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reflections on my first week as a SAHM of two

September 16, 2013

My first week parenting two kiddos full time?  Nailed it!

🙂

Seriously, though.  There were many moments this week that made me feel like supermom — the girls and I baked a two-layer chocolate cake from scratch and then covered it in frosting also made from scratch (I’ve never done that before!), Lilly spent a bunch of time concentrating on a new activity that I set out for her, Elli gained weight and started nursing/acting like a real newborn (and not just a sleepy premie).  Lilly continues to be head-over-heels crazy about her baby sister, and so patient when I’m sitting and nursing Elli.

And then, of course, there are those moments where it’s like what is going on here.  Elli is still waking every 2-3 hours to feed, and because I’m bottle feeding and then pumping at night, I’m up for an hour to an hour and half each time.  So I think I’m getting about 4-6 hours of sleep, broken into roughly two hour segments.  And until I caught up on sleep over the weekend, my vision was getting a little blurry.

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It seems a little like everything goes so smoothly and then *BAM* everyone needs food at once, or I’m busy with Elli and Lilly has an accident (potty training, I love/hate you!), or something similar.  And then, just as soon as chaos began, it subsides and everything is great again.  So it seems like the hardest part of this is trying to get enough sleep to keep it cool when the chaos strikes.  So far, (mostly) so good.

We made it on two outings last week — to the playground & lunch with daddy, and to the library.  Leaving the house sometimes boosts all of our moods, and it’s nice to have somewhere different for Lilly to explore while I sit and hold/nurse Elli.  Lilly plays really nicely by herself – both at home and when we’re out, so that makes things a bit easier for mama.  (I like to joke that we’ve been strategically ignoring her for the past 9 months in preparation for getting less attention when her sibling arrives, but truthfully, she is quite independent and used to playing on her own at this point.)  Elli is just starting to wake up, and only really fusses for food, so that also makes my job pretty easy.  It’s also nice that I am better at picking up on hunger signals than I was with Lilly, so I can feed Elli before she even has to cry.  Also, the Moby wrap is proving itself to be a necessity – I can hang out/play/interact with Lilly while still getting sweet Elli cuddles, and Elli sleeps much better when secured in the Moby than when I’m just holding her.

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We also made it to the zoo over the weekend.  Elli mostly slept, Lilly enjoyed the bears, chimpanzees, and had her first ever goat encounter (we were so surprised when she actually began brushing the goats — she’d stand in front of them and say, “I brush you, goat” before actually brushing them).

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The days move faster with two little ones needs to tend to, but it doesn’t seem as dramatic of a change as when we had Lilly.  I think at this point, I’m used to being on call constantly, used to keeping track of feeding times and sleep, and used to not having much time to myself.  I remember freaking out after Lilly was born because I was always needed – I’d feed, and then have very little time before she’d need me to feed again.  I don’t feel like that this time, probably because my days had shifted to focus on the kiddos before Elli was even with us!  I also am aware of how fast this first year will fly… again, I remember feeling like Lilly’s night waking WOULD NEVER END and even shedding a few tears because MAMA JUST NEEDS SLEEP SOMETIME, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.  I am more exhausted this time, but I know that soon enough the sleepless nights will end, and the cuddles will become fewer and farther between.  So it’s fine for now, and I’ll even admit to loving some of the quiet moments I’m sharing with a very-awake Elli at all hours of the morning.  But I’d still take a solid 12-hour stretch of sleep if offered one.  Of course.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2013 10:28 pm

    This is exactly how I felt when we had Claire. To a T. Thanks for the flashback, I’m glad it’s going so well for you!

  2. September 17, 2013 11:27 am

    I love reading your updates and am happy to hear how well everything is going. Your little ones are lucky to have such an awesome momma.

    Also – looking for tips to make my kid a little more independent? He LOVES to play with me or friends. Not very great on his own. Although, I also know he comes by this naturally. His momma may also prefer to be surrounded by others.

    • October 2, 2013 2:38 pm

      Finally, a free moment to respond! 🙂

      I think part of it may be the age — I don’t remember Lilly really playing by herself until 18 months or so. I’ve also been reading a lot on Montessori methods, which has an emphasis on independence for the child. I’m certainly not an expert, but what I’ve learned is that it’s important to have the environment prepared for your little one to be independent. In our house, that means that toys are neat & accessible — we rotate toys on her low shelves since too many toys tend to cause her to just dump them everywhere; she really only plays/uses each object when there are fewer objects to reach. Also, rotation means that the toys seem new again when they’re placed back on the shelves, which draws her to them. I also try to watch her play and set up specific activities in advance to respond to what she seems interested in — some days this is successful and results in lengthy independent play, other days I am waaaaaaay off. Another important thing I learned from my reading is that when your child is concentrating, don’t draw attention to yourself. This was a difficult concept at first — I was like shouldn’t I be providing encouragement!?! But I think that what that ultimately does is disrupt your child’s natural curiosity/attention span and draws attention to you over whatever your child was initially interested in. So there is much quiet observation of her when she’s playing (so that I can get ideas for the next activity), and also time for me to do what I need to do. This has required me to think about the home environment in a new way, too, making sure that whatever is accessible to her is safe for her to play with/use so that I don’t have to constantly say “don’t touch that”.

      I hope this is helpful… I can recommend some Montessori books/blogs if you’re interested, or I’m really happy to talk/type more about it since I’m pretty into it right now. 🙂

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