Apparently it is shocking to strangers that I don’t look absolutely exhausted. Yes caring for toddler twins can be tiring work and I am worn out each and every day and I sleep good at night, but I am not some bedraggled mom who can hardly make it through the day. While there are days I do look exhausted, and I hardly make it until Matt comes home, I am glad to say those days are few. This got me thinking that maybe I should share what I am doing and why it works for me and my guys.
This is my view on parenting infants/toddlers and in no way do I think your particular style of parenting is wrong (well unless you are abusive or neglectful). This is what works for us and I believe all parents should do what works best for their family. I don’t have it all figured out, just what works for us right now.
1. First win the luck of the draw and marry a great man like my husband. He gets up with the boys for any midnight feedings. (yes they are still happening, hoping they end by 18 months) I do occasionally have to get up at night when someone is sick or inconsolable, sometimes mommy love is best, but for the most part I get to stay in bed at night. My husband offered to do this, because he is awesome and he understands the fact that he can get by on less sleep than I can, it’s just the way our bodies work.
2. I take care of myself. I exercise and I attempt to eat right. I jog 3-4 times a week, do yoga 3-5 times a week, and ride the exercise bike 1-2 times a week. I know that might seem like a lot to some but it’s not as bad as it looks, running is with the boys in the stroller from warm up to cool down it is 40 minutes and we even take a trip to the Post Office during the run, yoga I do very basic programs that last 25 minutes during nap, exercise bike I get up early 2 days a week and ride for 15 minutes. For eating I try to eat lots of fruit and veggies, some lean proteins and whole grains. I am not too perfect in the eating though, I have a soft spot for chocolate.
3. I don’t schedule a lot of activities for the boys. We do one thing a week (sometimes none) and one grocery store/bank run. Dragging two toddlers to something and then chasing them around is what really wears a momma out and makes her cranky. I think I am a better mom if I am not cranky. I understand there are a lot of wonderful, enriching activities for toddlers, but I believe that what they really need is quality time with their parents. We spend our days playing, gardening, and doing chores together (by doing chores I mean things like me hanging laundry on the line while they eat dirt in the back yard).
4. I have found a cleaning/house work schedule that works for me. I do 1-2 loads of laundry every day, and I do 1 cleaning project a day. I clean the bathrooms one day, dust another, etc. The most on any day I spend cleaning is 1 hours. My house is not perfect this way, but it is clean enough.
5. If I am having one of those exhausting days I allow myself to do nothing during nap-time. It is best to understand those days happen and you just need to take a little break.