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“You’re about to lose all your free time”. She said.
28 weeks in to my second pregnancy I heard these words from a dear friend and they really resonated with me. How could I lose even more of my free time? Being I wasn’t sure how to plan for even less free time, I did what every parent does when #2 arrives and I wing’d it.
When my new baby was just 2 weeks old I figured I could keep signing my oldest up for classes and planning play dates. You know, the ush’. Quickly I found myself in a different world. It was a huge challenge to get to classes on time, even harder to be involved and park play dates were a recipe for anxiety. I even spent an entire weekend trip at the Omaha zoo nervous I was going to lose one of my kids. Eventually I realized my expectations were unrealistic. I was doing too much.
Turns out I am a better mom to my family when I am not a frazzled mess and life with a new addition is actually a huge adjustment. I know! I know! Shocker, right?
So here’s a list of things I have learned, now that baby is 13 weeks old. I want to hear anything you have found to be helpful as well, you never know when you could be helping another mother out.
Tips for the Transition to Two
1. Clear your schedule
Dear second time mama, if you do nothing but this you will make your life easier. Don’t plan to be anywhere at any specific time. Cancel all your plans, tell people you will come if you can. Commit to nothing. Roll with everything day by day. Doesn’t that feel better already?
2. Potty train the oldest
Ha! I hear you laughing (or was that a hell no?) But seriously, hear me out – you are already wanting and needing to stay home – why not put a couple of training potties out and take a shot at it? My oldest was completely potty trained in two weeks and I felt super calm about it since #chaos was already the norm. Food for thought.
3. Put your phone away
I hesitate suggesting this, but it’s true. This is such prime bonding time. I wanted to get out and socialize so bad that I found myself burning a lot of time scrolling and commenting on facebook, only to cancel plans last minute. Now that the early weeks are gone, I wish I had spent more time engaging with my daughter and soaking in more of those newborn snuggles. Mom guilt is real…but so are hormones.
4. Be ok with Toddler TV time
This. Seriously. Cut yourself some slack, watch TV with your toddler and talk about what you see. This is better for their development anyway then them watching it alone. When I was 3 weeks postpartum I came home from a grocery run and Caleb had the TV on. It hadn’t even occurred to me to turn it on at all (we just never had before) and I said to him “ Wow, I’m going to use that for now, too.” With all those hormones gearing down, I was a better mom and person for it. Check AAP guidelines for your childs age.
5. Share the load
After a few weeks of me continuing to “try to do it all” I finally broke down and asked my husband for more help. He took on dinners and cleaning the kitchen at the end of the day.There are tons of recipes out there that he can start in the morning in the crock pot before work and we also bought frozen spinach ravioli that was super easy to throw together. Bottom line, whether we ordered chinese or made food – he took this responsibility on once the meal train ended. It really helped.
- Be honest about your comfort zone….for months
I went through a phase of being really “wishy washy” during the first 12 weeks. I honestly WANTED to do everything that I committed to but often found myself being unclear or cancelling after making plans. Own where you are. If you need to stay home for a few months (me!) just own it and be OK with it. You’re not a bad mom, or a lesser person than someone getting out there and doing everything. Saving your sanity is better than selling your soul.
I’ve been excited to put this together for all my second time mamas. It’s a BIG transition, and is it just me or are the hormones even CRAZIER this time?
Mamas, I encourage you to give yourself time to adjust. YOU are doing brilliantly. Stop to breathe, you’ve got this.
What is helping you in the life with two littles?