My journey of becoming a mum of two small ones started off something like this ( that is, spending evenings in my pants knee deep in teeny tiny pieces of spaghetti desperately resisting making *that* phone call where you beg your other half / mother / neighbour / ANYONE to come over to offer some sort of assistance as soon as umm, physically possible). The idea of showering and generally sustaining myself seemed like a huge task and I would feel quite anxious running up to the days where I had the two of them (three out of five weekdays). Fast forward five months and a good few “learning experiences” later (manoeuvring a double buggy during rush hour on a packed tube with a hungry newborn and an extremely overtired toddler is not a good idea…the sweat droplets were real), and whilst I’m still very much winging it and taking each day, heck each MINUTE as it comes (we found a beer bottle lid in the kids’ bath the other night…WTAF?!), I feel like I’ve learnt a lot over the past 20 weeks. So here’s 10 things that have helped getting dressed, out the house and generally mothering two whilst still having fun when out in the big wide world easier ? :
Obviously this depends on the age of your little ones, but when Sonny was a newborn I always went for the buggy + sling combo as he would just effortlessly attach onto my front (I use the close caboo) and end up falling asleep. Now Sonny is getting older and more wriggly (five months), he is a little big for the sling facing inwards and outwards there is a recommended time limit, and well, to get him onto my back without another adult pair of hands requires a little more practice. So now Jack tends to walk and Sonny goes in the buggy and I use the double buggy when I *have* to – it does my head in as it is crazy heavy (people go to offer with a limp hand and I have to politely explain that they will need their entire body weight). I’d also like to give the buggy board a go as I think Jack is *just* about at the age where he wouldn’t just find it hilarious to run off all the time and it would certainly get us around quicker (though I can’t say I don’t like the meandering…. that’s for another post!) Oh, and I always take reins too.
2. Try to think ahead
What I mean by this is that when the toddler is happy, it’s a good idea to feed /change/ generally show some attention to the baby (!) You won’t get much other time. Same goes for attending to mama herself. Any spare moment you have, I really recommend using it to eat, drink or pee (yes, peeing with two is IMPOSSIBLE).
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
I’ve wasted far too much time dawdling at the bottom of stairs staring aimlessly, hoping for someone to stop and help. These days I pretty much holla at the first person who passes to do anything from direct me out of a parking spot to take a quick snap of my crew to watch the kids whilst I dash to the loo (see #2). I’ve also been known to totally latch myself on to people for entire tube journeys when I think they can help further down the line (insert monkey emoticon covering eyes)
4. Avoid any extreme weather conditions
Umbrellas / rain covers / sunhats are just one thing too many in my books for an afternoon out. That said, however prepared you are, you will never be ready for the UK weather. Once I left the house with a thermos flask, sun cream, and raincoats for the boys. And I STILL felt too hot and Sonny still got wet. I kid you not. (forgot the raincover didn’t I?!)
5. Use bribery… and be ok with that
Let them eat cake, basically. And by them, I mean the toddler. It doesn’t really matter does it? Let’s just focus on keeping the peace. And on that note, my favourite snack is an apple (takes them ages to eat) . So just remember – chocolate rice cakes before 11am are totally ok.
6. Keep it simple
For us, spending half the day in the house and half the day out the house seems to work really nicely. And we tend to keep it real simple when we do venture out. If you follow us on Instagram you’ll know that we’re not huge fans of baby groups, so a trip the supermarket, the library or the garden centre are some of our favourite activities.
7. Go it alone
Venturing out solo with just my brood always seems to works best and everything goes much smoother – plus you can walk along singing Old McDonald without feeling awks about it (we sang that SO loudly the other day)
8. Remember your essentials
Snacks, books, phone charger (seeking out plug sockets in public spaces is not a fun activity). Plus I always try out bring out a hairbrush, perfume, hand cream and a red lipstick – applying any of the aforementioned will feel like a mini spa experience in the middle of the possible mayhem.
9. Quit whilst you’re ahead
I’ve learnt this the hard way. If you’re doubtful about whether you can just nip to get yourself a(nother) coffee in time before the toddler starts to lose it out of tiredness, you should probably forego it. However important caffeine is (and we all know it’s CRUCIAL), it’s not worth the melt. down.
10. Have fun with your procreation
This is why you created them after all, isn’t it? So get out there, see the world, and enjoy it. Just don’t forget your lipstick. Or the snacks. Or the wet wipes. Or the sling. Oh…..
Sorry if the above seem obvious (they didn’t seem so obvious at the time…) and I hope they can be of some help. Let me know in the comments below what your top tips are for getting out and about with your brood.
As ever, thanks so much for reading.