Parenting is a gift. I prayed and prayed for my girls and take immense joy in the fact that I have two beautiful, healthy girls to love on every minute of every day that I’m able. I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to be a Mom or a Dad and I don’t take that for granted.
But even with that said, parenting… is… hard.
Parenting Evvie, our always-on, all-eyes-on-me child as an only child was difficult. She started whiny teething at two months (not kidding) and out popped her first tooth at four months on the dot. She was always moving (her Nanie affectionately nicknamed her “Jimmy Legs”) and always talking. She said her first word around seven months and by eighteen months she was on full sentences. It was super cool at first until she never stopped talking––and then the sass started. She never slept. Ever. When she turned one I joked that I didn’t think I could ever have another child because I might lose what little energy and sanity I had left.
Five months went by and I forgot that feeling entirely and was jonesing for another sweet baby to hold, to smile at and to love. Along came Collins…
If I thought parenting Evvie as an only child was tough stuff, being an “on” Mommy to TWO willful, loud, energetic girls is freaking HARD. I thank GOD that C.D. is such a hands-on, active Daddy because there are days that I certainly would need a caffeine drip (and serious stress relief outlet) to keep up with the girls.
I’m doing a lot of complaining and it’s entirely because Collins is in the middle of popping out her first tooth (potentially teeth, as both of her bottom middle teeth are bubbling up). This comes on top of a snotty nose and our dearest Evvie hasn’t gotten the memo that Mommy and Daddy haven’t slept in several nights.
So, just so we’re very clear, I DO love these girls with my entire heart and I’d never trade this life for a thing in the world––even on the worst days. Sometimes, Mama just needs to vent.
Now that I’ve gotten all of that off of my chest, I thought this would be the PERFECT day to share several MUST-HAVE “save your sanity” items for all parents, new and veteran. Let’s call this, “Survival Shopping.” These are the things I’ve invested in or were gifted over the past year to ensure I can keep some semblance of a sane person.
I’m sure it was always this way since its inception, but coffee has been given lots of credit as of late for keeping Mothers and Fathers around the world awake.
I was never a coffee drinker until just before I got pregnant with Evvie, during which time I just drank it because I liked the taste. My children are a product of my own inability to sit still. Therefore, who needs coffee when you have your own caffeine keeping you moving?
Nowadays? Even working out and eating well isn’t enough to make up for many nights of a maximum count of 3-4 hours of sleep.
I previously used a Keurig because I didn’t need caffeine so much as I enjoyed a warm, cozy drink to start my day. This year, I was gifted the Ninja Coffee Bar (single serve) for Christmas (THANK YOU, MOM AND DAD). It has saved me loads that I previously spent at Starbucks because I can make my own delicious lattes in my own kitchen… whenever I want.
The system comes with a small recipe book to help you get your barista start, but dive into a Pinterest search and you can find tons of great recipes and tips to take your average coffee up a notch.
With one kiddo, you’re often juggling a few things, like the diaper bag, your purse (unless you’re smart enough to just keep your items IN the diaper bag), toys and oh, right, your kid.
With two kids, you become as sophisticated at carrying a multitude of things as a waiter balancing a cocktail tray and tray of food at the same time. Save yourself the hassle and go as hands-free as possible.
Diaper bag? Check.
Backpack Purse? Check.
I use all of the above every day to make my life a teeny bit easier.
Comfort on Demand
With two kids, there is always something missing. And now that Evvie loves playing hide-and-seek––as in she takes your possessions and hides them for fun––we’re constantly asking, “have you seen my wallet? my credit card? my phone? her Wubbanub? her blanket?”
Save yourself moments of insanity and double up on your kids’ favorites where possible. Does your baby prefer a Soothie to a Mam pacifier? Get 10. You’ll lose them as fast as you lose your Chapstick.
Does your little one have a favorite blanket? Grab several others of the exact same style to stash around the house/in the car. When the tantrums start, you’re not running around like a bat out of hell trying to find the ONE to appease them.
Also important? With a toddler and a baby, one of them needs us at all times. At… all… times…
When I’m not holding Collins or wearing her with my Boba wrap, the Boppy Lounger our friend lent us has been a life changer. The regular Boppy is great for propping the baby up in our bed while we’re getting ready, but the lounger is fantastic because she’s slightly propped but totally comfortable. I use ours when we’re making dinner, when we’re folding laundry, when Evvie wants to color/play and it’s too tough to hold the baby. You get it. Now, get it… as in order it.
This is tongue-in-cheek, but let’s be honest: it never hurts to have a bottle of good wine (or few) lying around for those days when your self-soothing mantras just aren’t cutting it. I’m currently loving this red and this white.
Do you have any tips or items that keep your household in one piece? Please, don’t be selfish––sharing is caring. 😉