1. Nap when the babies nap. Great advice. Totally do it. Unless your children do not tandem nap and take turns being awake. I often count down the minutes until Audrey's afternoon nap time. Finally get her down (after multiple stories, short cuddles, water, finding her Dolly & monkies, etc), just to have Leo wake up. Some day those two will nap at the same time- just in time for Audrey to start dropping her nap I'm sure! Oh and this is assuming that Audrey agrees to have a nap because some days she doesn't.
2. Freezer Meals- Genius idea and I can't stress how important this is. Unfortunately, I didn't get to stock the freezer as much due to Leo coming early but we did have some meals in there, plus we had some wonderful family and friends send along meals to help us in the early days. Life savers!
3. Lower your expectations on what you can accomplish in a day- aka nothing! Slight exaggeration but I've really had to scale back on my to-do lists and not stress about what I'm not accomplishing each day. As long as everyone is fed, dressed, teeth brushed and the house isn't a health hazard, life is good! Ok that's a lie- I do stress about the small things often but it really does no one good. I'm starting to let go if the house has toys everywhere all day long or toddler crumbs on the floor. Of course it has to be cleaned up before bedtime but old habits are hard to break! ;)
4. Accept help. If someone offers to help- either taking care of your toddler, holding your newborn, giving you food, cleaning your house or do laundry, take it!! No need to be a hero super mom and do it all yourself! With my first, I was all about doing everything myself and not needing people to help me with easy tasks, Partly because I really didn't feel I needed the help- one is easier than two, I know now. These days, I take every reasonable offer for help! Not because I can't do it (I can't) but why should I turn down help? It takes a village to raise a child. And maybe this way I can go to the bathroom or have a shower without an audience.
5. Love your spouse. This time is all about survival. It's not a competition on who is more sleep deprived (I am). Be nice to one another and when you have moments where you are not, apologize. Sleep deprivation can make you irrational but acknowledge that and don't let it affect your relationship. You are in this together.
6. Attempt to find a moment of alone time each day whether it's an hour long bath or 5 minutes in your room. The hardest part of 2, so far, is that you always have at least one child to care for. No more trading off.
7. Keurig coffee machine! I got one for my 1st Mother's Day- it's been a lifesaver! I've had to up my caffeine intake to two cups a day- one for each child.
8. Figure out a routine and some activities for your toddler to do that don't require too much work for you either in prep or clean up. It is suddenly very difficult to get out the door so you need to keep the toddler from going crazy inside, especially while nursing the newborn for what feels like hours on end. Once we can go out/outside things should get better but there just aren't enough arms or energy for those shenanigans right now!
9. All else fails, at least you can enjoy a glass of wine now!! Oh, it's the little things!! :)