Life after two under two

Have you followed my article series “Two under two”? It’s awfully quiet in that department at the moment, isn’t it?

Yes, it is. And you know why? Because our toddler is two years old now – and we simply don’t have two kids under two any more. However, life is pretty busy and loads of fun with a toddler and baby, even though they grow up.

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So don’t worry, I will keep you posted about our family life, our kids who are growing up right before our very eyes and about learning processes, child development, milestones and changes.

So what actually has changed the past few months?

I’d say it’s gotten easier, more peaceful, calmer. I mean, it’s not really calm around here with the little ones playing, learning and working. But I guess we have grown into all this. We have grown into our noisy and chaotic family life – and it really is a lot of fun.

We’re looking forward to future milestones! How are you doing?

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A Weekend in Pictures – June 25th/26th 2016

The past week has been HOT. So we’ve more than relieved that this weekend has been much milder. Finally we were able to spend some time outside and to enjoy summer and nature.

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Our toddler loved to check out all those different tiny flowers at the playground…

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… and she also enjoyed climbing on those fantastic monkey bars! Who can blame her?

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In our family we all enjoy being barefoot and since that is something we can only do for a short period of time due to our climate being barefoot made this weekend extra-special for all of us!

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I love those lights and shadows – and can you spot father and toddler?

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I love my baby’s concentration, she could play with her baby sling for hours and hours! Well, not all the time of course…

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If you’re already a regular reader of Living a Catholic Fairy Tale you will most definitely know that in our family we love to bake and to cook. So this weekend we had pancakes…

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… and cherry cake.

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The end of the weekend:

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How was your weekend?

Two under two – Nighttime…

“How do you do that at night?” – that is definitely one of those questions you get a lot with two kids under two. Somehow nights with toddlers and babies are considered to be very hard.

Which needs not necessarily be the case!

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In our family we have basically established some very clear jurisdictions: Mom is responsible for the baby, Dad cares for the toddler. Most nights that works really well, so we hardly complain about the nights.

Another reason for our not-so-hard-nights is that we all sleep in one room – and most nights we even share one bed. That is a really comfortable solution for us because neither of the children needs to cry to call our attention and neither of us needs to get up to meet the children’s needs.

However, there are those tough nights, too, of course. Sometimes one of the children isn’t well or they both wake each other up all night. Those really are demanding times. Sometimes Mom has to move out of the bedroom and spend the night on the sofa together with the baby.

Nevertheless, nights like that are really really rare in our family. It is actually quite the contrary: Most nights all of us get enough sleep.

Two under two – What we can learn from our children

Usually we tend to talk and think about what our children have to learn from us – today we want to turn tables: We want to ponder on what we can learn from our children. And let’s just say, there is a lot we can learn from them, even if we have two kids under two!

How much time to you spend watching your children? I mean just watching, not looking after them, just watching what they are doing and how they are doing it.

It’s amazing!

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In our family Mom tries to regularly take some time to just watch her little ones playing, learning and interacting with each other. She gets deeply impressed observing how concentrated the toddler arranges her own learning environment. She puts so much effort and passion in achieving her own learning targets! She doesn’t need a teacher, though…

So Mom learned a lot about consistency and patience from the toddler.

But that’s not all there is to it. Mom also learned so much about creativity, forgiveness, good will, fairness and trust from both the baby and the toddler that it is somehow humbling.

God gave us the opportunity to teach our children lots of things, but he also gave us the to learn from them and with them. Take that opportunity, it’s definitely worth it!

Need-oriented parenting – a Catholic Approach

and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

~ Matthew 18:3

There is a lot you can read about need-oriented or Attachment Parenting in the media or on the internet – but one question you will hardly find to be answered:

Is there any Catholic Approach to those need-oriented ideas?

A few websites do offer a Catholic Attachment Parenting Approach, e.g. the Catholic Attachment Parenting Corner, Intentional Catholic Parenting or Simply Charlotte Mason. Mostly Attachment Parenting is a secular philosophy of education, though.

How so?

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Attachment Parenting is all about freedom, need-orientation, respect and about being loving, caring and understanding with each other as a family. Somehow, these ideas seem to be more popular in secular circles – maybe because they can be considered very liberal.

But let’s see, does Attachment Parenting require a secular and/or liberal worldview?

Not really. There is nothing wrong with living social-conservative Catholic values – it’s just an unconventional Approach: You don’t teach your values by indoctrination, you simply live by them. So you’re creating kind of an observational learning experience for your child.

Besides, freedom, need-orientation, respect and being loving, caring and understanding with each other are Catholic values, too, right?

Let’s talk about the Bible verse quoted above: Jesus tells us we should become like children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. He truly appreciates children! So how could we not treat children according to those beautiful Attachment Parenting ideas as we strive for loving our children just as much as Jesus does?

What do children really need?

Preparing for the birth of a new baby is a great thing to do – but sometimes you kind of get distracted by all the “needs” you will probably have to meet.

How many playsuits does your baby need? Will you be in need of a baby stroller or will a baby sling do? Will there have to be a nursery or will your baby sleep with you?

What does your baby really need?

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After all there is really one thing that your child will need: You. And that’s basically it. Your child needs you and your sensitivity. It s in need of your love and care. Combined with all the basic needs such as being fed when the baby is hungry, being rocked to sleep when the baby is tired, being comforted when the baby isn’t well, being held warm and dry, being cuddled that’s all there is to it.

Your baby doesn’t care about the color of his playsuits. Your child doesn’t care if his playsuits are all new or if they were pre-owned by another baby. Your baby doesn’t care too much about toys, baby strollers, a beautiful nursery and all the equipment you are made to believe a baby needs. However, your baby deeply cares about you!

So don’t get lost in details, don’t invest too much in “baby equipment” – try investing in yourself as a (becoming) parent, in inner growth, in your relationship with God and in your relationship with your child. That will do!