Fri. Feb 28th, 2020

Parenting Tips

From Parenting Coach Dr. Clarity

Raising Two Children under the Age of Five

8 min read
young girls hugging outside

I know a mom who is raising two kids under the age of five, one child is four years old and the other just turned a year old. We were talking and she said that she finds it quite difficult when she’s trying to find time to spend with them equally. Her oldest child sometimes acts out when she doesn’t feel like she is getting the equal amount of time or when she gets jealous of her younger sibling.

My friend told me that she is trying to make sure gets everything done around the house as well as taking care two kids and two dogs. She says that when the two kids are sick at the same time it’s stressful. My friend is new to raising two children under the age of five, she loves being a mom more than anything but it’s also stressful when she forgets to do something or has to get something done and both kids are demanding her attention.

Everyone tells her that things will get better and that she will get used to it. She said it’s hard to get anything done when one child doesn’t take naps anymore and needs attention. She said it’s even harder to find time for herself. She told me that a couple years back she had a miscarriage and few months after that she lost a family member from her family of origin.

A month after losing her family member, she found it even more difficult to raise two kids. My friend also suffers from anxiety. She is constantly wondering if she is doing a good job raising her children and worries about every little thing and is scared of many things. Everyone tells her that she is doing a great job with her children. She sought out tips from other moms and family members and even the web.

The things she learned was:

  • “nobody’s perfect, lower your expectations,
  • they are only little once, and it’s ok if you don’t have your life together.
  • No one is perfect, you just have to take it one day at a time.
  • Everyone makes mistakes, the best part is that you learn from them.
  • If you have high expectations on raising two, you’re surely going to be let down every time something happens.
  • Everything is ok if you don’t have your life together while juggling two children.”

When juggling two children try to keep the oldest one involved by finding a way to involve them. If you can’t involve them sit and talk with them so the oldest doesn’t feel left out or neglected. When and if the youngest one is napping try to find something to do with the oldest one. Whether that will be you and them coloring or reading a book or cuddling or taking a shower or even watching their favorite movie.

You can try to find a schedule that fits the whole the family. It is always easier if you get up earlier than the two kids and get the stuff you need done by the time they wake up. That way you have more time to spend with each child. 

If your oldest child is old enough to go to preschool that is always an option. My friend’s oldest child will be starting pre-k this coming school year and her daughter is so excited asking her everyday if it is time for school. Preschool helps the child learn how to relate with other kids, learn patience, and how to share and take turns playing with toys. My friend was very nervous about her child going to school but the more she looked into it the better she felt about the idea of her going to school.

Raising two children in two different age groups can be emotionally and physically exhausting – but then you remember that  they are only little once. You can research the different developmental stages of children and look for ideas of what you can do with both kids to provide the one on one time that they need.

Raising children under the age of five can be overwhelming, but the key is to remember to take time to breathe. You can always call for help or call someone just to talk when things get too overwhelming.. 

Children under the age of five have short attention spans. Make sure to be clear and brief. My friend’s oldest pays attention to the details instead of the bigger picture.

No need to doubt yourself as a parent, you do the best you can, and what you think is best for your children.

When you are taking care of the kids make sure you’re taking care of yourself too. My friend put so much time and effort into her children that she forgot to take care of herself. She was so exhausted by the end of the day, that all she wanted to do was sleep.

Children they may fear that you only have enough love for one them and they may act out and get jealous but it’s normal. You have to show the children that your love is unconditional for the both of them.

When you have an infant take advantage of the time he\she isn’t mobile. Once they start crawling and walking, you won’t be able to rest as much. You will always be on your toes, and wondering who is in to what this time.

Every day with your children you learn something new about them. My friend says she would never change anything about being a mom and her experience raising two children under the age of five. Every day there is a new challenge that comes to the surface.

The thing is that children under five may push to a breaking point but you have to focus on remaining calm. They fall, get sick – there and cuts and bruises but you should always remain calm, they are still learning from wrong and right.

My friend’s children are independent, and one doesn’t take naps and one only takes like one nap. So, she doesn’t really get free time, but she makes time with each child and that is important. To make sure both children feel loved and wanted no matter the situation.

Sometimes a routine for the family helps to create peace, and helps the kids learn time and gets them ready for when it’s time to go school. Every family is different and every child is different. One thing that worked with the first child may not work with second. 

My friend’s first child loved to be on her belly but her second child hated that. You have to find what the second one likes and there will be a lot of trials and errors, but don’t give up. Keep your head up.

When you feel like overwhelmed, just remember the day your babies came into the world and how happy you were. Remember that no one is perfect, keep your expectations low, if your life isn’t together it’s ok, and always involve the oldest or try to at least.

My friend’s mom told her one day “pick your battles”, children will push and push, get into trouble. The key is you can’t fight every battle you come across you will lose some and win some.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need. My friend hardly ever asked for help. She does everything –  clean the house, laundry, dishes, get the kids up and dressed, put kids to bed and takes cares of the animals. She would only ask for help if she really needed it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. 

Moms never get a break even when sick, so when you are sick take it easy don’t push yourself too hard. Focus on you and the kids, everything else –  do it when you feel better. Everything doesn’t need to get done in one day.

There will be days where you are so exhausted that you cry from the stress. It is ok to cry, tears are a healthy emotional outlet that we need to do every now and again. Try writing in a journal or blog. I promise you will feel better. My friend started writing in her journal about everything and it helped.

It is ok for your house to be messy and chaotic at times, you have kids, it is never going stay perfect. My friend cleans her house and 4 minutes later it’s a wreck again. Her kids will dump their toys all over the living room while watching TV after just cleaning. Embrace it, they are only little once. This is a time to make tidying up a fun game. It is easy for little ones to view most chores as a game if you add a fun song and a race while you clean up together.

My friend said she hardly has time for a shower. So if you find it hard to shower, it is ok embrace it. There is no such thing as a perfect mom or child or family.

There will be days you have to leave in a hurry and you don’t have time to style your hair or put on make up and that is perfectly ok.. No one knows your life and what you go through every day. Don’t let anyone bring you down.

It is ok if you don’t love every stage of childhood. My friend disliked the terrible twos and threes and potty training. Don’t be ashamed of not loving every stage. The only thing that matters is that you love your children with all you have and that they are healthy.

You should always resist the urge to yell at anyone when they tell you to enjoy every moment. We all know that not every moment is enjoyable because you have those days where one kid is crying and then other one is throwing things at the wall or painting their hands with nail polish. My friends told me not every single moment is enjoyable that one of her kids was crying nonstop and the other one was getting into everything like her make-up, nail polish, clothes, food.

As a parent you should go easy on yourself. You are not always going to be the parent you want to be. You will feel bugged and get frustrated a lot but you have to remind yourself all the things you got right in raising your children. Don’t worry about getting it all right, it won’t happen.

My friend finds herself getting bugged more than she likes to and getting frustrated because she is taking care of everything pretty much by herself. She’s not perfect and neither is anyone else but the key is to breathe. She also forgets a lot of things but that is ok. No one is super woman.

Everyone might tell you that everything is easy but it’s not – it is hard work. There will be a lot of sweat, tears, you will forget a lot of things. Moms are teachers, doctors, life coaches, therapists, and best friends. It isn’t easy in the least. You will get through it. Raising the kids may end up being the most fulfilling adventure of your life time.

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