I consider myself a well-seasoned momma by this time. My youngest just turned 3 and my oldest starts kindergarten in the fall.
Sigh…where did the time go?
Once I get #2 potty trained I will have left behind baby-dom and all its vomit, drool, diapers, and inexplicable crying. I hope I don’t lose the cuddles, kisses ad snuggles too quickly along with the bodily fluids. Before it all escapes down the drain of my quickly addling brain, I thought I would pass on some well-earned knowledge I have accumulated.
Here are 10 things I learned about increasing my brood:
1. You can’t sit around and nurse watching Oprah anymore. Odds are you oldest is hip to grown up language by this point and you will have to find something else to do while nursing. Someone suggested I read to my oldest while nursing, which would have been great, had she known how to turn pages.
TEACH THEM HOW TO TURN PAGES NOW or just resign yourself to read any old page they turn to, they probably don’t care anyway.
2. Include your older child in things like bathing the baby or changing diapers. Putting a diaper in the garbage (NOT THE POOPIE ONES!) or washing the babies feet is an easy, low-danger task, and makes them feel included.
3. Don’t drop everything when the new baby cries. I would wait a second or two and my oldest would usually tell me to go and get the baby. Letting the baby cry for a few seconds won’t hurt them and lets your older child know they haven’t fallen too low down the totem pole.
4. You are already a mom, phew! This means you are already domesticated and you know how to manage a new baby. Even though there are more kids now, and likely an enormously huge amount of laundry, it all seems more manageable than the first time. You have been broken-in and thus the growing pains will be less.
5. You will need help, especially if you have had a c-section or difficult delivery. Even if it is just to keep your older child busy and entertained.
6. You need other mommas, now more than ever. Having 2 kids makes everything a bit harder, doctor visits, errands of any kind, just getting in and out of the car becomes quite a business. I have many great friends and neighbours, they would often help out and watch one or more of my kids for short stints when I had public business to attend to.
7. Get outside. We would get out almost everyday, once the baby was a bit bigger, even in the rain. Getting outside keeps everybody happy, breaks up the day, and gets your blood pumping.
8. Take lots of pictures, of both kids. In my family, there are 3 siblings. I, the oldest, had a great baby album, detailed, full of notes and pictures. My sister had a slightly slimmer model and my brother’s was non existent. In later years, these albums became measurements of love for us. Remember that you won’t have as much free time as you did with your first. So, if there are keepsakes you are trying to put together for your kids, keep in mind you will be limited timewise with your second.
9. Focus on the sibling relationship. My sister is my best friend and my brother is also very close to me as well. I am closer to them than I am to my parents. I realize this is important and I try to do what I can to foster a good relationship between my girls. I do realize however, that they will likely hate each when they teenagers, I think it is the law actually.
10. You will feel differently about this baby. Babies are little people, with different personalities, quirks, needs and temperaments. Don’t assume that this means you love one more than the other or that you are bad mother. Give it some time and everything will even out. You won’t love them the same, they are different people who appeared in your life at different times. This doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t move mountains or throw yourself in front of a moving train to save either of them. It just means that you might relate to them a little differently. Some have gone so far as to say they love one more, I just don’t think that is the case.