In March, our family welcomed our 2nd son, Charlie, to our family. I would be lying if I said I did not worry about how bringing a new baby into our life would affect not only our family as a whole, but our son, Drake, who was two and a half at the time. I’m happy to say, that for the most part, the worry was unnecessary and our transition from a family of three to a family of four has gone very smoothly.
After being a Momma of two kiddos for a little over seven months now, I thought I would share some of the things I have learned in the process.
Laundry and House Cleaning Can Wait- Until it Can’t
I have done a much better job this go around of letting the laundry pile up and the dust accumulate while I snuggled Charlie or played Superheroes with Drake. However, I have a limit to how much dirt and clutter I can take before I bust out the Dyson. There were times when I just needed a clean house to be able to sit down and relax…and that is OK too.
Sometimes IPTV and a Snack is the Answer
During those first few weeks home (and even sometimes now) I often found myself turning the TV on to IPTV and sitting Drake down in front of Sesame Street with a bowl full of goldfish crackers while I settled in to feed Charlie. In those early weeks you have to do whatever works to make sure your toddler is entertained and your baby is taken care of. So if that means you need to use the TV and a snack as a distraction for a bit, do it, without guilt.
You Will Go Out in Public Again
I was so afraid to take both kids out in public alone after Charlie was born. I felt like I was finally just getting the hang of how to control a toddler in public and now I was throwing a newborn in the mix. The best advice I can give on this subject is to just do it and you will find it really is not that bad. The other piece of advice that I would give is to find the arrangement that works best for you. That might mean using a double stroller or pushing both kids in the cart. What works best for me is to wear Charlie in my Ergo carrier while Drake rides in the cart or stroller. Once I had the confidence to take both kids out, I never looked back and have taken the kids to the zoo, the park, Target, an apple orchard, and the grocery store without thinking twice.
Make Time for Dates for Your Oldest
My husband I make a special point to spend one-on-one time with Drake. Sometimes Drake and I go grocery shopping together and we talk and laugh as we stroll the aisles and maybe even pick up a special M&M treat at the checkout. Other times my husband takes Drake on a long bike ride with a stop at the park. We have also left Charlie at home with his grandparents on several occasions while my husband, Drake, and I escaped for a quick overnight trip to the waterpark or to see a show at Wells Fargo Arena. Drake has thrived on the special attention and we love having that special time with just our biggest.
Have Grace with Yourself
On the days where the baby will not stop crying and the toddler is throwing fit after fit and you don’t change out of your pajamas know that tomorrow will be better. When you try to squeeze into your pre-pregnancy clothes without success be kind to yourself. When you are overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising two kids know that you can do it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t try and do it all. Always remember that the days may be long but the years are short. You are a great Momma. You are enough.