It has been a real struggle for me to balance the needs of both my babies since my second son was born when my first was only 21 months old. Even though my toddler can be very independent during the day, at night he shows how young he still is. Bedtime can be particularly hectic since that's when the boys seem to both need me 100 percent, and there isn't enough of me to go around. I have been tandem nursing them, but separately; I haven't been able to figure out how to nurse them at the same time. Now that six months have passed since I became the mother of two, I believe I can share some tips with other mothers.
My husband, like yours, is at work some evenings. I found myself dreading those nights each week. Bedtime in particular was really tough, since I couldn't manage my toddler's bedtime routine and still meet my newborn's needs. Finally, I reached out to my mother and asked for her help. Now, when my husband is away we spend some nights at my parents' house. For my parents and me, it is a throwback to my visits home from college (except I don't bring laundry anymore). For my sons, they have a great time seeing their grandparents for such a long visit. Plus, I get away from all the household chores that wait for me at my house. I make sure to lend a hand at my parents', but there is still less to do than when I'm at my own house. It is a nice break for us all, and of course, at bedtime there are more than enough hugs and cuddles to go around.
Originally published in New Beginnings by La Leche League International.
(Vol. 19 No. 5, September-October 2002, pp. 184 http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct02p184.html)