Not much changed when Monkey was born. For the most part, our lives continued as usual, just stopping to nurse a baby every 2 hours and change her diaper. We still did spur-of-the moment movie nights with friends. Or had friends over for board games, while Monkey crawled around underfoot. We still went to meetings and church. We even did a 3 month road trip to 25 states and Canada. Monkey learned to sleep anywhere, and had no real schedule for the first 18 months of her life.
A Lots of Things changed once our second baby was born.
Mostly because we also have an ornery toddler who is half-way potty trained. Two year olds need to have a schedule. If she stays up late, she’s not going to make up for it by sleeping in or taking a nap. A little bit of missed sleep leads to a couple days of crankiness! It’s not worth my losing sanity! I need both girls to nap consistently, at the same time, so I can nap.
The baby put herself on a great schedule – going to bed between 8-9pm and waking up around 8am. With only one mid-night snack break! She takes a short (20-30 min) morning nap. Then a long (2-3 hr) afternoon nap. She takes an early evening power nap to hold her over till bed time.
Since having two kids (and needing to pump milk every 2-3 hours), I’ve quit doing lots of things. Such as stopping someplace quick on the way home. Who wants to buckle and unbuckle two kids from the car just to grab three items at the grocery store? Besides, I gotta get home to make milk!
I quit cleaning my house weekly. At this point “cleaning” is mostly damage-control. I sweep the floor when I notice something sticky or slimy underfoot. “Spot-mopping” means I cleaned the puddle of pee on the floor. “Mopping the bathroom floor” happens every time Monkey takes a bath and splashed too much. Washing sheets happens when Monkey’s diaper leaks in her bed. Or when the baby or I spill milk on my bed. Which unfortunately happens way too often.
Last spring I read an article about “toddler chores.”
It suggested two year olds learn to make their own bed. I was inspired to up-grade Monkey from baby blankets to real sheets and blankets, so she could learn to make her bed. But she regularly strips the bed, so there’s no point in that. “Making the bed” means gathering blankets and pillows from the far corners of the house and tucking Monkey in to go “night-night.” It turns out she doesn’t even like her “sheeps.” Sometimes she rejects her “big planket” and just wants “lots of little plankets.” Half the time she doesn’t even sleep in her bed anyway.
Monkey also likes to strip all the “plankets” off my bed. So I recently quit making that too (that’s a big step for a neat-freak such as myself). I also read an article about how dust-mites feed on the moisture on the sheets. So it’s better to leave the bed “open” to air out. Now I can justify leaving my bed neatly “open.” But I do make my bed before going to sleep. Otherwise all the sheets are on my side and blankets are on Duane’s side. Why does that happen?
I quit folding underwear, because they just get shoved in the drawer, and no one cares if they are wrinkled. Monkey seems to have a daily fashion show, so I’m doing good just to sort her pants and shirts as I put them away. Again.
Last week I even quit doing laundry. I’ve washing diapers every 3 days for the past 2 1/2 years. Every since the baby was born, laundry has been a daily chore. Not doing laundry for an entire week is a new record for us! Technically the reason I quit, is because my wash machine quit first. There are bibs and burp cloths hanging to dry all over the house, but they are starting to get crunchy, and the baby wreaks of sour milk. It’s probably been a few days since I gave her a bath.
Bathing, that’s another thing which doesn’t happen as often as it used to, for any of us, but don’t worry, we haven’t quit that yet!