On any given morning I awake, having barely slept, to one boob out, a baby under my armpit, and a toddler’s little toes dangerously close to my lips. If you are in the 2 under 2 club, then you undoubtedly know how it feels. You also have experienced double crying, tandem nursing (or bottle feeding), a full on tantrum with simultaneous diaper blow out… oh and let’s not forget the husband watching you lovingly but at a complete loss as to how to help you and STILL expecting a hot meal in 30 minutes. But we know this life is also a pure blessing. There is nothing that can melt my mommy heart faster than two little peacefully sleeping faces, or watching my tot interact with her baby sister sharing the things she loves.
I have learned that routine is the mother of all solutions with two under two (oh did I mention I also have a 10-year-old who is home schooled?). Routines keep me sane and give the kids structure and clear expectations, and YES an almost two-year-old can identify and meet expectations within reason. My essential routines are Morning, at The Office, and Bedtime.
(Sirach 26:16) 16 As the sun when it ariseth in the high heaven; so is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of her house.
The morning is seriously my most peaceful time of the day. The house is still, and I can get a few things done between 6 am, and 8 am. Yes, I struggle to get up, but with some coffee I make it happen. It’s not only me getting a head start on the day but also a success strategy, but that’s another topic for another day.
I’m a working mom so my mornings consist of setting my caretakers up for success. Prepping food, setting out diapers and wipes, making sure they have a change of clothes handy, etc.
I also take this time to take care of myself. Pray, meditate, a little work. Believe me; there is a lot that can get done in 2 hours with sleeping babies. For all of my mommies that CEO from home, this routine may work well at nap time too.
I am fortunate enough to be able to bring my children to work with me. I have a children’s area just for them. Liz (my oldest) has her designated hours when she is working on school work and designated hours when she is my assistant (which she loves). While I am working and have no clients in the office, I strap my baby to my belly so we can have our one on one skin to skin time. Sarai (21-month-old) sits in her chair right next to my desk, and we work on letters and flash cards. I still have two free hands to multitask.
There are plenty of times I have to start on dinner at the office in the crock pot (which I use nearly every day! It’s a game changer) to make sure hubby gets that hot meal he’s been looking forward to all day.
When we get home, I clean, I make sure to take the time to just play with no agenda or listen to my nonstop talking pre teen, lol.
A Side Note About Delegation
As a wife, mommy, CEO I know I struggle with guilt ALL THE TIME. We have been taught that our family is our first priority and we need to be in perfect balance at all times. I recently heard this definition of balance that truly helped me reduce my guilt of choosing to work over say, spend an hour with the kids in the park. I think it was Tony Robbins who said if you watch a baby learning to walk you will see his attempt to balance by moving forward. Balance isn’t always going to look even, but it will always be progress.
Also, get your older children, tots, husbands, and caretakers on board with the expectations of managing the home. You are the Queen, not the maid. Don’t treat your family as if they are unequipped to handle business. Remember, we are raising Kings and Queens, that takes practice.
Bedtime is my absolute favorite routine! Because my 10-year-old can do her own thing, the girls bathe together, and the Hubs or Liz helps with the process. This is great family time for us. We let Sarai play in the tub for about 20 minutes or so. If your little ones are challenged going sleep, try a 30-minute bath with lavender + chamomile scented shea butter massage; OOOHHHHH Baby!
We try to read together for a few minutes before bed, usually big sister will read to the little ones while mommy and daddy support keeping them engaged.
Now, that I have shared my “Staple” routine, feel free to put them to the test. Especially if you ever find yourself asking the question: “How am I supposed to get all these things done?”
What are some of the things that keep you sane with 2 under 2? I would love to share techniques in the comments.