Transition. The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. Other words for transition may be change, move, passage, transformation, conversion, adaptation, adjustment.
I have no idea why but for some reason in my fairy tale mind, I thought that transitioning from one to two kids was going to be a breeze. Yep. Looking back now I guess it was not that I thought it was going to be easy it’s just that I didn’t really give it too much thought. I knew outings to the grocery store were going to be a little trickier but I didn’t think how every single thing we did was going to be affected.
Nash was 2 years and 1 month old (almost to the day) when Nora was born. The first couple weeks mostly seem like a big blur. But I do remember one thing vividly. We were home from the hospital for approximately 13 hours and Dan had to fly out to New York for work. It.was.terrible. The first night at home with a newborn means no sleep and everyone was extremely tired. Dan was gone for 4 days and it was the most exhausted I had ever been in my life. Nash had been acting out in extreme jealously and by the time bath time came around, he and I were both sitting on each side of the tub, staring at each other, bawling our eyes out. He was feeling so much confusion and I felt so much guilt.
Fast forward 8 months later and I can confidently and happily say we have all began to enjoy our new little family more and are much more rested now. However, I will be honest and say that this smooth transition from one to two kids has only happened because we have all became more intentional.
I feel like I could share so much about how we’ve made this transition but I will share what I feel like helped us (as a family) the most.
-Sleep. I think that sleep is crucial to be a peaceful human being. If I am sleep deprived, I am cranky. I can say the same for my toddler and infant too. Nora takes 2-3 naps a day but I am intentional at keeping her on her routine and she sleeps in her crib (personal preference) Somedays Nash takes a nap also. He gets to lay in our bed and we have quiet time together. If he doesn’t nap, we will read books etc. It’s a special time of just him and I. I have seen SUCH a good difference in his behavior towards Nora when he gets one on one time with me. Also, both kids have a bedtime of 7:30/8pm and we are really strict with sticking to that.
-Prepping. This is more so for me. I prep EVERYTHING. Going on a play date in the morning? You better believe that our bag is packed with every diaper, bottle, snack, change of clothes etc. the night before. When we wake up, all we have to do is get dressed and we can be out the door. I even lay out the kids clothes (down to their socks/shoes) the night before. Decision fatigue is a real thing and I don’t have time for that in the early morning! I prep my coffee the night before so it’s ready for me as soon as I wake up. A toddler and infant can be really needy in the AM hours haha. Nash wakes up 30 minutes to 1 hour before Nora. This also helps because I can tend to his needs in the morning and focus on him before I have to feed Nora etc. (This has just came with time. Obviously Nora wasn’t sleeping in so much when she was more of a newborn)
-One on one time. I kind of touched on this previously but I try to spend one on one time with each child as much as possible. If one is sleeping, I am intentional on spending at least a few minutes with the child that is awake. I love to take each kiddo once a week-ish and do something with just them. Nash loves coming to the gym with me so this is something only he gets to do that makes him feel special. I love taking Nora to baby classes at the library. Even if you are only able to do this once a month, I think it is so important as our kids grow!
-Seperation. Nash is a boy with tons of energy. Sometimes he is a little too rough with Nora for my liking or just in her space too much. If I see he is having a hard time keeping his hands to himself, I will wear her in the sling, let her play in her crib with some toys, put her in the high chair with some snacks, put her in her walker, you get the idea. It just gives both of them a clear boundary and I am not driving myself insane asking him to stop or worrying if she is going to get hurt. I also just want to note that I do this silently. I don’t tell Nash I’m putting her here because of him. I don’t want him to feel the shame/guilt of how that might feel to him. If he is actually hurting her then I will deal with this in a separate way once she is attended to and isolated.
-Time. The answer no one really wants to hear but it’s true. Just like most things, mothering multiple children gets better with time. I don’t think it will ever be easy but it just becomes more natural <3