Becoming a mother is among the most incredible and hardest transitions it is possible to go through in life. But when it comes to adding another baby people often underestimate how monumental of a shift that can be. I’m only 3 months into this gig, and I’ve already been surprised at what a major change this has been, and just how much I’ve discovered in the procedure. So with that in mind I wanted to share a few valuable lessons that I hope to pass along to some other mothers in my life who are expecting their second baby. Check them out below…
3. Make time.
1. Go easy on yourself.
Please discuss any tips of your own.
Get your big kid excited about the baby.
Photo: Stephanie Todaro Photography
And lastly, try to sneak in some ‘me time’ too. It’s true that time is hard to come by during your first few weeks as a new mother of two, but it’s amazing what a mani/pedi or a yoga class can do for your spirits. A brief hour or two away from the babies is all the time you need to return reenergized, with a fresh perspective on life and motherhood. So enough with all the mama guilt–just do it, and enjoy yourself. These minutes to yourself will make you a better mom.
And along those lines, if those first couple of weeks, you need to give your kiddo a little screen time, do yourself a favor and do not feel guilty about it. We went from almost no screen time at all to having it be a daily occurrence with my toddler for a couple of weeks–and at first that made me feel like a terrible mother. However, you know what? She loved it! And it made my life much easier to have her entertained for that hour each day.
Published at Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:36:29 +0000
Newborn babies require round the clock care. There’s no getting around that. So making any quantity of time for anyone but baby may sound like an impossibility at first.
Find ways to spend time with your kiddo that is older whenever you can. Keep in mind that’s not straightforward — and that in one instant your firstborn went from always getting your undivided attention to having to share it. For the first couple of weeks, the quantity of time that my newborn spent nursing meant that my older daughter could mostly hang out with daddy while I cared for the baby. But after some time, that really started weighing on me. My husband and I have been working to make sure that he is able to spend quality time, and our daughter gets more one-on-one time with me too. Our baby is not a huge fan of the bottle, so it’s been a challenge. But until that changes, I’ve still been able to sneak out for park play dates or ice cream dates with our daughter in between nursing sessions–and that time is important to both of us.
Fortunately, my older daughter simply loves her new baby brother — that is beyond pleasant to watch and a relief to me and my husband. We did a few things that I think contributed to this, starting with being honest with her. When I was pregnant, we tried to get her excited about being a big sister, of course. But we had many conversations about how babies require a whole lot of attention how they shout a whole lot, and how she may need to wait while his diaper changed or fed him. This way, when he came along and she was getting our undivided attention 24/7, it wasn’t as big of a shock to her.
The same is true for your spouse and you. Ensure you are spending some quality time while a date night might not be in the cards for a few weeks or even months. Sit and enjoy a cup of tea before turning in for the evening. Attempt to chat about something other than your children. My husband and I snuck out for chair massages even that period of time gave us a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and relax, and while my mom watched the kiddos.
Including the baby within her existing pattern has been a game changer. It was harder the first couple of weeks, but after we were able to begin bathing them together, having baby brother listen in on story time, or having him be the grinning audience to his big sister’s puppet show, my older daughter really started doting on him. She is so excited to have a little buddy hanging around with her, doing what she likes to do, even though he’s not super interactive at this time!
P.S.. If you’re a first-time mom, here are 10 great pieces of information for brand new mamas.
If you thought you had an additional set of hands the first time around, this time you may want at least two sets that are additional! At the beginning, you will be recovering from childbirth this time you will have a toddler or older child to care for, in addition. And once you have recovered physically, having some help will be what saves your sanity. Whether that means calling upon your mother, a friend, family member, nanny, or other caregiver, make sure you and your family have loads of help in this transition. Once you are a few weeks in, you will begin to find it easier to care for two children simultaneously. But at the beginning, my best advice would be to say yes anytime someone offers to bring by a help or meal entertain your child for an hour.
There no predicting an older child will respond to a baby. And there is just so much control you have over the circumstance. But if you’re able to get your older kid excited about the baby, that will make everything easier on the whole family.
If you’re a mama of two or more, I’d love to hear your advice too.
I know what you’re thinking, mama. It’s not your rodeo. This time, you know what you’re doing. You learn how to change a diaper, bottle or breast feed, and soothe a crying baby. And as an experienced mother with all the hours of parenting under your belt, you have greater expectations for yourself. You’re no stranger to the continuous juggling that goes along with having a family–cooking, cleaning, a livelihood, a connection, bedtime, bath time, meal times, after school schedules and everything in between. You have done it for a while and you’ve gotten rather good at it. But while that’s all true, try to bear in mind that adding another baby signifies a giant change in your family dynamic. Much it will take time to find your rhythm that is new. If things feel chaotic do not be too hard on yourself. That’s normal. And just like last time, I promise it’ll get easier.