When I was pregnant with Stinkbug, one of my main concerns about having two children was balancing our dailyness– when would I take a shower? how could I go grocery shopping? when (and where) would they nap? what would my toddler do while I nursed the baby?
Looking back now that I’ve balanced two children for almost eighteen months, I can say that all those details were fuzzy at first, and it took some time for it all to be ironed out, but now juggling the day-to-day needs of two little ones is just what I do naturally.
I am not by any means perfect at scheduling our lives, and by nature I’m not too strict of a scheduler. I like to have a basic, flexible idea of what will happen in a day and then go with the flow. Oh, the laundry is overflowing from the hamper? I guess it’s time to throw in a load or two. The fridge is bare? Today must be grocery day. The kids are bored and whiny? Better head to the playground. It’s rainy and cold? Let’s have a craft time together.
Sometimes I can be bogged down with this idea that I need to have “it” more together than I do… some mommy bloggers have printable versions of their daily planners available for you to download. I read blogs of moms who home school kids #1, #2, #3 and have a nursing baby. There are moms who have never served a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese to their kids, making everything from scratch with 100% organic fruits and veggies from the local produce co-op. Some women make amazing goods during nap-time and sell the products on Etsy.com bringing in extra income for the family. If I’m not careful, I can very easily start to feel inferior and not worthy of the title “mom”.
With some very basic time in the Word and prayer, I am quickly reminded that God made me a mother. He knew I wasn’t a detailed-planner (about most things), and that I often am late for appointments (without Hubby’s help), that PB&J and macaroni and cheese are kid staple foods in my opinion, and yet He chose, in His infinite lovingkindness to give me two children to love and raise for His glory.
In order to balance the daily grind with two under two, a few things became quickly obvious to me:
1. The TV is not the devil. Yes, there is a lot of trash out there, and my kids usually just watch their Praise Baby or Elmo DVDs, but it is not sinful to let your kids veg in front of the TV for thirty minutes so you can wash your hair. They will be alright.
2. A little sugar (or Kraft macaroni and cheese) doesn’t kill. With all the rage about real and organic today, I am amazed at the extremes we Americans choose to live our lives. The key here (as with TV) is to keep things in moderation. One lollipop, one serving of mac and cheese, one cookie, one bowl of Spaghettios will not hurt them! (I do cook for my family on a regular basis and we don’t eat processed foods very often, but every once in awhile…)
3. Some days you will accomplish a lot. Other days you will not. Some days you will feel like superwoman, starting laundry, getting everyone fed, keeping diapers dry, hitting the grocery store with no tantrums– and other days you will still be in your jammies at 4pm wondering why you signed up for this mom gig. The hardest thing about this job is that most of it never ends– the dishes will get dirty again, the rug won’t stay vacuumed, the laundry will re-pile itself– it will never all be finished!
4. Before you can even imagine, your baby will become a toddler, who will become a preschooler, who will become a child, who will become a pre-teen, who will become a teen, who will become a college student (hopefully) and move away. Cherish these days of spilled milk and snotty kisses, too soon they will be gone.