I had someone ask me this question the other day: "what is the hardest part of having two kids?" I had to think about it for a bit. My first thought was trying to give both kids the attention they need. I struggle with balancing my time with each of them. My second thought was trying to find time for myself. By the time I get them both to bed, I'm pretty exhausted and generally just go to bed. But then I thought of something that trumps both of those. The hardest thing about having 2 kids for me is getting out of the house! I remember being so overwhelmed when Mike went back to work at just the thought of going out with both of them by myself. And really, when we are out, it's not that bad.. It's the getting ready and getting in the car that is more stressful for me. I feel like it takes 4 times as long as it did with just Grace! We are always late. Here is an example of our normal outing:
Let's say we have to be somewhere by 10, we start getting ready 2 hours early:
8 AM: I shower. Grace plays on the iPad. Connor plays in his exercauser. Someone is normally whining by the end of my shower.
8:30: It's time to get the kids dressed. I change Connor and put a fresh sleeper on him. Grace has to help pick out her outfit which takes 5 minutes because it takes her forever to decide. By the time I finish changing Grace, Connor has pooped through his outfit. He requires a complete change.
8:50: I fix Grace breakfast. She probably won't eat more than a bite. She spills milk down her shirt. I find her another shirt. The shirt I pick is not acceptable. She takes another 5 minutes to pick a shirt she likes.
9:00: I throw some breakfast together for myself and try to get things packed up for the diaper bag. I need more diapers for Grace and a wetbag for Connor's diapers. I throw some more wipes in the wipes container and try to find some snacks in our empty pantry.
9:15: I'm fairly impressed at myself that we are running on time so far. I think we might even make it to our play date early (Kiss of death my friends, never ever tempt fate when children are involved.) I give myself a couple of minutes to check email while the kids play.
9:20: Feed Connor.
9:30: Connor spits up the entire feeding requiring a clothing change for both of us.
9:40: I rush around trying to get the kids downstairs to get in the car. Our play date is 20 minutes away so we should get there right on time. Then I realize that I don't have my phone and I have no idea where it is. I message Mike on Facebook to have him call me and I find my phone ringing in one of Grace's little purses. Who knows when she hid it.
9:50: Get the kids in the car. Connor is screaming because he doesn't want to lay down in his carseat. Grace is throwing a tantrum because I wouldn't let her bring the massive stuffed dog. I try to tell her that we're going to play with her friends so she should be excited, which of course just makes her whine more.
I wish this was an exaggeration.
If you have more than 2 kids, I really don't know how you do it! I don't understand why it takes 4 times longer to get out of the house than it used to.
What is the hardest thing for you about being a parent?