I was in the shower this evening (otherwise known as partaking in the only 15 minutes I get without someone attached to me/talking to me/wanting to eat/wanting to play/needing me) and it occured to me that I was woefully unprepared to be a mom of 2 under 2. Not mentally, nor emotionally, but in terms of gear. So I thought I would put together MY list of things moms expecting #2 should be sure to have on hand, in the hope that someone reading this blog will benefit from my steep learning curve.
1. A sling and/or wrap. Better yet, three. This way, you can keep one in your car, one in your diaper bag, and one in the dirty laundry pile (because if your newborn doesn't vomit or poop on it, your toddler will find some way to funk it up). The sling has made it possible for me to do a lot of things:
- Shopping with both kids by myself. Because Luca HATED her stroller until 2 weeks before Rohan was born, and now FREAKS if he's in it and she's not...
- Taking the kids to the park. Luca can run free and I can hold Rohan without needing to lug around a stroller, and my hands are free to grab Luca if I need to.
- Eating. No. Really. I can't tell you how many meals I've eaten in the past 4 weeks with Rohan strapped to me in a sling. Babies have a sixth sense, and they always seem to need to be held right about the time you're sitting down to eat. Prop him in the sling, and he gets held while I get fed.
- Playing in the backyard with Luca. I don't have to find a safe and shady spot to park Rohan because the safe and shady spot is attached to my body...and happens to be his favorite place to hang out anyhow.
- Housework. This is mostly hypothetical, as I've never been one for doing a lot of housework even without 2 kids to care for, but when I need to run out to throw some laundry in or I need to vacuum the rug before someone comes over and is appalled at the layer of dog hair covering it, the sling comes in handy. It would be even MORE useful if the sling came with a maid, but beggars can't be choosers....
2. A BrestFriend pillow (breastfeeding moms only). If this pillow and the Boppy got into a wrestling match, the BrestFriend would make the Boppy its bitch. It's firmer and larger, and the fucker STRAPS to you. Yes, people, you can tether a pillow around your (now cushy and non-existent) waist, plop the baby on, and carry on with life. This means you CAN sit on the floor and feed the little one while 'playing blocks' with the toddler. It means you CAN sneak in a meal while baby sneaks in a meal, because you can basically nurse hands-free. It also means that when you go back to work and don't want to wake 20 minutes earlier than your already obscenely early wake-up time, you can plop baby on for a meal, set up a mirror on the pillow, and apply your make-up. Multi-tasking at its finest!
3. Hand-held snacks. Because you can dream of heating up that frozen meal your super-nice friend delivered to you, but the truth is you'll be lucky to get a piece of cheese and a Diet Coke in your system some days when home alone with a toddler and an infant. So stock up with one-handed foods (yogurt drinks, granola bars, chips, fruit, etc) that you can eat while multi-tasking.
4. A good digital camera. We got our DSLR for Christmas, and part of the reason was that our old digital was barely keeping up with Luca. We wanted something that would capture all those magical moments and take good pictures even when the photographer (usually me) is too tired to worry about composition or lighting. SO worth it. As a bonus, invest in a big memory card that will store a shitton of pictures. You won't be sorry.
5. A yoga/birth ball. It was helpful while I was pregnant, but its true worth is found when you have a fussy newbon who just wants to bounce. That thing has saved our sanity more times than I could count, between Luca and Rohan, and we couldn't manage without it. Get one. You will NOT be sorry.
6. Patience, a fabulous partner who lets you take a 2 hour nap while he takes both kids to the park, and a sense of humor. And coffee. LOTS of coffee on those days when you didn't get much sleep the night before and have to function for your toddler while your newborn sleeps all day.