There have been lots of birth announcements, pregnancy announcements and Mum’s to One finding their feet with Two asking for tips on my social channels this week. So I thought it was about time I finished this post that has been sitting in my drafts since October…
Somewhere along the line, you thought you had this ‘Mum of One’ thing down and another mouth to feed wouldn’t be so bad. “Let’s expand!” Or maybe you got caught a little by surprise (now none of us are stupid – you knew it might happen). Date night went well one thing lead to another and all of a sudden your boobs were doing that tingly thing again and there were two pink lines on the wee stick.
Before you know it you’re reading ‘There’s a House Inside my Mummy’ and ‘Pirate Pete’s a New Big Brother’ (or sister) every night of the week desperately trying to embed some acceptance into the little sponge who’s had your undivided attention for their few small years.
Now I’m no expert and you can read all about our transition from 3 to 4 here but with hindsight, I thought I’d share some of my light hearted tips for any of you Mummy’s embarking on the journey of one kid to two.
I apologise to any parents reading this with 3 or more in their brood. You’re probably thinking “What is that one on about?! Sure she’s only got 2 kids I could do that with my eyes closed.” I know this because looking back at my ‘Mum of one’ self I think, “what was I complaining about sure that was a piece of pi$$!”
Anyways here goes…
Just chill out. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Sure didn’t you manage to keep kid #1 alive this long. I asked a few friends a while ago what the differences in their first baby and their second were and the general feeling was, their style of parenting to baby #2 was way more relaxed. Babies are way more robust then you think and their big brother or sister is without a shadow of a doubt gonna be a little heavy-handed. Try not to freak. Once there is no real harm done. Johnny was just trying to share his favourite car with Betsy!
There just isn’t the time for endless tummy time and rhyme time in the library. Don’t worry about it! Remember how quickly that first year as a new mum went? Savour it this time. It’ll go just as fast if not faster this time.
First time around you probably had a beautifully decorated nursery with a well equipped changing area. Scratch it! Bring everything downstairs and shove it under the sofa. When there’s brown leaky fluid and four little hands all wanting to touch it you’ll be glad not to have to chance changing it on your knee. Or worse still risk leaving one to amuse himself, emptying the contents of the sideboard! Have the changing mat to hand and you won’t have to worry quite so much about a poop particles getting lost forever in the shaggy rug.
Get yourself a sling. Check out your local sling libraries – There’s a sling out there for everyone, you just have to find the right one. This is the one I LOVED. If you didn’t use one with your first baby – why the hell not?! Coming from a complete short arse, who said I’d never use one because I’d look ridiculous with a baby half the length of me strapped to my torso, I wasn’t long changing my mind. They are so handy and the feeling of being a kangaroo soon wears off. The feeling of a little bundle snoozing happily against your chest though is pretty heartwarming. Literally! You’ll be roasted so wear your layers on top. That way you can undress as needed. With two wanting your attention at the same time the pair of hands you do have probably won’t be enough and when the toddler wants to go to the park but the baby wants to have a nap but will only sleep on you! Pop him or her in the sling (Do the sling dance. I think its pretty impossible to put them in there and not sway or bounce in some way!) wrap up and off you go. Hands-free for lots of swing pushing.
Going to the park leads me on to my next tip. Just leave the house! Even if everyone is having a meltdown and you reckon the outside world is gonna frown upon your noisy kids, just go! Chances are all will quieten the moment you step outside and a lot can be said for a bit of fresh air for you all. I always found I felt a little less like a Zombie after strolling to the park. You never know you might even manage a cuppa and a slice of cake with the toddler while the baby sleeps.
Try and enjoy those moments with the toddler. The ones when the baby sleeps. That sleepy newborn stage is so short lived and I know you’re meant to sleep when the baby sleeps and all that jazz but there is also a new big brother or sister whose world has suddenly changed. Ignore the dishes and the washing. It will get done, I promise. Sit with them even if you are only watching Peppa Pig, have a cuddle they miss you. You’ll be amazed at how grown up them seem with compassion to the newbie.
Find a routine. If you read the Link above you’ll know a routine didn’t come easy for us second time around. I think this might be one of my only regrets. The Biggest Little C craved a routine and dare I say it most of the time (after we sorted the Silent reflux) was a pretty easy baby – once we stuck to it. I was maybe a little extreme with it and sometimes routine got in the way of things I wish we had done. So when the Littlest C came along I was a bit slack and honestly (18 months on) I think I’m paying for it now.
Please note… Some days, I sweat the small stuff. I feel guilty I haven’t given the toddler enough attention. Then guilty I cleaned the house and let the baby (really got to stop calling him a baby!) amuse himself. That they’ve watched too much television or ate too many snacks. But I’m a Mummy, just like you and Mummy Guilt sucks but it’s always there. So I’m learning to ignore it a little.
When I see the friends my boys have become I give myself a pat on the back. The Littlest C is no push over and he’s more than fit to stand up for himself against our emotional Threenager. But already they always have each others back.
And for that, I’m glad I didn’t decide to stay a Mum of One.
Go for it Mummy! You’ll never regret it! xxx