Tips for managing two children under the age of 18 months.
Being a mother of triplets I had to manage three children under the age of 18 months and at times that was quite the undertaking. There were times when I was happy, times when I was sad, times when I went crazy (not sure that I have returned to normal yet) and times where I was at peace. When I was pregnant with my triplets I decided to join a multiples group so that I could get a bit of advice and some tips on how to manage my children. What I did not count on was that the mother that I was set up with, the woman who become my mentor mom was completely neurotic about every little detail. However through her anal ways and strict schedule I was able to learn some important things mainly what type of mother I did not want to be. I also learned that it is impossible and also tiring trying to make everything perfect and the most important thing is to enjoy the time that you have with your children because time passes so fast.
From my experiences working with this mentor mom (who by the way I ended up mentoring and changing her viewpoints on how she was raising her children) and raising my own children I was able to define nine tips that I learned that helped me make it through it all; the highs and the lows. These nine tips are patience, asking for help, organize, go with the flow, sleep/rest, take "me" time, don't sweat the small stuff and most importantly laugh and have fun.
- 1. Patience - Having patience is a must when managing children and when taking care of more than one child patience becomes crucial. Sometimes it can be very frustrating to balance more than one baby under 18 months old. Having patience is important so that you are able to get through any situation good or bad and to be able to slow down and take it easy no matter what the day brings you. Being patient helps to keep you positive throughout any situation.
- 2. Ask for help - Understand that at times it is necessary to ask for help and to take a break. There is nothing wrong with getting help and getting help can ensure that you will keep your sanity. Asking for help can allow you to take the break that you need or to get the rest that you need to keep going with managing the babies. In addition asking for help can help to free up time to do other things. If someone else is watching the babies you can do other things to help to keep organized or to take care of yourself.
- 3. Organize - Keeping a schedule or keeping your children on a schedule can be very helpful to ones sanity. But you have to be flexible enough to work around said schedule because anything can happen to throw that schedule off. Being organized could be as simple as having a schedule for eating, sleeping and play time. Or to have a place for everything that you need within arms reach. Being organized can help to make sure that things run as smoothly as possible.
- 4. Go with the flow - As mentioned sometimes you have to simply go with the flow. Adjusting to the needs of the children or to schedule changes without getting upset or losing your patience is important. Being able to adjust means that you are not being negatively affected by what is going on. Going with the flow will also help you to stay positive in the face of adversity. Going with the flow will help you to be able to manage your children no matter what circumstance arises.
- 5. Try to get enough sleep - I still do not know what the words "rest" and "sleep" mean and I am thinking I won't understand that concept again until my children are 18 or when they become self sufficient. But it is necessary to try to get as much rest and sleep as possible so that you are able to manage two children who have the possibility of running you ragged. When you are sleep deprived it is very difficult to function properly, so getting rest and sleep is crucial.
- 6. Take "Me" time - Taking time for yourself is the most important thing to remember because if you are not functioning at your full capacity then you cannot be there for your children. Even if its only 5 or 10 minutes a day take that time, pretty soon you will be able to get more and more time for yourself. Having "me" time will help you be able to have better "we" time. Take time for yourself so that you can give yourself to your children.
- 7. Don't sweat the small stuff - Managing two children under 18 months old means that you will have to make changes in your life, there might be things that you can no longer do. So don't worry about the little things. You might not be able to maintain an impeccable house but that becomes less important. Clean when you can and do not worry. You may not be able to talk on the phone as much or respond to emails as often as you like. Let the little things go so that you can take care of your little ones without added worries.
- 8. Laugh - Laughter is the best medicine and will get you far. So many things happen when raising children and having two under the age of 18 months will definitely have you laughing in so many different ways and for just as many reasons. Laughter will get you through anything and the best thing about laughter is that it is catching. Once you start laughing your babies will start laughing as well and that can be truly amazing.
- 9. Have fun - Most importantly, always have fun and enjoy yourself. When you have fun your kids will have fun too. Having fun also helps to make it easier to manage the kids. Find things that you enjoy doing that you can do with the children. Read books to and with them. These are the important years and it is never too early to share books with them. Turn on music and dance around with them, even if they are not walking yet you can bounce them on your lap or get down on the floor with them. Whatever it is that you are doing always try and have fun the kids will love it.
And remember time goes by incredibly fast so try and enjoy each and every moment as they come. I learned early on that each stage good or bad lasts about 3 months so if you are in a bad stage give it three months and they will move on to something else. Try to stay in the moment and relish everything that is happening because before you know it those years have gone away and your babies are not babies anymore.