Monday, April 17, 2017

Last week of two under two!

I can't believe this is my last week of having two babies under two. I'm about to have a 24 month old and an 8 month old. Nolan was 16 months when Eliza was born so we have had 8 months of two children under two. I will say that when I look back, these past 8 months have been some of the most exhausting, overwhelming, and challenging times that I've ever experienced but it has also been some of the most rewarding, most precious, and most special times too. It is such an honor to get to be parents to these two sweet babies. It wasn't always easy but we've almost made it through having two under two!

When I look back on the past few months, it seems fast and slow all at the same time. There have been things I worried about before Eliza was born that didn't end up being an issue, and there have also been new challenges I never even dreamed of. What I've learned in my two years of being a Mom is that things are always changing with your children, and it's important to be adaptable. This is something I've struggled a bit with because I am generally a pretty organized, structured person. In the past 8 months, I have found I'd had to shift my priorities and focus on raising my family. Most other things have been put on hold while we focus on our kids, our marriage, and our home. 

This stage of raising small children is a very consuming stage. That "fog" parents often refer to, I certainly feel like is our current state. I constantly feel tired, pulled in different directions, and am often making mistakes. I will say adding on a second child especially one close in age has felt like more than double the responsibility. We are now in man to man coverage at night, and I am out numbered during the day. It's a completely different dynamic that has taken much more time to adjust to than I expected. I've also found it interesting how different both of my children are as babies. They are each unique in their own ways with varying strengths and weaknesses. I'm learning it's best not to compare your children to each other and instead appreciate each of them for who they are. 

My neighbor recently said to me the other day that each child can't be raised the same because the situation is different. A first child is able to get all of the attention. The second child never gets that one on one the first child had and both children have to learn to split the attention. I'd imagine with more kids you continue to learn and adapt. It got me thinking a bit about birth order and how I wonder if the way people turn out is influenced by whether they were an only child, a middle child, or a youngest child. I think it's fun to think about that.

One thing I also find challenging about parenting is how there isn't a right or a wrong way to raise a person. It's a series of trial and error, of making mistakes, of trying something new, and of figuring out what works best for your children and your family. I often have to remind myself that my husband and I know our kids better than anyone else does. We can't compare another family to ours because the variables are different. At the end of the day, we are doing the best we can to raise kind, caring, and compassionate individuals. 

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