Well, here we are. Five and a half weeks as a family of five. Dare I say… it’s actually been a smoother transition than I thought it would be. I really think for us – going from 0 to 1 child was harder than going from 1 to 3 children. I learned, with Brady, to trust my Mama instinct. I learned that our family thrives on structure and routine – flexible but solid. I definitely have days where I look at the clock and all the sudden it’s 5 o’clock and I have spit-up down the back of my shirt and my hair hasn’t been washed in days, but that’s ok. What I have this time more than I did the first time around is a deep sense of “these are the days.” It seems like just yesterday Brady was just a few pounds… my hungry little linebacker. Now that the twins are here and we know our family is complete… I’m savoring every moment, every snuggle, every bit of their slobbery baby goodness. It goes by so fast. Whoever said “the days are long and the years are short” was a wise soul. It’s so true.
I knew from Day One (before that, even) that if our family was going to be a family of five, we were going to have a lot of structure. It’s just who we are as people – Bryan, Brady and I… and knowing that has been really helpful for us. I’ll never forget when we first implemented a bedtime routine with Brady… it made all the difference in the world (for my child who didn’t sleep through the night until 18 months… yep).
So we took the hospitals routine / pediatricians routine and have adapted it as the babies have grown. They sleep a lot and are hungry little things. The most significant and, quite literally, life changing routine we’ve implemented was my Mom’s idea. I wake up every day at 6 o’clock. Yep, no sleeping in for me – even on the weekends. I don’t mind it, though, I really enjoy my time in the mornings and on Saturdays and Sundays I let Bryan sleep in (well, until like 8 when everyone is awake hahah). I get up and immediately take a hot shower. I put on REAL clothes (normally jeans and a tee or something), brush my hair (it’s up 99% of the time) and put on a little makeup and some earrings. Shower + getting ready takes me about 30 minutes. This is LIGHT YEARS from what I did with Brady. I let him wake me up, scrambled to feed him and never had time for myself. Just making myself get ready for the day has been game changing. I FEEL so much better when I do this. I don’t feel so disheveled. Then I make some coffee and start my “farm chores.” I gave them that name because I do them before the sun comes up so everything can run smoothly the rest of the day. Now, granted, these things won’t work for everyone – they work for me and for us because this is what works best for us… and we all feel better because of it.
I have a list taped to my fridge of my AM to-dos and my PM to-dos. Bryan has his own and so does Brady. In the morning, after I make some coffee, I take out all the trash in the whole house. I empty the dishwasher and I put all the babies dirty things (burp cloths, swaddle blankets, clothes, etc – from the day before) in the washer. I also wash a load of my clothes, Bryan’s clothes and Brady’s clothes from the day before. I fold them as soon as they’re ready and put them away. This sounds so small but let me tell you about MOUNT LAUNDRY we used to do every Sunday. Awful. This has changed things in a big way for us and I really feel like we’ve gotten a lot of our time back. I also straighten up the house (doesn’t ever really need much because I do this before bed out of habit too) and make the beds. Brady has learned how to put his own laundry away and make his bed too, so that’s a huge help. On my to-do list is also “Mama’s vitamins / Brady’s vitamins” and things like that because I’ll forget them if they’re not in front of my face. My PM list says things like “Pack Brady’s backpack” and “Put water in the Keurig” – just so our mornings run smoother.
One other thing I’ve found helpful is to keep my Simplified Planner, a notepad and a cup of pens on our bar in our kitchen. They’re easily accessible and give me a “home base” of sorts. I have three running lists too: to-do, groceries and schedule (our current daily schedule for the babies). Having all this in one place helps me keep my head on straight.
I realized that my brain has a tendency to think way to long term. When our routine is working I start thinking… Oh my gosh… I can take a shower in the mornings… HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS WHEN THE TWINS ARE WALKING!? That’s just silly and it’s self-sabotage. I’m taking it one stage at a time. Right now we’re in a good groove. That could change tomorrow, but I’ll enjoy it for today.
I’d LOVE to know your tips too… your routines and how you got your family into a groove whether you have 0 children or 12! :)