This may be more difficult than I thought. Great, but difficult.
I am sure it would surprise no one that raising two boys would have challenges. But really for me, just one is a boy and the other one is still just a needy squish that has little to do with gender. We have not even gotten to the jumping off of high things stage for either of them.
Regardless of what kind of kids they are, one is two and the other is just over three months old. My wife has been back to work for a couple of weeks now, so I have been adjusting to solo parenting for the bulk of the workweek.
It is going well, but I have to admit that it is harder than I had envisioned. I anticipated our two-year-old, Luke to be the easy one and wee baby Carter to be the handful. It is much more balanced than I had originally guessed.
Emily had nearly three months of maternity leave, so both boys had become very used to Mama being around. The first week of her return to work led to some teary mornings for our big fella. She has to leave the house early, so he has been setting his internal alarm for around 5:30 am, kickstarting my day with both boys a bit earlier than I would prefer. At least let me get my cup of half-caf first, man.
Despite the early starts, a good breakfast is enough to distract anyone, so we have already begun adjusting. Fortunately, Luke has remained a solid napper, so I have maintained some afternoon time to get some writing or social media management work done.
Disobeying and generally poorer behavior have crept in since bringing a baby home, but hey, he is a two-year-old boyo; it was bound to happen sometime. He is still polite, tender-hearted, and the best little friend anyone could hope for.
Carter is shaping up to be a stellar companion as well. He does have stretches of crying immediately when I try to set him down, which can make the day tough to navigate. Again, probably due in part to Emily’s lengthy maternity leave, in which they were rarely separated. Other than those tough moments, he has truly been great. He sleeps well (daytime only tho) and adjusted to breastmilk in a bottle well also.
Honestly, I will admit that one of the biggest game-changers in this transition has been TV.
For his first two years of life, we tried to avoid television. Luke had seen maybe 10 episodes of Paw Patrol prior to Carter being born. Other than that, he mostly thought the TV was for basketball, God bless him.
Now, he still does not watch in excessive amounts, but he does usually catch an episode of something a day, either when I am trying to get some work done or when he needs to slow down near bedtime. Not only has it helped me, but I have watched his imagination grow during playtime, usually due to situations he’s seen in these shows. Shoutout Mickey Mouse.
We still spend most of our mornings reading and doing tummy time and most of our afternoons outside. I am confident that we will continue to strike balance and create routines just in time for them to be shattered in new, but exciting ways.
I am tired but thankful that I have the chance to spend so much time with my sons and continue to raise them the way we want, the best I can. Just don’t ask when we will be ready for another. Too soon.