Last week I talked about the gear needed to get ready for baby #2. This week I find myself pondering the question “HOW am I going to manage TWO??” I mean, life is fairly easy now … Jake is 4 which means he is potty trained, can get his own snacks, get himself dressed and even knows how to work the remote for his favorite shows. Now we are about to enter the world of a newborn again … the sleepless nights, endless bottles, diapers and dependence on mom and dad for everything! I can’t wait for the baby smell to fill our house again (the good baby smell that is) and to feel the overwhelming emotion of just cuddling with a newborn or watching them sleep, but at the same time, I can’t help but wonder how much our life will be turned upside down again!
There seems to be two distinct points of view on this – half of my friends say having a second is not nearly as life changing as when they had their first. The second child just kind of goes with the flow and falls into the routine the family has already established. The other half says “no way!” that having 2 means more than double the work. I guess that all depends on the age difference and the demeanor of the 2 kids. Time will tell, but I’m hoping we fall into the first camp.
Either way, I know it will be important to find ways to try and de-stress our lives as much as possible. I’ve gotten a ton of GREAT advice from friends that have entered into the “man on man” world of raising a family. So here’s a run down on some of the tips and advice from fellow savvy moms to try and make life with 2 a little more manageable.
• Don’t sweat the small stuff – relax and enjoy your newborn!
• Get the older child involved in helping with baby so they don’t feel left out.
• Use a Baby Bjorn or sling – helps to keep hands free to chase after your toddler.
• Plan ahead whenever possible – pack a bag the night before for early morning activities.
• Even if the older child no longer takes naps, plan a rest time to coincide with baby’s nap – gives mom time to recharge as well!
• Use baby’s other nap times as a great opportunity to bond with your older child.
• Depending on the age of the older child, invest in a good double stroller.
• Get a babysitter, even when you are home, to help out with the kids so you can get a few things done.
• And finally, accept people’s offer to help – whether it’s bringing dinner, taking the older child for a play date, or stopping by the grocery store for you. Remember, you would do the same for your friends, so don’t hesitate when they offer!
So now it’s your turn – what other helpful tips have you picked up along the way that might make life for a mommy of 2 a little more manageable?