Maintaining Your Sanity with Your Second Baby
The early stages of motherhood are prefaced with a single late period and then you quickly notice that you’re never on time for anything in life ever again! There is an endless list of things to do that can never get done amidst the unexpected, inexplicable tantrums, baby bum blowouts and bouts of illness from all ends of the body. Motherhood is really a trip and more so if you’re expecting your second baby. If you don’t have your game plan in check, you’re bound to get lost in the crossfire.
Expecting after expecting
Depending on where you are in your family planning journey, having a second baby may be quite a thrill. Unfortunately for some, it can bring grave sadness if unplanned or unexpected so soon after your first child. As a professional, it almost felt like the end of my career being pregnant almost 8 months after my first. I cried so hard as if someone had died. Then feelings of ingratitude consumed me and I felt so ashamed and cried all the more. It was a painful process, but I found strength in knowing that I survived impossible situations before, so I had the strength in me to do it again and so can you.
Tips for Survival with Your Second Baby
Here are a few quick tips to help you manage when your second child arrives:
Stick to routine
Most children tend to thrive on routine and are able to better manage themselves when they’re on a schedule. If you find that this is your child(ren), try to keep playtime, food time, bath time and bedtime within regular time frames. This will also help you to better plan your small pockets of time when you have a second baby.
Sleep when your babies sleep, but wake before they do!
I always thought that anyone who said, “Sleep when baby sleeps!” never had kids. Just like those people who say, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” Oh, the painful memories behind those abominable words! I never found time to do anything that would remind me I’m human whenever I slept when my babies slept. That was until I started waking up before they did! I felt like I found a secret window through time and could finally tick off sleep, eat and shower off my to-do list more often. What a fragrant blessing!
Let them play together
Bonding time between siblings can be such a time saver for mommy to get things done. We know they are bound to inevitably have a row – familiarity does breed contempt after all. Nonetheless, playtime between siblings is still, for the most part, time well spent and golden time nuggets for mommies.
Accept help when offered and reach out if not
It’s sometimes hard to trust leaving your children in the hands of someone else. However, at the end of the day, when you’re all spent and done, you may end up snapping at your little one – and even your partner – unintentionally because you’re so burnt out. So accept that hand that reaches out to help whether with a meal or offers to clean or watch your kids while you get even an hour of sleep. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure as a mom, because you can’t do everything under the sun. It simply says that you’re acknowledging that you’re only human after all, despite criticism by society and social media images with perfect moms. Do your due diligence and take, ask for or hire help when needed.
Motherhood is a journey like no other where among other things, we cry for reasons we may never fully understand. We cry when our babies won’t sleep, we cry as we watch them sleep, we cry when they don’t give us a break and we cry when they first leave the nest. It’s a whirlwind of emotions that we may never quite fully grasp, but it is rewarding every step of the way. They really grow up fast, so cherish every moment. Soon enough, you’ll realize that though the days may feel like such a drag, the years will go by so fast.