It has finally happened. My sweet girl has hit the 6 month mark. It still shocks me daily how quickly she is growing. It feels like it was only yesterday that I was pregnant, impatiently awaiting her arrival.
I remember wondering what her personality would be like; expecting her to be similar to her sister, but with her own quirks. She is nothing like her sister, guys.
It both baffles and amazes me how two completely different souls could come from one pairing. One sensitive and giggly. One fearless and goofy. Both stubborn and inquisitive, with fierce determination. Both still so little, but getting big much faster than I’d like.
Raising Irish twins is no joke. It has left my heart filled with so much love and joy, but also left me crying in the dark at 2 am out of frustration and exhaustion. It has given me patience, but left me with anxiety.
I’ve been gifted an adventure filled with endless transformation and personal growth. I don’t know it all, but I would like to share a bit of what I’ve learned along the way.
What I’ve Learned In My First 6 Months As A Mom Of 2 Under 2
- Toddlers are mini narcissists. No joke guys. Finley is currently in the mindset of “if it doesn’t benefit me then why does it even exist.” It can be fun at times, but mostly this leaves me constantly reminding myself that she will grow out of this stage.
- “Two” doesn’t actually start at two. I don’t like to think of my children as “terrible”, though they definitely can be at times. So, instead of saying “terrible twos” we’ve adopted the phrase “trying twos”… and it definitely did NOT start at two. Finley has been in this stage since about 14 months old. And, while we have adapted to it, I wasn’t expecting it that early. I’m interested to see when Loxley enters this stage.
- Patience grows a little more everyday. At least once a week a say “My patience is about pushed past its peak.” To my surprise, that peak is ever growing. I was never known as a patient person, but motherhood as forced me into developing patience naturally.
- Nap time is sometimes impossible. When it was just Finley, nap time was a breeze. With two, not so much. I’m pretty sure they can sense when the other is almost asleep and they purposely wake each other to spite me. At least that’s what it feels like on those no-nap day. Yep, we have them. Yep, they suck. But, it is what it is. Plus, a 6pm bedtime is always an option those days.
- Bedtime? What’s that? Yeah, we’ve had our struggles with those too. Loxley doesn’t like to sleep until about 10pm. Since Finley is usually in bed by 8pm, it can be a pain to get her to sleep because she feels like she’s missing out on something.
- “Sisterly love” is developed under strict supervision. I loved the idea my two girls snuggling, giggling, and being best friends. But, because of Finley’s developmental stage and personality, she wasn’t able to be close to Loxley for the first few months. Even now, at 6 months, I don’t allow them by each other without heavy supervision. Finley is a very wild and high energy little one. She is always jumping around and isn’t naturally gentle. That, on top of her age ,makes it very unsafe for Loxley. It’s not that they don’t or won’t have that sisterly bond, they are just too little at this moment to understand.
- It will pass. Loxley was colicky straight out of the womb. Her first three months of life Earthbound, left me exhausted, frustrated, emotional, and feeling hopeless. I remember the days I would cry in the dark at 2am out of frustration because she wouldn’t sleep and had be whaling for eight hours straight. I remember feeling guilty for wanting to fast forward through those first three months instead of wanting to soak it all in. I remember getting the comments “wow, you just snapped back” and “you look great!” I remember getting those comments and smiling, but secretly thinking, “that’s because I rarely have time to eat or sleep and I am always moving.” I regret my mindset during that time. I felt stuck and bitter, leaving me to remember the bad over the good. My advice to you is to keep it mind that it will pass. Tough times don’t stick around forever. Don’t let the lack of sleep outweigh those bonding moments.
- Diets are for those with kids who sleep. Speaking of eating, my diet tanked after my second was born. I had these grand ideas of cooking all the time and eating so healthy, but nope. It’s pizza rolls and frozen burritos for this mama most of the time, because microwaves are easier to keep toddlers away from than ovens.
- Your heart is never full. I had this silly fear when I first found out that I was pregnant with Loxley that I wouldn’t be able to love another baby as much as I loved Finley. Love has no capacity guys.
- “Love” and “Like” are not always equals. I love both my girls equally, but there are moments throughout the day that I may like one more than the other. Like when Finley purposely tries to break my face with her head, or when Loxley spits up on the brand new outfit that I just put on.
- Walking away is a powerful sanity saver. Sometimes you’ve just got to let that baby cry. There are a countless number of times that I have walked out of the room for just 10 seconds to breathe and check my mindset before heading back into the battle. Learning this instantly made me a better mom. It lessened the likelihood that I would snap and yell at my oldest and put me in a clear space to actually talk to her and help her understand why I was upset.
- There is no such thing as an “expert” mom. Since I started my journey through motherhood I’ve had a wonderful support system backed by years of experience. My mother, my grandmother, and my great grandmother each had four children, yet there were still many things none of them could teach me. What works for me as a parent is going to be different than what worked for my mom, just like what works for me with parenting Finley is not that same as what works for Loxley. Each person is different, whether it be mom, dad, or baby. Parenting is a personal learning process of trial and error, and fake it til you make it.
- Plans will never go as planned. So, I actually love making plans. I planned a Seattle day trip a couple months ago and was a bit bummed with the girls had a meltdown during the very first activity, so we had to change things up a bit. Babies are much more sensitive and needy than we are. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we have to plan for them too, and then have a plan B and C. Life will be much easier if you let go of the expectation of “things going according to plan.”
- You are as strong as a Mother. Parenting is hard. I’ve always had tremendous respect for my mom, but I respect her on an entirely different level after becoming a mother myself. Being a mother, or someone who raises a child, takes literal blood, sweat, and tears. I have reached points of a exhaustion I didn’t know was possible. I have given my all to someone a third my size who spent an entire day screaming at me. I have put dreams and plans on hold… all for a heart that is full. Being a mom takes a lot of strength, and we should be proud of that.
So there you have it. There are my little tidbits of advice and information. I hope you found some of this useful or maybe it even resonated with you. How many two under two moms do we have out there? What are some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
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