Why Raising Toddlers {close in age} Is Really, Really Exhausting AF

Hi. *yawns*. O, I’m sorry. I’m just rubbing my tired eyeballs as I try to chug my second cup of coffee before icicles form on top of my “World’s Best Mom” mug. I’m also trying to prevent one child from grabbing a knife from the kitchen counter while screaming at the other one to not jump off the sofa.

Contrary to what that mug says, I’ve been feeling less than anyone’s ‘best mom’ these days. Perhaps I’m too hard on myself but lately, I feel like my kids are getting the short end of the stick. They’re both going through some rough ‘phases’ right now and it’s hell. Why? Because raising toddlers is really, really exhausting.

No, I’m not just really tired, I’m exhausted. I’m emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted.

The moment when I peed on that stick and those two faint lines appeared, I knew how hard it was going to be having kids just 18 months apart. It was like all of the worse things flashed before my eyes: double dirty-diapers, double melt-downs, double teething, double the fights, double the chaos.

In the beginning– it was hard. Now? It’s harder. You may think that I have my hands full and you are absolutely correct. 

Motherhood was golden when my second son was just an infant– he slept 95% of the time and wasn’t mobile. Sure, I had to factor in the multiple feedings per day and my first son going through the whole ‘big brother transition’, but looking back, THAT was the easy part. Phew. I was so naive back then.

I now have a 2.5 and 1 year old and I’m drowning. I’m not being dramatic, by any means, because I really, really am drowning– let’s just say that the {proverbial shit hit the fan} once my youngest turned 1. Game. Over.

If you’re curious as to why, I listed some of the reasons below. (And if you have two kids really close in age, then you feel me on this sista.)

 


 

They are beginning to fight with each-other.

I thought that I had a few more years before I would be refereeing my boys–my oldest will put my other son in a  headlock and pin him down. I’m breaking up fights more than I get to sit down.  O, and it’s not only physical they fight over ANYTHING… who has the better toy, who has the better sippy cup (they’re BOTH BLUE), who has the better food (YOU BOTH HAVE STRAWBERRIES). I feel like my day is 98% telling them to leave each other alone.

One of them is ALWAYS grumpy AF.

The only time my boys are content at the exact same time is when they’re eating or sleeping.

One of them is ALWAYS awake.

 THEY NEVER SLEEP AT THE SAME TIME. It would NEVER, EVER happen if both of them napped at the exact, same sweet time. Never. That would mean, falling asleep and waking up at the exact, same sweet time. And night-time is a gamble since our oldest sleeps IN our bed and frequently tosses and turns.

There’s always a phase.

One of them is ALWAYS going through some sort of ‘phase’ that makes life hard AF– because, like I said earlier, one of them is always grumpy.

Going out of the house feels like a freaking marathon.

If I could stay in my house 24/7 (without the risk of my boys or MYSELF going completely insane) I would. The whole process of going out is soooo daunting that if I’m planning on being out with my two boys, it better be worth it.

Grocery shopping is Hell.

If I had a to describe what Hell would be like, it would be grocery shopping with two toddlers. I can’t say much more about it except… I loathe it with every fiber in me.

They feed off of each-other.

Ugh. Yes. Whenever one of them has an uber melt-down moment, it’s a guarantee that the other one will! My youngest is notorious for being a ‘sympathy crier’ so if my oldest is in time-out and crying, my youngest immediately reacts. The worse is probably when we’re in the car and THEY BOTH start going off.

 

So there are a few {of the many} reasons why raising toddlers is exhausting! Can you relate? Don’t forget mama, we’re in this crazy and hectic mom-life together. x.

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Why I Will Actually Miss the Toddler Years

Toddlers. Tiny rambunctious humans with way too much energy and too many emotions to contain…full of NOs, questions and curiosity…they can be a handful. You may have heard of the terrible 2s, terrible 3s and so-on….but, what if I told you that I will actually miss this phase?

Just wait a sec and hear me out on this.

My oldest will be 3 in September and he’s now entering a really fun phase. He is potty trained, he can communicate more with us and is saying new words every day, he gets VERY excited about his favorite things and his attention span has lengthened so he stays occupied for longer periods. He is understanding the world around him more…what makes him happy & sad and so on. He is learning just what he is capable of doing…even when he thinks that he can’t, he will try it and be amazed at what he really can do. It’s really quite amazing for me, as a mom, to see him progress and learn as much as he is. It’s also so rewarding….because all the days of talking, repeating what things are and so on seem to be paying off.

It’s amazing and yet so incredibly bittersweet. Of course I want my babies to learn, grow and be independent, but it’s always a battle of wanting them to grow and wanting them to stay little forever.

There’s also the affection that my toddler gives us which may be the BEST type of reward for those long and hard mom days. He will randomly give me kisses or hug my leg. He gives us long hugs and squeezes…and then there’s the pats on the back that come with those hugs. It’s when his little hand reaches out for mine that makes my heart melt or how he stays glued by my side when he meets someone new. It’s when I lay down with him at night and he hands me his train book & declares “read”; one by one he will tell me which color each train is and the excitement on his face is priceless. It’s in that moment when a train in a book is enough to light up my son’s face that I know how precious this age truly is.

And how fast it will fade by.

Pretty soon, faster than I would like, my toddler will be heading off to kindergarten. He’ll be off making friends and he won’t want to hold my hand anymore. When I pick him up from school, he will excitedly tell me about his day and what he learned about, and I will sit back and smile. And as much as I long for the days of a little more time to myself, he will also grow a little more away from me.

Pretty soon, he won’t want the extra cuddles or kisses…and the random squeezes around my leg will become less & less. He will also grow out of his love for certain “kid” things and find the world around him less exciting. He won’t want to chat about the simple things and he will probably think I’m not so cool anymore. He will lose his baby face, grow taller & won’t want to be tucked into bed at night. And then will come the dreaded day when he won’t want me to kiss him in front of his friends (although I still will) & instead of picking flowers for his momma, he’ll be picking flowers for a girl. (although I hope he will still think of me from time to time)

So as hard as it can be parenting a toddler, I desperately try to remember that some-day when I have a moody teenager with a crackling voice, I will want these days back. And so I give my toddler one more squeeze and read him his train book one more time.

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15 Things I’ve Learned During My First Year With 2 Kids

My last baby will be turning a whole year-old next month and with that, I would like to reflect on a couple of things.

My boys are 18months apart; so when I found out that I was pregnant with #2 when #1 was just shy of a year old….well, I was kind of scared.

Not scared….more like frightened.

It’s been a bumpy road, my friends; and having “Irish twins” as they call it is certainly not for the faint of heart. However, when it’s all said and done, this past year has been a whirlwind of emotions(happy and sad), filled with joy and laughs. I’ve learned a lot about myself (especially that I’m stronger than I believe) and I’ve been able to function on a lot less sleep than I ever thought possible.

So I wanted to write down some things that I’ve come to learn during this first year of having 2 children.

In case any of of you lovely people are brave enough to venture into it.

 

  1. Going from 1 to 2 kids is a hard adjustment. I heard it before I even got pregnant and I’ll sit here and tell you now: it’s not a lie…adjusting from 1 to 2 kids is really rough. I went through a real emotional period right towards the end of my pregnancy where I felt sad about my oldest not being the only one anymore. It eventually passed but those first couple of weeks adjusting to two little kiddos was hard!
  2. One of them will always need something. In the throws of having a newborn and a toddler, there is a 100% chance that one of them will ALWAYS need something; a midnight feeding, a diaper change, a snack, another feeding, a consoling hug because they are frustrated…SOMETHING.
  3. Poop. Poop every-where. Twice the diaper-duty and twice the amount of poopy diapers. Thankfully, one is potty-trained but it was a real shit show in the beginning. (no pun-intended)
  4. They will never be happy at the same time. My boys are like yin & yang; when one has a good day and is happy, the other has to balance it all out by being pissed off at the world.
  5. They will keep passing colds to one another for pretty much the whole winter. It’s almost a fact that when child catches a cold, it will be spread to the other one. And it will just keep happening until it’s eventually spring-time. Runny noses. Forever.
  6. Hand-me downs are the BEST thing since sliced bread. The best thing about having 2 boys is the fact that my youngest gets to wear all of his big brother’s clothes. ($$$ saved) Let’s face it though; even if I had a girl she would be rocking baseball onesies and dinosaur pants.
  7. Leaving the house to go ANYWHERE will take twice as long. Forever late.
  8. The house will NEVER be clean. When you clean up one child’s mess, there will most likely be a mess from the other child. Embrace it. You have 2 kids now so people sort of get that your house will be a crap show.
  9. They will never sleep at the same time. It will take MONTHS before both of them get their naps in sync and even then, one of them is always bound to wake up earlier than the other.
  10. You will never be caught up on laundry. For some reason, adding an extra kid to the mix means 20x the amount of dirty laundry. You will never get it all done. Laundry. Forever.
  11. You’ll find yourself a lot more “chill” the second time around. Oh, you fell down? Get up, you’re okay. You bumped your head? You’re fine. Food fell on the floor? Just eat it. Way way wayyyy more laid-back with the second baby.
  12.  You’ll find yourself taking less baby pictures of your newborn. I’m so guilty of this….but I just didn’t take *as many* baby pics of my 2nd as I did with my 1st. (Now I know why my parents have more pictures of my older sister than of me). When your juggling two kiddos, life is chaotic! Granted, I still have a lot of him but looking back at his first year, I really wish I took more.
  13. Those car grocery shopping carts at the store are life. And when there’s one available, you know it’s going to be a good day.
  14. The first year (the 2nd time around) it will literally fly by. So enjoy it! Embrace the crazy. It won’t last long.
  15. I’ve learned that my hands are full….but my heart is fuller. There will always be enough love, enough kisses and enough hugs for my 2 boys.

<3

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80 Rules For My Sons

My boys are growing so fast and it’s no secret that one day, they will be men. I’ll be sending them off into this big & scary world and that is pretty terrifying.

I have so much to teach my sons and so much that I want them to learn. If I had to give them some rules, these would be it.

I know that I left out a lot, but here are a couple that I had no trouble writing down.

 

 

 

1. Live everyday with a full heart and open mind.

2. Remember that every choice comes with a consequence…and a reputation.

3. Always hold the door open for other people but especially a lady.

4. Open your girlfriend’s car door. Chivalry is not dead.

5. If she says that nothing is wrong…don’t believe her. Ask her. Listen.

6. You can catch more flies with honey then with vinegar.

7. Whatever you post on the internet is there forever..even if you erase it. Don’t be foolish.

8. Sit with the new kid at lunch.

9. If it’s something that doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Always trust your gut.

10. Nothing good ever happens after 1AM.

11. Video games are not your life. Get outside.

12. Hard work is the foundation to a successful life.

13. Put the toilet seat down every-time. I don’t want to fall in the toilet at 4AM.

14. Don’t drink or drive or get in the car with anyone that was drinking. If you need a ride, call me. No questions asked. I just want you safe.

15. Always shake hands with a stranger when you meet them. And look them in the eye.

16. The women you choose to marry will be my daughter-in-law and holds the foundation for our relationship. Please, choose her wisely.

17. You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself. Work on that first.

18. Your teenage years will probably be the most awkward and dreaded of your life, but I promise you, they go by fast & there’s better stuff ahead. Hang in there.

19. Play at least one sport or extra-circular activity.

20. College isn’t for everyone and I don’t want you to feel pressured to go…trade-schools are amazing and there’s nothing wrong with working with your hands.

21. Save your money. You’ll be glad you did. You don’t need that new cell-phone or TV.

22. I won’t always be around to make your meals & clean your clothes. So learn how to do those things. It will also make your future wife happy.

23. A simple smile & hello go a long way. Be kind for no reason.

24. There’s nothing that a cup of coffee or a run can’t fix.

25. If you ever have babies, just change the damn diapers. You saw what she had to go through.

26. Treat your girlfriend/wife like the Queen she is.

27. If you’re bored, find me. I’ll give you something to do.

28. Your never too old to follow your dreams. Never say never.

29. Watch football with your dad, even if you hate it. You’ll be glad that you did one day.

30. Take as many pictures as you can. One day, it will be all that’s left of someone.

31. If you love someone, tell them. Never leave them guessing.

32. If you have more than one girlfriend at a time and bring them home, you better believe that I’ll call them the wrong name on purpose. Don’t be a jerk.

33. You may fight with your brother and disagree but in the end remember, you two are all you have.

34. I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it. Your never too old for a whoopin’.

35. Please remember the important dates: anniversaries, birthdays, Mother’s Day,  Father’s Day. And a simple phone call goes a long way.

36. Don’t be cheap. Splurge a little. You can’t take it with you when you go.

37. Consent is a two-way street. Don’t be a jerk.

38. Put your phone down and take a look at the world around you.

39. Go on Sunday drives just because.

40. Little notes and compliments go a lot farther than chocolate and roses.

41. Nobody likes a cocky person. Get off your high-horse.

42. Nobody wants to be friends with the guy that talks about himself. Listen to other people, too.

43. Don’t get too high on the bottle.

44. A true friend is rare and extremely hard to find. Keep them close.

45. Brush your teeth every-day. Mouthwash and gum doesn’t count.

46. I want to hear from you, so call me. I might be missing you.

47. Never raise a hand to a women. I don’t care the circumstance.

48. Water is extremely important so drink it.

49. School doesn’t define you, but it will set the way for your future. Please try.

50. Life won’t hand you what you want. You need to work for it.

51. Money isn’t everything. Learn to enjoy the simple things in life because as you get older, that’s what you want.

52. Sitting home on a Friday night with your parents isn’t uncool.

53. Don’t do something to fit in. It’s pretty cool to stand out & say no.

54. Be nice to your teachers. They deal with you & about fifty other little turds.

55. Never let the gas tank go passed half.

56. Ketchup can go on eggs. Don’t listen to your father.

57. Whenever you get annoyed by me, remember that you used to always follow me in the bathroom.

58. Just wake up with the baby and let her sleep. She will be forever grateful.

59. Manners are still a thing- never forget them.

60. Listen to the stories of people older than you. They have a lot of wisdom & you can learn something from them.

61. That job that your killing yourself for- that company can replace you in a week. Don’t make it your life.

62. Clean out your fridge once a month. You never know what’s growing in there.

63. Reading for fun is possible. Make yourself get lost in a book. And women like smart men.

64. Bubble baths are not just for women. Learn how to relax. You’ll feel better.

65. Just let her shop and don’t roll your eyes. And carry the bags.

66. There’s nothing better than the love of a pet. Adopt, don’t shop. There’s plenty of animals that need a forever home.

67. There’s nothing better then a sense of  humor.

68. Learn to laugh at your imperfections. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

69. Stand up for what you believe in, even if no one else believes it.

70. Bring her coffee and breakfast in bed.

71. Communication is the key to a strong relationship. Talk.

72. If you see it happening, that’s just as bad as doing it. Stop it or walk away.

73. Your never too old to go on the swings at the park.

74. Have goals in life.

75. A man is as only as strong as his word.

76. Your heart will get broken and it will feel horrible. I’ll be here to pick up the pieces & to let you know: you’ll be okay.

77. Own at least one nice dress shirt, a pair of khakis & dress shoes. You never know when you’ll need them.

78. Clean up after your messes. Nobody likes a slob.

79. Your never too old to kiss your mother.

80. Spread your wings & fly…there’s a big world out there and you will do great things. But home will always be there for you. Always.

 

 

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To the mom….

To the thirty-something year-old women that is childless and has suffered three miscarriages and always gets asked?: “when are you having babies?”

To the mother of four with another on the way that constantly gets those looks and questions of: “did you really want all of those kids?”

To the mom that only has one child and constantly gets hounded with the question: “when are you going to give him/her a sibling?”

To the mom with the awful postpartum depression that desperately wants another baby but can’t imagine going through that again.

To the mom that has all girls and gets asked: “when are you trying for that boy?!”

To the mom that has all boys and gets asked: “when are you trying for that girl?!”

To the mom that ate healthy and smart during her pregnancy.

To the mom that drank coffee and gave into her McDonald’s cravings.

To the mom that chooses to birth in her home with no drugs and a doula. 

To the mom that chooses to birth in a hospital with doctors and nurses around and gets that epidural. 

To the mom that has a well-thought out birth plan and three names picked out for each gender.

To the mom that just wings it and has no idea what she’s naming her baby.

To the mom that breastfeeds and nurses her baby out in public with no cover.

To the mom that formula feeds her baby.

To the mom that uses a pacifier to soothe and is in no hurry to wean after age 1.

To the mom that’s in no hurry to wean her baby off the breast after age 1.

To the the mom that lets her baby cry it out.

To the mom that co-sleeps.

To the mom that pushes her baby in a stroller.

To the mom that wears her baby in a carrier.

To the mom that feeds her baby Gerber baby food.

To the mom that baby-led weans.

To the mom that prepares healthy, organic and gluten-free meals for her kids.

To the mom that feeds her kid chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and the occasional Happy Meal.

To the mom that puts Huggies and Pampers on her baby.

To the mom that puts cloth diapers on her baby.

To the mom that keeps her home spotless.

To the mom that lets her kids eat off the floor.

To the mom that buys brand new clothes.

To the mom that relies on Goodwill and second-hand stores.

To the mom that reads to her kids and doesn’t allow any screen time.

To the mom that turns on the TV to Dinosaur Train to get a few minutes of peace and quiet.

To the mom that documents every milestone in the baby book.

To the mom that has no time to write it down but swears that she will get to it someday.

To the mom that rear-faces her kid’s car seat until age four years old.

To the mom that rear-faces until her kid is two.

To the mom that plans the most well thought out birthday parties with a special theme and spectacular cake.

To the mom that has a small celebration with a store bought cake around the kitchen table.

To the mom that stays at home with her babies and is there for every moment and milestone.

To the mom that works outside the home to provide for her babies.

To the mom that gifts her kids books, blocks and dolls.

To the mom that gifts her toddler an iPad.

To the mom that enforces a solid bedtime of 7PM.

To the mom that wings it on bedtime.

To the mom that chooses not to spank as a form of discipline.

To the mom that does choose to spank as a form of discipline.

To the mom that has a million pictures of her kids hung up on the walls of her home.

To the mom that still doesn’t have pictures of her second born even developed.

To the mom that decides to give her son only gender-specific toys.

To the mom that doesn’t care if her son plays with dolls.

To the mom that watches her kid tentatively at the park.

To the mom buried in her phone at the park because she desperately needed some “me” time.

To the mom that home-schools.

To the mom that puts her kid in a public school.

To the mom that makes crafts, bakes home made cookies and attends every PTA meeting.

To the mom that barely remembers to fill out a school permission slip and can’t sew to save her life.

To the mom that has never-ending patience and kindness.

To the mom that loses her shit way too easily then feels incredibly guilty.

To the mom that censors her kid’s music and TV shows.

To the mom that sings Eminem songs right along with her kid.

To the mom that holds everything together when she feels like falling apart.

 

 

This is for all the moms out there that do their best every single day.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation. 

We’re all doing what we can to get by. Please stop being hard on yourself.

You’re pretty badass.

<3

 

 

 

 

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