Motherhood, Take 2
Out-numberedWhen you have Baby #1, it’s immediately out-numbered. There are two parents to one child. Although your life is forever changed by having ababy, you’re able to tag team with husband to do the things you need to do like take a nap, clean house a bit or have a shower. There is always one of you free to look out for baby. When baby #2 comes along, it’s one parent for each child. The tag teaming becomes much more challenging with a little person and a baby demanding your undivided attention. It’s amazing how quickly hubby and you will find a way to creatively balance caring for two while still trying to fulfill your own personal needs and wants at the same time. Be a good team together and you’ll go places!
Every baby is differentThe things that worked with your first child may have to be chucked out the window with your second. No two babies are the same and if you luck out and have a really docile baby #2, consider yourself lucky. Baby and parenting books provide many bits ofadvice. What may have worked with baby #1 may not work for baby #2. Don’t let it make you doubt your mothering expertise. You will find a way to please #2 by simple trial and error like you did with baby #1. Having babies who end up being so very different from each other adds spice to mothering. Celebrate your babies’ differences! Don’t let it get you down.
No More Napping when Baby NapsWith one baby, you can still nap when it naps. Once baby #2 shows up, afternoon napping becomes a figment of your imagination only. If ever you manage to get both kids napping at the same time, you’ll feel as if you’ve won a lottery. The chances it happens are one in a million.
Keeping Up with Household ChoresOnce you begin caring for two little ones, keeping up with household chores becomes very challenging to say the least. Don’t let your inability to do it all make you feel incompetent. No one can do it all. Don’t try to be superwoman and overexert yourself to keep an immaculate abode. It’s not worth it. Your house will always need to be cleaned but your children will only be little for a short while. Enjoy every moment you have with them.
Giving Each Child an Equal Amount of AttentionChild #1 may or may not go through an adjustment period once baby #2 comes home. Having been the centre of attention and the apple of mommy’s eye for so long, she may find it difficult to share parental attention with her new baby brother – at first – or she may not. You won’t know until it happens. Invite child #1 to take on a helping role in caring for baby #2. Emphasize the importance of being a big sister and celebrate her new role in the family. Try your best to set aside some time for child #1 and you to do something special without baby even if it’s only reading a book or colouring or playing a short game. Child #1 will appreciate any amount of un-divided attention she gets from either parent. Whatever you do, don’t feel guilty if you can’t give your first the same amount of attention as you once did. Lilah will eventually get used to the new family way and then feel as if she didn’t know any better.
Time with your SpouseYou’ll be tired. You’ll be grumpy. You’ll lack sleep. As hard as it feels at first, you’ll eventually get used to it. Find ways to still spend time with your hubby once you both settle in to a groove with the new family circle. He may or may not feel somewhat invisible to you once baby #2 shows up and you both become busier. Take advantage of willing babysitters and try to get out for short bouts of time if only to talk over a cup of coffee. Keep those communication lines open and honest.
It’s the Simple Things that Will Matter the MostAs with becoming a mother for the first time, you’ll find becoming a mother all over again will make you appreciate even more the little things in life. Things like hubby letting you sleep in, having a shower,getting out of the house and having adult conversation end up being wonderful treats once you’re a busy mama of two. Although you’ll be busier and have less time for yourself, you’ll cherish every moment you have with your little ones while they’re little because you know just how fast they grow up. The sacrifice is well worth the reward.
When all is said and done and people give you their advice on parenting multiple children, what matters most in the end is what is in your heart. Follow your motherly instincts and rely on your experience. No one knows your children better than you and don’t you forget that!
Thank you so much for sharing your tips, Bruna. They are both thoughtful and practical, and I really appreciate the support and advice from mamas like you who have gone before.
So we know she gives great advice, but also? What a beautiful family this lucky lady has! You can read more about their adventures and Bruna's thoughts on motherhood here.