Survival Guide: Going from 1 to 2

Clearly not “A Guide to the Perfect Mother’s Day Photo.”

Y’all know I’m all about #survivalmode when it comes to adulting and parenting. Call me a lazy mom if you wish, but if anything, I’m a *busy* mom with a sometimes stressful job, a husband who works crazy hours, and now two kids who are really needy but in really different ways. Since the moment we announced the pregnancy that no one expected, I wondered how we were going to manage two. T was born on December 22, and I started easing my way back into work on March 1.

This is what I’ve learned:

Pregnancy with a Toddler
Status: “Tired doesn’t even scratch the surface. Toddler becomes immune to the sound of gagging.”

  • If you pay $5.99 a month for the PlayKids app, it might buy you a 30-minute nap each day.
  • Consider purchasing multiple wifi capable devices for the toddler and rotate them on and off the charger (kidding, kind of…).
  • For the first time in parenthood, everyone is cool eating the same meal three times a day so you should take advantage: cereal, mac and cheese, or grilled cheese…and candy.
  • Give yourself ALL the grace.
  • Don’t be a hero, keep drinking your coffee.

Bringing Baby Home to Toddler
Status: “Where am I and who are all these other people?”

  • Accept food from whomever is offering to bring it to you.
  • Amazon Pantry and Shipt are well worth the cash in the early days.
  • For the love of all things holy, DON’T FORGET TO BUY GAS DROPS.
  • If someone asks “what can I do to help?” reply, “laundry.”
  • Be sure devices are charged AT ALL TIMES.
  • Be prepared for toddler to ask you to moo like a cow if you decide to pump.
  • Under no circumstances allow your partner to return to work four days after your child is born.
  • If for some insane reason both children happen to be asleep at the same time, 1. I hate you and 2. You BETTER be asleep, too.
  • Toddler getting special time with the grandparents or whomever your village consists of is ideal, and will help with the transition.
  • Give yourself ALL the grace.
  • Don’t be a hero, keep drinking your coffee…and wine.
There’s an adjustment period…for everyone.

Going Back to Work, Again
Status: “OMG I haven’t slept in like a whole year and I hope I don’t kill anyone (on accident or on purpose).”

  • Read this: Survival Guide–Returning to Work
  • Call all of the people that were going to bring you a meal when you came home and you turned them down because you had a million meals in the fridge — you need them now.
  • If your work schedule is making things more stressful, talk with “the powers that be” and see if there is some flexibility.
  • Use your village.
  • Read this: The Full Plate Club.
  • Let go of your guilt — maybe find a therapist to help you out with that (ask me, I know a good one).
  • Try and give your toddler some one-on-one time. A mama-toddler date will make him or her feel like they’re still important and loved when #2 has been especially needy.
  • Give yourself ALL the grace.
  • Don’t be a hero, keep drinking your coffee…and wine.


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