Well, I’m knackered. Having two children is knackering. It’s like a gentle chaos and there’s a never-ending list but it’s totally worth it.
Ada is 10 and a half weeks old now (where does the time go?!) and I *think* we’ve found our new normal. I didn’t really have any expectations before Ada arrived other than knowing that life was going to change and I think that’s helped a lot with trying to find our new routine.
For any soon-to-be mums of two I thought I’d share some of the products and general life tips that are helping me to stay alive and sane right now.
Get out and about.
I’ve never been one to stay in the house all day, I love my house (not as much as normal right now, I find that maternity leave gives you the opportunity to pick apart every little thing about your home that you don’t quite like, turn it into something huge and then spend the rest of the time hating it until you change it) but we have to get out. Harley doesn’t start nursery until September so he’s with me and Ada all day therefore I’m conscious that I want to keep him entertained and me a little bit sane. For us mornings are best, so we’re up and out first thing so that Harley can nap in the afternoon whilst I attempt to catch-up on housework, reality TV (all the important stuff) and general life admin as long as Ada will allow me – she’s a cuddle-lover. But seriously, getting out of the house and into the fresh air, whether it be a trip to the shops, a quick walk or a playdate does wonders for you all and then you can totally justify that cup of tea and Geordie Shore marathon in the afternoon.
Soft Play is your friend.
I have always hated soft play. Until now. I’ve written all about it here, I even wrote an ode to it. But seriously, a small contained soft play where your toddler can run free is the stuff dreams are made of. There are a couple of local ones we like to frequent (for Solihull/Birmingham mums, Haystacks Play Barn is amazing) that are small enough for Harley to go in by himself whilst I feed Ada and have a cup of boiling hot tea. Living the dream. Last week we went to four different soft plays in four days, I like to think of myself as a soft play connoisseur.
Get yourself a buggy board.
Harley hasn’t gone in a pushchair since he was about 18 months, he’s always wanted to walk, and I soon learnt that the only thing that pushchair was carrying was a changing bag and snacks. So now I’m getting used to life with a pushchair again (pros: somewhere to put bags and it makes me walk super fast / cons: nobody moves for pushchairs therefore giving me the rage). My cousin recommended I get a buggy board for Harley as he’s still at the age where he’ll dart off at the drop of the hat, especially if there’s chocolate or anything Cars-related in sight. We’re using Harley’s old Silver Cross Surf 2 pushchair as it’s still as good as new so managed to get a Silver Cross buggy board from a local mums buy and sell Facebook page. It’s made going out so much easier, especially as I sold it to Harley as a skateboard and he loves being pushed around on it.
Accept that your house will never be tidy.
If it was hard with one, it’s pretty much impossible with two. Don’t get me wrong, Ada doesn’t do any of the untidying, that lies firmly with Harley aka The Destroyer. He’s not happy if he can see an inch of the floor and will be straight over to the Ikea Kallax unit (the iPhone of the toy storage world) to tip out another box of cars or LEGO. But now there’s more of them than there is of me it’s not so easy to tidy. Some days I worry that if the postman looks through our living room window he’ll think we’ve been burgled.
Allow yourself ALOT of time to leave the house.
I’ve always been a planner and love lists but I’ve really had to up my game. My advice is to pack the changing bag and sort out the kids clothes the night before, then make a list of everything else you need to add in the morning. Even then there will still be lots to do and you’re guaranteed to have forgotten about seven things.
Bribery. It works, don’t fight it.
If The Toddler Life has taught me anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. One thing I have found that works is bribery. It sounds bad, but it’s not. Well not really. If we’re popping to the shops Harley knows that if he’s well-behaved before we go home we’ll go and get a small toy (his new thing is Cars blind bags – roughly £2/2.50 and they contain a mini diecast Cars character, they’re great and I may have become a little obsessed with making sure we have every one in the series). I know that leaving soft play is basically Harley’s worst nightmare come true so I’m always armed with small treats to get him into the car. It makes him happy and life just that little bit easier for me.
Enjoy every moment.
Even if it feels like all you’ve done is change nappies, get a little bit shouty at the toddler, and sterilise bottles all day. You’ll never get this time back again, and I’m trying to enjoy every moment. This will probably be our last time of experiencing the newborn stage as Tom tells me ‘no more babies’, so even when Harley’s thrown the mother of all tantrums, Ada has pooed all over my clean jeans and the house looks like it’s been ransacked, I’m still trying to smile. Even if it means that I’ve had to hide in the kitchen to eat my breakfast (a chocolate biscuit) at 2pm without Harley seeing me.
I remember watching Keeping up with the Kardashians a few years ago when one of the sisters were pregnant and Kris was trying to prepare her for life as a mum of two, telling her that ‘one was one but two is one hundred’. Never has a truer word been spoken. But you know what? I love our new chaos. My team rocks.
The Aspiring Yummy Mummy. x