Let me just remind you that this is my second kid. Things came easier but with an extra challenge of having a toddler to attend to as well.I took every day as it came. Didn’t plan anything, didn’t force routine and did not know what to expect as the day went by. I took an instinctive approach rather than a “by-the-book-and-what-people-tell-you” approach. Did it work? Well you have to read on to find out.
Jaxson is breastfed, which means no set feeding schedule. This made it pretty difficult but James soon started understanding that I was giving Jaxson what he needs. James helped where he could and he even tries to squish my boob into Jaxson’s face, telling me I need to feed him. Now, James has started insisting on changing Jaxson’s morning nappy. I am on stand by but he wants to do it himself. I guess the age gap is quite ideal. James can speak and understand when spoken to. When mama needs help, she can just ask and most times, he helps immediately. Not because I force him, but because he wants to. When he is playing, I let him be.
It was impossible for me to establish routine for the first 3 and a half months.
It’s a difficult time for the family as all of our usual routines are thrown out the window. FAR out the friggin’ window. Around 4 months, it got better. Jaxson started becoming more predictable. I worked on the “Awake for maximum 90 minutes” rule. It worked wonders.
Just prepare yourself for tears. Lots of tears. From you and from your kids. James cried when I cannot see to him quick enough and Jaxson cries when I take too long to get to him so he can feed. Hell, even you cry on your hard days. Not going to lie, I have had 4 good cry sessions from feeling overwhelmed.
Start worrying less. I say that with all the love in the world. Be calm. The kids won’t die if they cry for 10 minutes or if they get their food a few minutes too late. Don’t rush from one point to another. Take your time and take it slow.
Honesty statement number 220 – you will be dirty. You will smell. Your personal hygiene will take a step back. Some things will have to give when you a mom of two and i can guarantee you that your soft beautiful body will now have that gorgeous natural scent of “Au de Sour Milk”. It’s gross. Milk burps get on your clothes, into your hair and in places you did not think possible. Always keep wet wipes nearby, it’s like a shower in a square.
Will you be tired? Duh. Cmon, you probably did not think you would be fresh and cheery every day? I usually woke up with the kids around 7am then I get James ready for school. When he goes around 8:15AM, I go back to bed with Jaxson and it’s time for him to sleep again. I usually slept with him again and got another 90 minute nap before I start my day. It helped tremendously. With that said, it helps when your older one is in a play school. I’m not sure how I would cope every day with both of them home – hats off to the moms that do! You deserve all the wine in the world.
Remember, day time will be easier than night time. Evenings are so hard when dinner needs to be made, kids need to be bathed and they need to get into bed. That’s probably the hardest but luckily dad is pretty hands on. Maybe prep your food ahead of time, invest in a electric slow cooker /pressure cooker or order take-aways. Totally acceptable the first few months having a little baby. (Mr D Food – you rock my friggin socks!)
But all in all, soak in the days. It goes by too quickly. Before you know it, they off to school and you sitting in a empty house wondering where the hell time went. Take pictures, take in the moments and love those kids more than you thought possible. Say goodnight twice, maybe a third time to make sure, and take 5 minutes to chase your eldest in the house so that those belly laughs fill the room. Love your family, love your life and love your title as mom.
TIPS TO SURVIVE :
- Wear your newborn. Wrap or carrier, it helps you have two hands free to assist your toddler with his/her needs.
- Get out the pots and pans, dry macaroni and a few spoons. This keeps a toddler busy for a good few minutes.
- Never let the baby get overtired. Before three months, only a hour of awake time. After 3 months, you can push it to 90-110 minutes awake time. Babywearing also helps put your baby to sleep.
- Have some bubbles handy. James loves bubbles – I am sure most kids do. Let your toddler blow some bubbles while you feed your little one.
- Remember to let your toddler cuddle and play with baby too. I promise your second kid grows up stronger and more resilient to any pain your toddler might inflict on him.
- Celebrate every small victory. No mother is perfect – you aren’t and won’t ever be. Accept it, embrace it and own it!
- Get used to cold coffee. I quite enjoy it now.
Any tips you might have that I can add? Let me know!