How I Do It
Often people will say to me regarding having two little ones, “How do you do it?!” Here is a glimpse into my stay at home mom life with two:
On a “normal” day, the toddler wakes up at about 6:20. My husband and I alternate days waking up with her. Our preschooler wakes up sometime in the 7 o’clock hour, and the opposite parent gets up with her, gets her dressed, and we all meet downstairs. When the girls are eating at the table, it’s prime time for me to get a couple of key items taken care of. First, I get their hair up for the day. I also try to empty the dishwasher so that we can fill it throughout the day.
Every morning we get out for an activity. The preschooler goes to preschool three mornings a week. The toddler and I do some recreation department classes, go to the library for storytime, or go to the local play cafe, Little Sprouts. After the morning activity, we come home, and I make the girls lunch. After lunch, I take the girls upstairs for naptime, attempting to get them both down at the same time.
When they’re both sleeping, it’s prime time for me to prepare dinner. Seeing as it’s usually 4 hours before dinner, I don’t usually finish cooking or baking the dinner at this point, but I do make everything that I can ahead of time and chop all of the vegetables. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll do the dishes. When I’m not feeling ambitious, I sit on the couch and watch tv. Also, I’m totally happy to admit that when I get the girls down for naps, and I’m totally wiped out, I sit on the couch like a couch potato. Sometimes I just have to refuel before I manage to get myself to work on dinner. Usually, on these days, as soon as I start chopping vegetables, one of the girls wakes up, and I go to alternative dinner plans, like ordering take-out.
Most days, when the girls wake up from naps, we stay home, and they play. Since I teed up dinner earlier, my preschooler can help me quickly cook it up. She also enjoys helping to set the table. Meanwhile, the toddler usually plays and/or empties cabinets. When my husband is done working, we have a family dinner followed by more playing. Sometimes they clean up their toys, and sometimes they start heading upstairs for baths, and I say “screw it” to clean up time.
When my preschooler has her pajamas on, has gone potty, and has her teeth brushed, she’s allowed to watch 10-20 minutes of tv. While she’s watching tv, I can read books with the toddler and put her to bed. We do bedtimes separately for the girls which can get lengthy, but we enjoy having some one-on-one (or two on one) time with the girls. We did sleep training with both girls when they were about five months old, which we are grateful for because putting them to sleep is normally a quick process (knock on wood!).
When we’ve managed to get them both in their cribs, we go downstairs to finish cleaning the kitchen. I usually don’t have much energy, but my husband helps, and we can get it done pretty quickly. Our goal is to have at least an hour and a half to ourselves before our 10 pm bedtime!
On the weekend, we take a break from cooking to spend time doing activities as a family. The only household chore we leave for the weekend is laundry. Aside from that, we may check something else off the household maintenance list or just chill. Parenting is hard work! Sometimes even I wonder how I do it?!
What about you, how do you do it?!