Eight things I have learnt since becoming a mum of two under two
Okay I will admit I am not superwoman but I can honestly say that having a second baby, with a 20 month gap, was not as hard as I had imagined it would be. Yes there have been times when I have felt drained, frustrated or just shattered, but I thought I would feel that every day.
For the first few weeks I had a baby who liked to cry. I felt like he cried all the time. I was taken aback as M barely every cried. She was the most content baby every. I thought I had a devil and then I sat down and took note of how much he cried and it turned out that he wasn't crying nearly as much as I though. In fact he would be classed as a good baby so I have been lucky.
He still cries and is more unsettled than M ever was but I think the worst thing is that his cry is loud and I mean very loud but with Gaviscon helping a little and finding the wonders of white noise, it turns out that he can give some of the biggest smiles in the world.
He is now 14 weeks and I would describe being a mum of two as being the most amazing thing in the world and worth every tear, stress and worry. It is fun, amazing, fascinating. I go to bed tired but in a happy way. The days can be long but on the whole they are so much fun but they have also taught me a few things about being a parent.
You need to take time for yourself when it is offered. Whether this is 30 minutes to have a bath, going to bed a bit earlier (I still haven't mastered this) or just 10 minutes on the sofa whilst someone else parents. Time for you is important.
It has taken me nearly 24 months to realise this as I never really let go and relaxed with M. Yes she had a few days when her grandparents looked after her and an over night stay but
Sometimes you just have to let the baby cry a bit. As cruel as it sounds no harm will come to baby if it is in a safe place and you take a few more minutes to get to them. I don't mean leave them to cry for hours on end but when you have two children to look after sometimes baby has to wait a minute or two longer until you tend to them. Finding a routine is the best thing and at first you may feel like you are juggling a million balls at once but it gets easier and you quickly get your routine.
Try and get the baby to fit into your routine rather than you and your other child fitting into the baby's routine. This was should really be the same for baby one too.
Forget about chores and cleaning. If you house looks like a toy shop has vomited into your livingroom, so be it. It is a sign that your children had fun. Sometimes sitting for 5 minutes with your feet up beats having to run around the house making it look pretty.
Get out as much as you can. Short walks in the fresh air do wonders for you all and can help settle a grumpy little one whilst helping the older child burn off energy.
Involve the older child a much as possible, even if the help feels a bit of a hindrance. Encourage cuddling and kissing. Holding the bottle, even if you have to hold onto it too, fetching wipes, nappies, clothing. It all helps.
Just enjoy it. Don't worry about what might happen in 10 minutes, just take your time to savour every second. They don't stay small for long and no-one ever regretted not cleaning/checking Facebook/stressing more when their children have grown up and flown the nest.
Prepare meals in advance. I think this is one of the best bits of advice I can give, well maybe buying a slow cooker trumps this. Having a meal ready to serve without having to prepare it at the time is the best thing you can do. There is nothing worse than trying to cook a meal when the toddler is "starving" and the baby is cranky. If you have a slow cooker it is even better as it will be ready to serve the minute your toddler suddenly thinks they are going to collapse in hunger.
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