To kick off this series, one of my very favorite bloggers is going to be taking over my blog to give some general advice for anyone adding another little one to their family. Marie has five kids, two of which are twins, and every time I see that she has a new post, I always click over to read what she has to say. I love when she shares her perspective, since her kids are all older than mine. She has a knack for sharing her life in such a simple, uncomplicated way, and I love when she tells real life stories about her kids being kids. When you are done reading what she has to say here, click over to her blog and say hello!
Hi everyone, I’m Marie from Normal Everyday Life. I’m so happy to be guest posting on Chelsea’s series about adding a second child to your family. Even though it’s been many years, I can still remember how I felt those first few months taking care of two children, both under two years old!
Going from one child to two is a big transition. You may feel like you’ve just gotten a handle on this motherhood thing and now you’re moving into new territory. Lots of people will give you advice, but there are many things you can only learn through trial and error. Today I’m going to share five things to remember when you bring baby number two home!
1. Adjust your expectations downward and then downward again. It will probably take bringing your new baby home to make you realize how big your first child is and how much they know. Even if your oldest is only a year, they’ll seem light years ahead of your infant. Also, you’ve learned to get an amazing amount of stuff done with one child around. Now you’ll be busier, yet accomplish less.
2. Baby yourself as much as possible. You’re going to feel tired and overwhelmed. Accept help when it comes. Are grandparents offering to take the older child somewhere special? Take them up on it. Your church is volunteering meals? Yes, please! Your friend offers to hold the baby while you take a nap? Let her. It’s tempting to want to do it all yourself, but you need time to rest and recover well too.
3. You’re not scarring your first child. I remember feeling really guilty about bringing our second child home. Now I can see it from an entirely different perspective. I mean my oldest was 22 months old. Realistically she wouldn’t ever remember having me all to herself. Yes, there is a period of adjustment, but I think in general, kids deal with the birth of new sibling a lot better than we do as parents!
4. Your second child might be the opposite of your first child. Your first child may have been a great sleeper and the second might wake up every hour. The first one might be a little high strung and the second one laid back. Your oldest may have let anyone hold them and your youngest might cling to you day and night. It takes time to get to know your new baby. Be gentle on yourself while you figure these things out.
5. Give yourself grace. Most days you won’t feel like you’re giving both children the same amount of attention. You might not be giving your husband any attention at all. You won’t be able to keep up with friends, email, the dog, exercise, or even basic hygiene sometimes. But these days will still be some of your most precious memories. Enjoy them. They’re definitely hard, but they’re also full of sweet babies and little people. You’re building your family and these foundational years are ones you’ll treasure.
Before you know it, you’ll get this second kid thing down and maybe even think about having some more!