In March I became a Mum to two after the birth of my 2nd daughter. It was something I’d hoped for and feared in equal measure.
I personally have found the transition harder than going from no kids to one. I know not everyone agrees with this and it is really a personal thing as there’s a lot of factors that determine how ‘easy’ it is.
But here are the top 5 things I’ve learnt so far:
1. There will always be times were one has to cry. Unless you know how to clone yourself you will have to tend to one and leave the other for a short time. In these times you have to analyse who requires your attention first. It can feel very overwhelming but there isn’t anything else you can do but triage, fix the issue and move on to the next one.
2. If you are breastfeeding I highly recommend having a ‘busy basket’ or prepared activities nearby for the toddler. When you’re trapped under a nursing baby it can help alleviate any attention craving tantrums by having some activities you can play with them to hand. Small puzzles, bead threading, books etc. are perfect for them to sit beside you and play with. I’ve written about some recent playtime recommendations here
3. On car trips strap your toddler into their car seat before the baby. The baby is secure in the pram/carrier/sling, whereas the toddler may run off or out into the road. I had one scary experience of my toddler moving from where I’d asked her to wait beside me while I popped the babies carseat onto the isofix base and it still makes me feel sick, the fear was unreal! So now I make sure she is securely fastened in first so I’m not trying to look at two things at once.
4. Lower your expectations of having their naptimes coincide. Yes it may happen, (wahoo get the kettle on!) but for me it’s a rare occurrence that I treat as a bonus and I’m not disappointed when it doesn’t happen daily. Gone are the days of sleeping when the baby sleeps back when you only had one!
5. You will feel every emotion under the sun. Trying to be everything to everyone is not sustainable long term and you need to find your own ways of ensuring you give yourself the time and care you need to be the best mother you can be. Keep that nail appointment, go for a walk, keep bath time a kid free zone, whatever it is that helps you reset should be a non negotiable part of the weekly schedule. You can’t pour from an empty cup!
It’s all a steep learning curve and everyone has their own advice and tips but ultimately find what works for you by trusting your mothering experience and instinct. No one knows you or your babies like you do.
It’s one of the hardest but most rewarding things I have ever done! Knowing they’ll have each other for life makes me so happy.
Do you have any top tips for new mums to two or more?