longer than I had expected. Of course, there is no formula for how quickly a cervix dilates, but at the time, I figured if I got to 7/8 cm easily, the last 3 were going to happen fast too, right? My body was doing everything it was supposed to do, but exhaustion was setting in, and with that, a little bit of fear, but mostly pain. The hours passed, the contractions kept getting stronger, and we still didn’t have a baby.
At around 6:30pm, almost 21 hours since I had felt my first little contraction, I was starting to feel like this baby was never going to come. At one point, I remember asking my midwife to “Just cut the baby out!”. We tried pushing to see if we could get the cervical lip out of the way, but it wasn’t moving. I was lying in bed, tossing and turning, trying to find the best position to cope with the surges, but they were very painful no matter what I tried. I looked at my husband and he knew what I was going to say, but as my biggest advocate, he was going to support the birth plan he knew I wanted. I was trying to be strong; I never once uttered that the contractions hurt, or that I was tired. I wanted the home birth I had been dreaming about for so long, but I was tired and tense. The more I tensed up my body to escape the pain, the less my contractions were working, but they still hurt just as much. I needed to rest, I needed a break. With a feeling of defeat, but great certainty that is is what I needed, I told my midwife that I needed help and wanted to transfer. At 9cm dilated, we grabbed our hospital bags, and transferred to the hospital.
The car ride to the hospital was horrible. My poor husband would have ran all the red lights if he could have, just to get there faster. My midwife had privileges at the hospital we transferred to, and walked right into a room when we got there; that was wonderful. I got some gas and air, and got an IV hooked up for all the things I was going to receive. I was GBS positive, and though we opted out of antibiotics for our planned home water birth, now at the hospital, I needed them. A pitocin drip was started, and still that last stubborn centimeter took 6 hours to dilate. The gas and air was wonderful, I was smiling away, but then that stopped working. The epidural was not part of my birth plan (planning a home birth), but at this point, I wasn’t refusing one, I was requesting one! The epidural was administered, and I wish I could say I was able to relax after, it really only took the edge off. I still moaned and groaned through my contractions, and adjusted my position on the bed as often I could with the restrictions of all the monitors on me. Several times, my midwife touched my thighs and belly and asked me if I could feel them, and I could.
Though we had transferred to the hospital, I was happy to still be working with my midwife exclusively. She was sitting a few feet away from me the whole time; she’s just amazing. My family were great too; bringing snacks to the hospital, sleeping on the floor or sharing couches to get some shut eye, to keep me company while I slowwwwly dilated. I felt guilty that I was taking so much of everybody’s time, but it made so happy to know this was my birth team. I rested as much as I could, and when early morning came, I was fully dilated and ready to push. I asked for more privacy at this point, and the only people in the room were my husband, my midwife (and lovely birth photographer) and a hospital nurse who would come in every now and then. It was quiet and intimate, which is something I wanted for my home birth. As the epidural had not taken well, I was able to use my contractions to help me, but as a first time mom, I still pushed for about 2 hours.
On May 13th, at 6:58 am, 33 hours after I had felt my first contractions in my basement couch, after many hours of roller coaster feelings and emotions, my beautiful baby was born. Everything in the world made sense again. She was perfect. My midwife placed this beautiful little being on my chest. She wasn’t crying; she was calm, lifted her head, and looked straight into my eyes as if to say “Hi Mama”. We met earth side. After a few seconds, she let out the quietest cry, and they confirmed that she was indeed a little girl; my Penelope. My husband cut the cord, they cleaned her up a bit, and she was back on my chest, skin to skin.
You never know how you’re going to react when you meet your child for the first time. My husband had the most wonderful tears of joy, and I, the emotional one out of the two, had none – go figure, haha. I was so happy, the happiest I have ever been, and all I could do was smile. Penelope was big, bigger than what I thought a new born baby would be like (she was 9 lbs too), but at the same time, she was the smallest and most precious little thing I had ever held. We kissed her, counted her toes, said her name and caressed the softest of skin. While I delivered my placenta, my husband did skin to skin with her, and I treasure the pictures captured of that moment.
Labor was officially done. Penelope and I were doing well, my perineum was intact, and 3 hours after Penelope was born, we were on our way home.
When we got home, I showered, then took a 4 hour nap with my new little family. It was perfect. After our nap, immediate family came over to meet Penelope, and for the rest of the evening, it was just the 3 of us; my new little family at home.
About 6 weeks later…
I got an email from my birth photographer letting me know that my photos and video were ready! My first reaction was excitement, and then I was nervous…
My birth had not gone as I had planned. I didn’t get the home birth I so very much wanted. We didn’t transfer due to an emergency; Penelope and I were healthy during the whole birthing process, it was me – I wasn’t able to do it. Would watching my birth video/photos bring back feelings that I had dealt with in the previous weeks? My baby was healthy, so was I, that’s all that matters! Yes, and no. I grieved the experience I didn’t get, and I feel incredibly guilty saying that, but it’s true. The birth experience is not a throw away. We all have a vision of how we want our births to be, and when we don’t get it, it’s sad. How can an experience that provides you the epitome of happiness and love the moment you meet your child, also be the same experience that, depending on how it went, can cause sadness as well. It’s a weird feeling, and for many weeks, I felt guilty that I associated a feeling of grief with the same experience that had brought me my beautiful daughter. I’m not the only woman who has felt this, and if you, the person reading this, has felt the same, know it’s OK to feel these feelings. It’s part of healing.
I sat in my photographer’s office, and I watched my birth video for the first time while Penelope nursed in my arms.
After watching it, I went upstairs, and she asked me “What did you think?” My first response, without thinking about it twice was, “I fell in love with Adam all over again”.
The woman misses a lot during the process of labor and delivery. Your body is doing a lot of work, and your mind doesn’t have energy to remember the details. I’m sure many women have thought “Oh, that’s right, that DID happen, etc” when remembering their birth stories. Just 6 weeks postpartum, I was watching my birth video and remembered things I had forgotten or missed. I was worried that my birth video was going to bring up feelings, and it did, but not the ones I thought. I saw my husband’s unconditional support during the entire process, the look of love and concern on his face, the tears when he saw his daughter for the first time. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
I noticed something else watching my birth video. I didn’t feel as much pain as I looked like I did. I remember labor being very hard, but I didn’t remember it being that hard. Perhaps it’s Mother Nature’s way of protecting the woman; a way of allowing us to heal from childbirth, by making us forget the “labor” part of giving birth, but remembering everything else. Just 6 weeks postpartum, I felt like I had learnt so much from my labor and delivery, and was wiser and more prepared if I had to do it again right then and there.
Time is a wonderful thing. I write my daughter’s birth story 2 years after she was born, and I write it with so many feelings of gratitude and love for the birth experience I did have. It was different than what I had planned, but it was beautiful. It taught me to be humble to an experience which I have no control of, and to be grateful for the beautiful things that happened outside that control. I was able to witness the amazing love and support from the people around me; my family, my midwife, my amazing husband. Giving birth was my official journey into motherhood, my transition from woman to mother, but it was more than that, the experience was part of their journey too; my parents became grandparents, my sister became an aunt, my husband became a father. It’s a beautiful thing.
Giving birth to my daughter will always be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I became a mother, I met the love of my life, and nothing takes away from that.
Thank you for reading. xo.
Oliver’s Birth Story here
My wonderful midwife, Teilya Kiely.
I remember being 9 months pregnant with Oliver, anxiously spending my last evenings before two under two googling and trying to gather up all the knowledge, tips and tricks to “surviving” this era that was about to begin. Some of the articles I found were helpful. Some were not. And frankly, most made two under two sound unnecessarily terrifying.
I have been a mom of two under two for almost 3 months now, and if there is anything I have learnt about the experience is Attitude. Is. Everything.
My confidence as a second time mother translated into a calm and relaxed approach, and my Two under Two hasn’t only been easier than I thought. It has been easy. Easy and wonderful! Like every other mom of a newborn, I didn’t get much sleep the first few weeks, and there was an adjustment period for sure. I also have harder days, I deal with toddler tantrums, and clean up poop explosions. All that is just part of motherhood with young babies though, and you just handle it and it’s not so bad.
In any case, to the moms like me, who were/are googling the “How’s to” for two under two, my advice below:
– Relax. I promise you, taking care of two under two is easier than being pregnant while taking care of a toddler.
– Practice, establish or reinforce a routine with your toddler before the baby arrives. A routine gave my toddler a sense of “normality” in the midst of a lot of change, and made the adjustment a lot easier, which in turn, makes it easier for Mama too ;)!
– If you can, try to synchronize naps so you can rest, even for 20 minutes, kid free.
– You are super mom, and you can do it!
– Make sure YOU are eating well and staying hydrated! Prep lots of meals and stack up on snacks. Lack of energy will make everything harder- nobody likes being HANGRY haha!
– Accept/ Recruit help! Husband/Grandparents/Friends/Neighbours/Co-Workers, etc. Whatever they want to help with- accept! #ittakesavillage
– You WILL love them both the same. No explanation needed. You just will.
– Take care of the toddler first! One of my girlfriends, who also has two under two, gave me this advice, and it’s probably been the best so far! If both kids are crying, put the baby in a safe place, and take care of the toddler first. The baby can wait a minute or two, but toddlers are sensitive creatures (haha) so the sooner a meltdown is avoided, the better.
– Get out of the house. Small outings. A walk around the mall. Trip to the library. Trip to fill up on gas or get a coffee through a drive-thru. Just get out. It will be good for you and the kids. Plus you practice leaving the house with two.
– Find beauty and humor in every moment. Especially the hard ones. Like I said, attitude is everything.
– Enjoy the experience. The first couple of weeks will be a little hard, yes. The first couple of weeks will also fly by, so embrace it all! Enjoy the newborn and toddler cuddles in the best way you can…even if that means nursing with a toddler on your lap.
– It gets easier every day.
Two under Two is what you make it. Whatever filter you view it under, is what it will be. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I dedicate this video to my Two under Two sweet little loves, and thank them for how wonderful they have made life, now that they’re in the world.