I have a lot friends with just one child who are thinking about a second and always ask me to give them the real scoop on having a FOF - Family of Four, so here it is... the good, the bad, and the cranky!
A typical day for me begins at about 5:30am -ish and ends around 11:30pm-ish. Usually, Audrey wakes me up to eat sometime between 5am and 6am and then I am off to shower and get ready for the day. After I get myself ready, I get Audrey all dolled up for the day. Alex gets up while I am feeding Audrey and gets himself ready, makes coffee, and takes the dog for a walk. He then gets Vincent ready. This is a challenge most days since Vincent is very particular about what shirt he wants to wear (and lord help us if he decides he wants to wear something that is in the wash). Alex finally gets Vincent ready and we all go downstairs to get bags packed and coffee poured. Most of the time, we are ready to go out the door, and then Vincent tells us he needs to use the bathroom, but not the downstairs bathroom ... so back up the stairs we go! Finally, we are ready to go out the door. Alex takes Vincent to school and I take Audrey to the babysitters - sometimes it's reversed depending on Alex's schedule. SN: Vincent and Audrey go to two different places because Vincent goes to a Child Development Center on campus at my work and they only accept children from 16 months-5 years.
I have nooo idea what time I would get out the door in the morning if Alex did not handle half of the things he does, plus I would be without my coffee - and that is not a good situation!
At work, I pump, or at least try to pump, at 9am, 12pm, and 3pm - we'll see how this goes once the semester starts!
I try to leave work between 4:15pm and 4:30pm depending on when I get in. I start up my kid shuttle and pick up Vincent and then Audrey. I usually get home around 5-5:30, set up Vincent with a drink and a TV show (yes, I let my TV babysit my child for half an hour) and empty out the diaper bag of dirty clothes, bottles, and bibs. By this time, Audrey is hungry and my husband has made it through the door. Once Audrey has eaten, it's time to think about our dinner and I make whatever I have pulled out of the freezer the night before whether it's ground beef for spaghetti (or tacos, a family favorite) or chicken or pork chops. After we eat, Alex takes Vincent upstairs for a bath! Before we had 2 kids, this was my downtime. I could read or catch up on some DVR, but those days are over. Now, while Alex is upstairs wrangling Vincent into the bath, and then into pajamas, and then into bed (YES!), I am downstairs feeding Audrey, doing laundry (yes, almost every day now that we have two - one who is potty trained, but has accidents and one who spits up all.the.time), doing dishes, washing bottles, making bottles for the next day, and packing my lunch. By the time Alex is making his way downstairs, it's time for Audrey's bath and getting her put down between 9:30pm-10pm, so I am on my way upstairs. Once she is put down, I get to watch a little TV myself and relax. If I am super tired, I will put myself to sleep when I put Audrey down, but usually, I just torture myself by staying up way too late!
Before I know it, it is 5:30am again...
I know these days sound hectic and crazy and people are probably wondering why I have done this to myself, but being a mommy is very rewarding! The hugs, sweet conversations, and smooches make up for the lack of downtime, meltdowns, and tantrums and I know one day I will look back on this time as the most precious gift that went by way too quickly.
So, if you are thinking about having a FOF, it helps to be organized and flexible with a good sense of humor - pick your battles, don't sweat the small stuff, and get ready for a fun (in every sense of the word) journey!