What's your support strategy for surviving two under two?

Hey, does anyone have suggestions for surviving two under two as a somewhat temporary(ish) stay at home mom?

My husband is heading back to work mid-April and we're trying to figure out what child care arrangement makes sense for us with a one mo. old and a 16 mo. old. Our 16 mo. old is currently in daycare 2 days/week and we have no idea if/when she'll get in any of the daycare/preschools she's on the wait list for (...which makes me a little screamy).

I think I'd like a mother's helper for support 3-4 days/week but am open to co-op options near Rockridge, too. In addition to just needing some additional hands on deck for handling two, I am also looking to find time for my paid PT work 6-8hrs/week (plus, time to Do All the Things that parenting two requires and *maybe* even exercise once in a while??).

Has anyone else been here (is here now)?
What do you advise?
Any suggestions for mother's helpers?
Co-op options?
Some other arrangement that makes this all feel more doable?

...Also, what are your strategies for handling meals, bedtimes and nursing with a rampant toddler afoot?

Parent Replies

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I don't have anything tangible to offer in the way of references but it sounds like a Mother's Helper or a part time nanny would work well for you.  Mine are 20 months apart and now attending the same preschool, which is working out well.  But there was a period of time where we pieced together nanny-sharing during maternity leave, paternity leave, then found a great in-home daycare in Piedmont when they were under 3.

I remember going on a lot of walks with a carrier and a stroller to both retain some sanity and get fresh air and exercise.  For dinners and bedtime, the only thing that helped (and still does) is - the earlier the better.  We did a lot of simple, healthy meals like beans and brown rice, roasted vegetables, grilled fish.  We pureed the non-meat items once they were 8-ish months.  For nursing, I would let my oldest play a game on my iPad when he was a little older for 20 minutes to give everyone a break (outside of air travel, we're mostly a non-screen family, but it was often about surviving/saving my sanity during the newborn days with the second.)

Just that you're already thinking of all of these things so early on means that you're doing well to prepare!  Good luck and feel free to reach out for venting, local tips, etc.

We had two under three and when I look back I think we should have lined up more help than we thought we needed as soon as possible.  This is because some options didn't work out and so we were caught short.  Yup, it'll cost you but how do you price your sanity and well being?  The other thing is to avoid huge stressors like moving or remodeling or changing jobs for the first few years...of course we did all those things :-)