Adjusting To Two Children


In the last few days of my pregnancy with baby #2 I started to have a guilty panic emotion that hit me. How would I cope? I don't want my oldest to feel left out, I have not spent enough quality time with my toddler and soon I won't have the time, how will I manage toddler tantrums with a newborn to look after as well? Will I love another baby the same? What the heck am I doing! 

So I will start with saying that we have a 2 year 4 month age gap, we have our daughter Isla and now our baby boy Archie. The day he was born we was discharged from the hospital and that is where the fun began. If I'm honest I have not found the adjustment as hard as I thought it would be, I don't know if that is our age gap or what, but my friend who has a 18 month age gap found it really difficult and struggled so I was expecting the worst, but I have to say I think I have taken to it really well. When my partner went back to work I got on with my day just fine, and although I had a newborn and a bouncing hyperactive toddler I still managed to get out the house, and carry on as somewhat normal. Don't get me wrong it IS hard work, my days are non stop on the go, running from one to the other, cleaning, cooking, sterilising bottles, washing - you get the idea, it is tough. But with Isla at the age where she is becoming independent and we have a good communication level it does make simple things easier, which helps a lot. I know everyone has different opinions on age gaps, but this is the age gap we wanted and it suits us and our lifestyle really well. 



Now that Archie is getting older it is becoming a bit more difficult, he doesn't sleep as much in the day, he is teething, has his clingy days and is starting to get a feel of what he likes and don't like. But then at the same time Isla is also growing up more so the balance seems to keep somewhat the same, she fully understands that Archie is a baby and needs me a lot more than she does which is good. Every parent has their good and bad days, even with one child or even four, they happen and when they do they can be really bad. So don't think that I am saying it is a walk in the park, I had a bad day last week and did break down crying on the floor because I just felt so overwhelmed, being outnumbered in the day time at times can be really stressful, especially when they both need you at the same time. I have found that being organised helps so much, especially if you're planning on going out the next day, I get everything ready the night before, the changing bag, my outfit, both of the kids outfits, and I get the pushchair set up by the front door along with my house keys. Getting out the door with two young children can take forever, and even longer if you're not organised, is their a longer than forever!? I also have to get up early and go to bed pretty late so I can get jobs done, this is completely personal and not everyone is the same, but I like to keep my house somewhat tidy and organised so for this to be achieved it means I have to go to bed late so I can get the house ready for the next day. I like to wake up to the house tidy otherwise if I walk into a messy living area / kitchen it can really start my day on a downer and not put me in a good mood (I'm crazy I know) but I think a tidy house means a fresh tidy mind, it keeps me sane. But of course at times this can slip, like if I've had a bad day I will end up going to sleep and then I fall behind, and believe me if you fall behind by just one day it can take ages to catch back up again. 

Some tips that I would pass on to anyone who is about to have their second child would be: 

- When the baby is born get the eldest to give the newborn a present, and get a present from the newborn to the eldest. Its a great way to get them to accept the new baby.

- Be organised... Well try your hardest to be, trust me it helps. 

- Have a quality hour with your eldest, I try to do this everyday but if not just whenever I can, we do painting, play doh, drawing, duplo, or just play with certain toys that she picks. I also do the same with the baby, Isla rarely takes a nap now but if she does I will spend a little time interacting with Archie (of course I do throughout the day but its nice to take 20 minutes and just sit and bond with him)

- If your eldest needs you and the baby is crying too, as long as the baby is OK always go to your eldest first, as they are the ones that are developing feelings and memories. 

- Try to spend one evening a week on yourself and also one evening a week have a special night with your partner, its so important to take time out and have some time to yourself, even if its just a nice bubbly bath and then a chocolate bar in bed afterwards. It can be so hard and drive you insane if you are just Mum all the time, you need to treat yourself as you are always on the go. 

- Fit the baby into your toddlers routine, we have kept Islas routine 98% the same and it has helped us adjust a lot more smoothly, also Isla hasn't been upset by the new addition either as she probably would have if her routine got changed up. 

- Try to have your eldest potty trained before the baby arrives, we are starting the process and I have to admit I am finding it hard with having a baby to look after as well. I wish I could of got Isla potty trained earlier, but as I believe when they are ready they are ready, so it is not always possible to get them trained before, but if you can then I would. 

- Make sure you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. I feel bad for saying this as most days I only have dinner, I just don't have time to think about food, but I have been suffering with headaches and lack of motivation, so I now make sure I eat three meals a day and I definitely feel better for it. 

- Accept that you cant do everything everyday, try not to feel bad if you don't achieve what you wanted to in the day, heck keeping both the kids alive and well is by far a huge achievement without anything else! 

- Stop. Some days I just have to stop what I am doing and forget the housework etc, I will just sit and spend time with both of them and have fun. I try to get some chores done in the morning so we have the whole afternoon for activities, sometimes it can take longer but then I just give up and go and play with them both. They are only this young for such a small amount of time. 

Just enjoy being a mum to two children, yes its hard work but it is also twice as rewarding, loving and more all rolled into one. Just go with the flow and try not to be too hard on yourself. Try getting out the house as being stuck at home with a hyperactive toddler can be quite challenging, especially when they keep waking the baby up. Sometimes I will take a walk to Tesco or take Isla to the park just so Archie can have a good sleep. Im sure you will find what works for you, being a Mum is the most amazing thing (I write this as my toddler is screaming at the door throwing a tantrum) but yes its the best thing in the world, especially when them little things happen that make it oh so worth it. 



MaternityMondays

4 comments :

  1. Lovely post. I find looking after one baby hectic enough - two ... Ill need to hire a cleaner!

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    1. Haha! Yeah my housework has really slowed down this past week with Archie teething it is hard work

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  2. Some great tips here and I am glad to hear things are going well. We've had some ups and downs adjusting to life with two but have followed similar tips to yours and Monkey has done really well with the transition, so far, though there are some interesting moments now she is getting older! Thanks for linking with #maternityMondays xx

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  3. I'm so glad it's all going well for you, I'll definitely be keeping those tips in mind! Xx

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