Today I checked Timehop and was greeted with a photo that on the surface looks similar to what I did today. It is a picture of the kids in the stroller. It might not look like a big deal, but it was a huge reminder to me of how much things have changed.
Last year we were in the midst of living with 2 under 2. Audrey was only 19 months old and Elliot was only six weeks old. It was so hard.
Audrey only had a few words at that point. She was used to being the center of our lives and was not happy to have to wait. Elliot was screaming from about 7-9 each night. He napped very little. He would ride in the stroller for 20 minutes (on a good day) until he started screaming. Elliot wanted to eat constantly, which meant I was feeding a toddler and a newborn at the same time, 3 times a day. I was exhausted.
It is so much better now. Audrey can now express her needs (usually with words, sometimes with screams). Elliot usually cries for a minute or two when he goes down for the night, but once he falls asleep he is down for 12 hours. His naps still aren’t great, but they continue to get better. As for walks, we can go much longer than 20 minutes. We head out for an hour-long walk when the weather is nice.
My life is better because the kids are older and can do more. It is better because we are better at parenting two kids after a year of practice. It’s also better because I’ve changed my expectations. Before Elliot we got out of the house at least once a day. That doesn’t happen anymore. My kids don’t nap on the go, so we are at home until the last nap of the day ends, often at 3:30. At first I was frustrated because I wanted to be on the go, but I’ve settled into routine. I would rather have happy, well rested kids than get to the gym or the grocery store.
I love our new normal. I love being able to play with the kids. I love our little family and can’t wait to have many more sun and water-soaked afternoons with them.
I suspect I’ll be able to write a post just like this one in a year. I can’t imagine how much fun we will have.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend! Get out and enjoy the sunshine.