My Evening Routine As A Mama of 2 Under 2

my-evening-%e2%80%a8routineI have found that in order to keep my sanity as a SAHM of two under two, I need routines (see my morning routine).  Routines help me to ensure that I’m getting enough sleep, that I’m taking care of myself mentally and physically, that I’m being present with my husband and loving him well, and that I am devoting time to building my relationship with Jesus.

I wasn’t always like this!!! Before kids I was pretty disorganized and had poor time management skills.  But, as they say, a baby (or two) changes everything.  Now I find comfort in routine and structure, and honestly, having a daily plan is refreshing to me.

Here is my evening routine as a SAHM of two under two:

6:30-7pm: Kids in bed.  They are ALWAYS in bed by 7pm (I can only think of one time in the memorable past that DD wasn’t in bed by 7pm; she was sick and it took until 7:15 to calm her down).

10 minutes post kids in bed: Sit on the couch, catch up on emails & social media and drink a tall glass of water.  The pre-bed evenings with two under two are pretty hectic (especially since my husband is still at work most nights).  A glass of water is very refreshing, and as a breastfeeding mom it’s important to stay well hydrated.

Post-water break: Finish picking up the house; wash up any dirty dishes and run the dishwasher; and get organized for the next day (restock the diaper bag, lay out tomorrow’s clothes, etc.).  I find it’s really important to my mental well-being and outlook to have an organized house.  Clutter causes me stress, and waking up to a messy house in the morning does not make for a good start to the day.  I also do what I can to eliminate frantic running around in the morning.

7:30-8pm:  Dinner & date time with my husband (if he’s home from work).  If he’s not home from work I’ll use this time to take an extra long shower and then read.

8pm: Quick shower and get ready for bed.  Once I’m all ready for bed, I usually sit on the couch for five minutes with my husband and sip on a mug of Sleepytime Tea.  This really helps me calm down and relax.  I have also been taking Melatonin lately to help me get back into a regular sleep cycle after 7+ months of night waking’s and weird bedtimes (Note: Consult your doctor before adding any dietary suppliants.  I am not a doctor and am only sharing what has been helpful to me).

8:15-8:30pm: Dream feed for DS.

8:30-9pm: Lights out.

What does your evening routine look like? Is there anything special you do to wind down?

peace-be-with-youlove

A PPD Trick: Turning Your Shower into a Spa

turning-your-shower-into-a-spaWhen I am depressed, one thing I’ve found that is always a comfort is a hot shower.  It relaxes my body, clears my mind & soothes my soul.  There are a few special things I do to treat myself when I’m feeling bad off:

Choose a verse from scripture to meditate on while you relax.  This will help calm and focus your thoughts and take you mentally away from your troubles.  If you’re looking for a place to start, Psalm 91 has several versus that work well, such as verse 4.

Dim the lights and light a candle. This creates a calming, peaceful atmosphere.  I love these Anthropologie candles because they have a light, fruity scent.

Special soaps, shampoos, and body scrubs.  I’ve found that having new, fresh scents (instead of my regular, go-to scents) makes my shower extra special.  I feel like I am being pampered and can revel in the delicious fragrances that my nose is not accustomed to. I love the smell of Shea Moisture’s Fruit Fusion Coconut Water line for body wash and scrub and find that Burt’s Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser really makes my face feel soft and smooth.

Taking time to put on a special body lotion at the end of the shower, again with a scented lotion that you don’t normally use. Give yourself a full body massage.  I absolutely love Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter & Pumpkin Body Butter.

If you have time after completing the above at a leisurely pace, I highly recommend giving yourself a manicure and pedicure.  That way this calm and refreshing experience will last beyond shower time! Right now I’m obsessed with OPI’s Washington, D.C. line.

 

What do you do to lift yourself up when you’re struggling with depression or otherwise?

peace-be-with-youlove

Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert, just a mom who has suffered from PPD. Consult your doctor if you think you have depression, or call 911 if you think you might harm yourself or others.

The baby harness: to use or not to use with 2 under 2

babyharness“Why is your baby on a leash? They’re not a dog.”

“You must be a lazy parent—just hold your kid’s hand.”

These are the thoughts I used to think when I saw children wearing a harness.

Fast-forward to today: I am a SAHM of an 18 month old & a 7 month old and we struggle to get outdoors. We struggle because we live in the middle of a city with busy streets on all sides. We have no yard—only a tiny balcony of outdoor space. The park is several blocks away, on the other side of a bus & train station. DD, my 18 month old, is super curious and wants to explore the world around her, but she feels frustrated and limited when I force her to hold my hand.

In case you’ve never tried venturing out by yourself with two under two before, let me break it down for you: Carrying a 23 pound infant in a front carrier and a large diaper bag on your back while trying to keep hold of the tiny hand of your toddler who zips this way and that (all while cars & trucks speed past you on the road that’s three feet away) is like asking Santa Claus with his sack of toys to chase after and corral the Energizer Bunny.

Enter the baby harness: a way for moms (and dads) laden down with babies and baby gear to venture out safely & stress-free with their energetic and curious toddler, while still being able to stand up straight and walk at a reasonable pace.

Why not just go to the park and let your toddler run wild and free (and safe) there, you ask?

Have you ever gone down a two-story tube slide with your 1-year-old in your lap and your infant strapped to you in the Ergo? No? I have, and let me tell you: it’s no fun. For anyone involved.

(Side note: we do go to the park several days a week, but when you have two under two sometimes all you can manage for the day is a walk around the block.)

So, to my past self who used to judge moms with kids on a harness, I say: look at me now! Having a baby of your own to keep safe, to raise and to foster her spirit of curiosity and creativity changes everything.

What tips and tricks do you have for venturing out with your little ones?

peace-be-with-youlove