Let Them Be Little

It was never my plan to have two kids in two years. However, when you're extremely fertile and hormones get the best of you and give you the wild idea to give it a shot for another spring baby before waiting one year, you get said spring baby. What does it mean to be a mom to two little girls, born just 23 months apart? I suppose that's different for everyone with this age gap. For me it means constantly moving, reevaluation and change.

When my first was born I was consumed with sharing every new thing she did. By sharing I mean bragging. We are all so proud of our kids. Shoot, lately I find myself blown away by every painting, tower built and creation made by her little hands. Before she turned one I boasted that she rolled, walked, talked ... you get the idea. You also know "those" moms on social media. Ashamedly, I was one of them.
Sweet Karoline Christelle, one month old.
She was my world and my every day. I viewed her as a responsibility. Not so much a little person for me to enjoy.
Then before I knew it, there were two. Two little girls.
Alexandra Elizabeth
Somehow things changed. I realized that it really wasn't as hard as I was making it. This baby either needed to eat, sleep or poop. It didn't have to be, and wasn't, much harder than that. She would roll, eat solids, walk, talk and accomplish every milestone when she was ready. I wouldn't push her or compare her to others. Instead we would enjoy the ride and go with it. She slept in bed with me, learned to sleep on her own and learned to sleep through the night with minimal effort.

This little baby would smile just at mere recognition. So happy to not be fussed over and over analyzed.
Soon this baby would turn one and all would change.

Now I have two toddlers, but one is starting to resemble a little kid. The two of them fight, scream and holler as they express their independence. There are times they play and love to learn together. Until they get hungry and then the fights in-sue once more. Time for a snack, food is a fabulous diversion.

My mornings are down right insane. I wake up just a few minutes before them so I can get myself ready before entering their room. If I don't I have a very hard time making time (notice I didn't say have, we all have the time, it's a choice to make it) to get ready. Once they are free from their beds it's non-stop. I'm blessed to be a stay at home mom. That being said, I sometimes feel as though I move more and stay just as busy as I would at any job, maybe more so. Before we can get downstairs they need to potty, brush teeth and get dressed. They want to do all of this on their own but they need the help to have it all done right away. They really are very demanding about this whole routine. Down the stairs we go. They need to have breakfast, have a drink and they want all of that instantly and don't want to wait. I don't dare run out of bananas or quick breakfast option. Once they are finally in their seats I have a few minutes to get the dishwasher unloaded. I try and sit down and eat with them, that's a rookie mistake. Anyone who has ever unloaded a dishwasher with a kid around knows the importance of doing this chore while they are contained.

With all of their demands and constant needs I have to remember, I am their whole world. They need me for absolutely everything. While my child, who looks more like a kid, is learning how to do things on her own she still needs my constant permission and reassurance. I am the key to their happiness. That sentence is one that strikes me as something far more important that just seven words. Their days, their moods and their lives all depend on me. My attitude as I walk into their room and tend to their basic necessites in the morning sets the tone for the day. A day that is their day too. There are some days that errands must be ran and the house must be cleaned. However, those days are still their days, days that we won't have again. Finding time to allow them to be kids has become a priority. This seems so simple. I really didn't grasp this idea until having two kids. Knowing their limitations and comfort levels are daily goals of mine. On the days that I keep this in mind we are happier and my kids smile more. My lists may stay long because of it, but I know one day they won't be. One day my closet and shoes will be organized again and the laundry will be done. That day I will miss this crazy time my in life.

As a mom of two little ones I have learned that it is a choice for me to be overwhelmed. Things actually can wait (imagine that). In the thick of it all constant reassurance and reminding of this fact is necessary. I write it down on a sticky note and put it where I can see it often. I make lists and let the things I'm using valuable brain space for escape as I write them.

My kids make messes, they love it, it's what they do. They take things out of each others hands. They get fussy they yell. But, they forgive and forget so easily. They are comforted by their blankets and by me. A hug (and a snack) go a long way. As our days pass even faster than ever before I am amazed at how quickly they are learning to play together for longer periods at a time. I hope to nurture and encourage this relationship as it grows into a life long friendship as sisters.

The key to my happiness is in MY outlook and attitude. It's in how I respond and react to them. It's in knowing that I am going to have to tell them the same thing over and over, day after day. That is my job. I am to bring them up right and follow through so they have reassurance and comfort in routine and boundaries. This is how we survive and have good days. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of days where this recipe for success just flat doesn't work. Did you read about our Christmas? It is on the days when I try to be my best version of Mary Poppins and it blows up in my face that I have to remember that they are young. I count to ten, clench my teeth, send them to the corner, hide in the bathroom and do whatever it takes to get through the day. It is not easy. It is however, worth it. Worth it for them to see me start a new day with a smile. There is always a bright side and always a silver lining to every situation. Hang in there mama's, they won't be little for long!

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