Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Life with Two

Often my girlfriends have asked me “How is it with 2 kids, is it harder?” It’s this question that I hope to answer in a somewhat convoluted and drifting manner.

My first reaction is “No, it’s easier.” SAY WHAT? Let me explain. In my household there was this lopsided division of labor when it came to child rearing. When life was all about Camdyn, mommy took on the brunt of the child-involved tasks. It’s not that Chris wasn’t willing to help out, it’s just that I did it. Eventually, the night time routine (bath, books, bed) got to be tedious and I started to resent the fact that I got an hour and a half less of “couch time” than Chris did. Of course, on occasion he would take over the responsibilities, but it definitely wasn’t a nightly occurrence. Mind you I hardly ever sat on the couch during these times…I’d spend the time doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, etc. This whole scenario could have been avoided had I asked for more help or demanded it. Well, I didn’t and the exhaustion set in.

Then, enter Chloe and suddenly there was this necessary and unavoidable division of labor that had to happen when it came to the girls. I took on Chloe’s bedtime routine and Chris tackled Camdyn’s. We learned early on that divide and conquer is the way to go with two kids. You take one, I take one, and we can accomplish anything! We use this approach often while shopping, meeting a friend for lunch (I often bring one with me and leave one at home), or while trying to divert chaos in the house. “Daddy, please take Camdyn to the park so she can burn off some energy while Chloe naps.” It works perfectly!

The 2nd piece to the “2 is easier” puzzle comes in the form of sibling love-ery. Camdyn adores baby Chloe and now that Chloe is older it is quite clear that Chloe also finds Camdyn rather fascinating. In the evenings, during the rare occasions when Chloe is still awake at 8:00, Chloe will sit with us while we are reading Camdyn’s bed time stories. Granted she is trying to eat the pages, but she’s there and entertained and Camdyn gets a kick out of showing her the books. Even if Chloe is grumpy, she’ll often perk up and pay attention when Camdyn is in her line of sight. So, that makes things a little easier already…they are kind of entertaining themselves! I expect this to get even better once Chloe is mobile.

Now, don’t go thinking that having 2 kids is a cake walk, because it’s not. It definitely takes more energy to raise 2 than it does 1 and the amount of time that you spend doing child related tasks more than doubles. It’s also even more of a personal sacrifice as your “alone time” diminishes exponentially. I do feel that giving a child a sibling is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. It’s not always possible and only children have a sweet deal too, but I feel that giving your child someone to grow up with, and share memories with, and to cling to when you’re gone, is a priceless gift.

So, life has gotten easier in some ways and a little more challenging in others. One thing that I am certain of is that I wouldn’t change a thing!

Here are some of the sweetest moments of life with two:

Camdyn and Chloe playing before bedtime. Camdyn was nice enough to share her Little People with her baby sister.

In the mornings, we often place Chloe in the nook of the couch. She can’t fall off and she can’t fall over and it is her favorite place to sit. The moment Camdyn woke up and came downstairs she took a seat right next to Chloe. She could have sat at the other end, or in another chair, but she wanted to be as close to her baby sister as she could be. I had to take a picture it was so sweet. Chris said, “Awe Camdyn, you and Chloe are going to be best friends.” Camdyn’s response was, “I already know that, daddy.”

Camdyn loves to feed Chloe now and Chloe doesn't seem to mind. Hey, I'll take all the help I can get!

1 comment:

Liz & Jim Johnson said...

Awwww so sweet....Chloe is lucky to have a big sister like Cam!