I hate to admit it, but I dreaded those first few days at home alone with both Parker and Mia. Aside from the fact that I was still healing and exhausted from waking up several times a night, I had no idea how in the world to take care of two kids — both in diapers — at the same time.
Parker goes to school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, so Mondays and Fridays are “mommy days” from the time Zach leaves for work around 8 am until he gets home at 6 pm. Truth be told, I was pretty terrified when that first Monday rolled around.
It was rough in the beginning. Parker wanted my constant attention, and he also wanted to climb all over the baby to give her hugs and kisses (usually while I was nursing her). “Baby down” and “put baby in swing” were common phrases out of his mouth; he was much happier when I focused on him alone. I felt like the days were endless, especially since it rained so much which meant we were stuck inside.
But every day with both kids at home got a little easier. We started to establish a routine, and the novelty of Mia wore off for Parker. He got used to having her and is now at the point where he asks for her as soon as he wakes up in the morning. We’re seven weeks in to life with 2, and now I look forward to Mondays and Fridays.
Our days now have some actual structure, which has made all the difference. A typical “mommy day” goes a little something like this.
5:00 am – I set my alarm for this time every day, but I usually don’t end up needing it thanks to Mia. She typically wakes up to eat at about 4:30, so I scoot her rock ‘n play into the nursery, change her diaper, and feed her before putting her back down. Then I go downstairs, make my coffee, and get some work done while everyone is still sleeping.
7:30 am – Parker usually wakes up around this time. I get him up and changed, then bring him downstairs for breakfast. Zach usually feeds him and they hang out together while I take a shower and get ready for the day.
8:00 am – The next couple of hours are nice because Mia sleeps while Parker and I spend some one-on-one time together. If it’s nice we’ll play in the backyard, come in and have a snack, hang out in the playroom, and maybe watch an episode of Daniel Tiger on Netflix.
10:00 am – Mia wakes up, so Parker and I go upstairs to change her (he loves being my helper and throwing away diapers) and then I nurse her while Parker plays in the room. This is the point where I’m ready to get out of the house, so if it’s not raining, we’ll load up the double stroller and go for a long walk around the neighborhood. I love our walks so much, because Parker and I talk the whole time while Mia snoozes. The things that come out of his mouth crack me up. If the weather is bad, we will go run a quick errand — one that doesn’t require leaving the car, like getting gas or running through Starbucks ;)
11:30 am – Parker will usually have a snack when we get home, or if he’s really hungry, lunch. I put him down for his paci-free nap and then nurse Mia. Once they are both asleep, I come downstairs to make myself some lunch and catch up on email.
1:30 pm – Parker wakes up around this time, and is usually hungry again (either for lunch or a snack if he already ate before his nap). I feed him and then we either play in the backyard or in his playroom until Mia wakes up.
2:30 pm – I nurse Mia and then we head back outside if it’s not raining. This time I’ll wear Mia in the Moby wrap and put Parker in his wagon, just to change things up a little. Zach got me a FitBit for my birthday, so I get pretty excited on nice days when I can rack up my steps.
4:00 pm – Come back in for a snack and some chill time. Parker will either play with his toys, ride his train or scooter around, or we’ll all read books together. I try not to have him watch too much TV throughout the day, aside from an episode in the morning and maybe another right before Zach comes home.
5:30 pm – I call this the “witching hour” because Parker starts to get a little stir-crazy and Mia is cranky. At this point we usually go outside and play in the front yard while we wait for Zach. We are all pretty happy when we see him coming down the street :)
We’ve also ventured out for pool days and play dates, and hopefully over time I’ll get more comfortable being out and about with both kids. All in all, I’m starting to get the hang of this “mom of 2” gig, though we still have plenty of bumps in the road. I’m pretty sure that will always be the case, no matter how experienced I am…because, parenthood.